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Crafting the Ideal Kitchen Island: Layouts, Tips, and Examples

If you are thinking of designing a kitchen with an island or just want to experiment with the different kitchen layout plans, you are in the right place. While kitchen island layouts are still one of the most popular kitchen designs, they can be rather tricky to design.

Blog | Kitchen
Interior design with kitchen island layout
Paul Boldizar

Here’s what you need to take into account when considering kitchen island layout ideas, and how to bring the ideas to life.

From there, you can try out the RoomSketcher Kitchen Planner to plan your dream island kitchen layout.

What Is an Island Kitchen Layout?

The island kitchen layout is a kitchen design that includes a detached, countertop space within the kitchen. The freestanding counter can serve many purposes, from acting as additional dining space, being utilized as a workspace, supplying additional storage space, or as an entertaining area to gather friends and family.

Island kitchen layout with breakfast nook

Are Kitchen Islands Out of Style?

Kitchen islands are most certainly not out of style. In fact, kitchen islands remain a popular kitchen layout style and often serve as the focal point for a kitchen. It is a versatile feature of any kitchen that comes with many unique advantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Island Kitchen Layout

The advantages of an island kitchen layout center around the kitchen island providing significantly more space for seating, storage, and workspace while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Pros and cons of kitchen with an island

The disadvantages of an island kitchen layout center around size constrictions and budget limitations. However, with proper planning and designing, these can be avoided.

Key Considerations

There are several things to keep in mind when looking at kitchen island layout ideas. We are going to talk about key considerations when it comes to size and dimensions, functionality, and positioning of your island kitchen layout.

Kitchen Island Size

There are three key factors to consider when deciding on the size of your kitchen island:

2D floor plan kitchen island design

What Is The Best Size For A Kitchen Island?

The size of your kitchen island is going to be primarily determined by the proportions of your kitchen and the aesthetics of the kitchen. A larger kitchen space will warrant a larger kitchen island.

In addition to designing an island with the overall proportions of the kitchen in mind, the purpose of the island will determine its size. If you wish to have seating at the kitchen island, a rule of thumb is to grant approximately 20-24 inches (50-60cm) per person seated. A 6-foot (1.8m) island would seat three people comfortably.

Finally, practicality is another factor to keep in mind. Even with the largest kitchen proportions, you might not want a kitchen island so wide you have to climb on chairs to clean it.

Island Kitchen Dimensions

The standard kitchen island is 40 by 80 inches (100-200cm) and 36-42 inches (90-100cm) high.

Kitchen island dimensions

With this in mind, you should remember that it is necessary to leave sufficient space around a kitchen island. Without seating, it is recommended to have at least 3 feet (90cm) between the island and other countertops or walls. With seating, it is recommended to have at least 4 feet (120cm) free around the island.

Positioning and Purpose

What will be the primary purpose of the kitchen island?

A kitchen island positioned directly in the center of the kitchen is one of the most popular designs, however, this might not be the most practical. If you use the kitchen island primarily for food preparation, then the island should be positioned near outlets and necessary appliances. If you use the island primarily for cleanup, then the island should be positioned near the sink and garbage.

Remember that it is recommended to have between 42 and 48 inches (100-120cm) free around the kitchen island.

We talked about how the dimensions and positioning of a kitchen island will be largely reliant on its overall purpose.

How will you use the island? Do you plan to prep on one side and cook on the other? Maybe you want one working side and one social size? Will there be any appliances on the island?

These are all very important questions to ask yourself while you are designing your ideal kitchen island layout. The answers to these questions will influence the final dimensions and positioning of your kitchen island.

Kitchen island layout ideas


Let’s take a closer look at the overall functionality of your kitchen island layout.

Going over these key points and asking yourself some of these questions will help you get a clear picture of the direction you will go with your kitchen island ideas.

Island Kitchen Layouts

There are several different directions you can go with your island kitchen layout. We will look at four of the most popular kitchen island layout ideas and help you visualize how they might work for you.

L-Shaped Kitchen With Island

L-shaped kitchen layout with island

U-Shaped Kitchen With Island

U-shaped kitchen layout with island

Single Wall Kitchen With Island

White single wall kitchen with island

Galley Kitchen With Island

Galley kitchen design with island

10 Kitchen Island Design Ideas

While the island kitchen layout can vary, the kitchen dynamics can also vary greatly between the different styles of kitchens. Let’s look at ten examples of different kitchen island ideas you can bring to life.

1. Kitchen Island Designs With Sink

Kitchen island design with sink

2. Kitchen Island Designs With Seating

kitchen island design with seating 3d photo rendering

3. Kitchen Island Designs For Dining

Kitchen island designs for dining

4. Kitchen Island Layout With Sink And Dishwasher

Kitchen island layout with sink and dishwasher

5. Kitchen Island Design With Stove

kitchen island design with stove

6. Kitchen Island Design With Wine Rack

Kitchen island layout idea with winerack

7. Island Kitchen Hood

kitchen island with hood

8. Island Kitchen With Breakfast Counter

Kitchen island with breakfast counter

9. Island Kitchen Lights

Island kitchen lights

10. Kitchen Island Designs For Small Spaces

Small kitchen island design layout

Kitchen Island Styles

The style of an island kitchen layout can vary, and depends on the overall interior design of your kitchen and home.. Here are three unique and aesthetically-pleasing styles to consider for additional kitchen island ideas.

Furniture Style

A furniture-style island kitchen layout adds warmth, style, and detail to the kitchen. You can create a furniture style by repurposing a piece of furniture to function as an island kitchen, or by simply adding some furniture-inspired detail to the island.

Furniture style kitchen island

Waterfall Edge

A waterfall edge on an island kitchen countertop is considered a modern-day touch to a timeless style. In a classic countertop, the edge of the countertop ends with an abrupt finish. A waterfall edge is where the countertop continues toward the floor, down the side of the countertop to create the waterfall appearance.

kitchen island with waterfall edge

Countertop Riser (two-tier)

A countertop riser can add even more space to an already spacious island kitchen layout. A countertop riser is like a raised bar top, built off of the island countertop.

Kitchen island with two tier countertop riser

Rolling Kitchen Island

Rolling kitchen island idea

Should The Kitchen Island Be A Different Color Than The Cabinets?

Once you’ve made progress in designing your island kitchen layout, it is time to consider your color scheme. The most obvious direction is to match the island with the cabinets. Selecting a contrasting color for the island will make it more of a focal point and add personality to the kitchen.

kitchen with island different colored cabinets

Kitchen Island Shapes

A rectangular island is arguably one of the most popular kitchen island layout ideas. This isn’t the only option, however. The shape of your island kitchen can entirely set the tone of the kitchen. Below are some examples of different kitchen island shapes for further inspiration.


circular kitchen island design


Kitchen island square shape black color


Rectangular kitchen island

Irregular-Shaped Island

Island kitchen shapes can take many forms. You can make your island any shape you desire, and with the proper surrounding aesthetics, it could work quite well.

Kitchen with irregular shaped island

The Next Step to Bringing These Kitchen Island Layout Ideas to Life

At this point, we hope you have more inspiration for kitchen island layout ideas. A kitchen with an island serves as an incredibly popular and practical choice for any kitchen design. Just remember to consider the functionality of the island, your kitchen proportions, and your desired seating arrangement when you begin creating your design.

If you have, in fact, gained some inspiration and motivation to design your own kitchen island, you can try our RoomSketcher Kitchen Planner to visualize your project. Layout the size, dimensions, and style - finally, view your design in 3D.

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