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Kitchen Island Designs: How Can You Create an Ideal Island?

Written by Kyle Murray on November 13, 2019
Edited By Amanda Kaiser, Last Updated On January 01, 2024
Reviewed By Samantha Peterson
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While countertops are often the focal point of any kitchen, you do not want to forget about your kitchen island. Islands are one of the most important kitchen features, as the surfaces can not only bring beauty to the room but serve as extra counter space and incorporate additional storage space in the form of kitchen cabinets below. Islands can also have an additional cooktop, sink, a dishwasher and a breakfast bar. 

Kitchen island design can be a bit of a challenge. That said, it is an important part of interior design in general, meaning that an effective kitchen island can transform your kitchen and home for the better. This guide will let you know what your various options are when it comes to kitchen island ideas. 


How Do You Know if a Kitchen Island Will Fit? 

Some small kitchens may simply not have enough room to incorporate an island into the floor plan. Conversely, a large kitchen may call for a larger island. The many elements of your kitchen design will ultimately depend on how much space you have to work with. 

The following table lists the standard dimensions for kitchen islands. 

Kitchen Islands: Standard Measurements
Height 36 inches 
Width 24 to 36 inches 
Length 48 to 70 inches
Overhang 8 to 12 inches

Why Have a Kitchen Island? 

There are many great reasons to incorporate an island into your kitchen design. From the aesthetic appeal to the functionality it will bring, kitchen islands are a great addition to any home. Whether you are looking for a space to socialize in your kitchen, an additional work space for meal prep or extra storage from added cabinetry, a kitchen island will greatly improve your home. The island can even function as an informal dining table. If you are looking to draw attention to certain items in your kitchen, open shelving can be a great choice for your kitchen island. 

What Materials Can You Use for a Kitchen Island? 

There are many materials you can choose for your kitchen island. Whether you have a modern kitchen, a rustic kitchen or any other design, there will be an ideal fit for you. The following is a breakdown of what materials work best for kitchen island tops. Keep in mind that there are many more you can use beyond the options listed below. 


Granite is one of the most beautiful and durable materials you can install in your home. It is suitable for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, backsplashes, island countertops and more. Because of its durability and strength, granite is a perfect choice for the kitchen. It is stain resistant, heat resistant and scratch resistant. A granite island top is the perfect complement to granite kitchen countertops. 


While marble is an elegant natural stone that is frequently used in home remodels, you will have to exercise caution installing it in the kitchen. It is very durable, but the material will require frequent care to stay in good shape. As with granite, a marble island top is an ideal complement to marble countertops in the kitchen. 


Quartzite is often used as a tougher alternative to marble. Many types of the natural stone look so similar to marble that they are confused for being types of marble. This stone is a great choice for countertops and island tops, among other home surfaces. 

Butcher Block 

A butcher block island is a nice choice if you have quartz or stainless steel countertops. The wood will bring a feeling of warmth to the kitchen. 

Best Kitchen Island Design Ideas 

The following are some of the best materials you can use for designing your kitchen island top. 

African Galaxy Granite 

This stunning island top features African Galaxy granite. If you are looking for a darker colored material that is very durable, this stone can be the perfect choice for you. 

Green Jadeite Granite 

If you are searching for a breathtaking material that can instantly become the focal point of the room, Green Jadeite granite is an excellent choice for a kitchen island top. The picture above also features the same stone on the countertops. 

Key West Gold Granite 

This gorgeous two-tiered island features Key West Gold granite. The room is a great example of incorporating both rustic and modern elements into a kitchen design. 

Aurora Blue Quartzite 

The blue, gray and gold tones of this incredible natural stone make this island top the focal point of the room. 

Astoria Satin Granite 

This simple island is the perfect fit in the kitchen pictured above. Since Astoria Satin granite is neutral in color, the stone will look great paired with any color kitchen elements. 

Atlantis Granite 

Atlantis granite works wonderfully for this kitchen island top. The neutral tones of the stone pair well with light or dark cabinetry. 

Colonial Dream Granite 

This gorgeous light-colored natural stone island top is the perfect contrast to the dark cabinetry. 

Ambrosia White Granite 

Much like the Colonial Dream granite island top previously shown, Ambrosia White granite is a light-colored natural stone that beautifully contrasts the dark cabinetry in this kitchen. This island is a good example of one that has both a prep area and breakfast bar. 

Calacatta Oro Marble 

Calacatta Oro marble looks amazing as an island top, as seen here. This particular island also utilizes open shelving. This stone is the perfect choice to complete any white kitchen. 

Classic White Quartzite 

Classic White quartzite is another wonderful choice for a white island top, as seen above. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Light Fixtures Work Well for Kitchen Islands? 

When it comes to lighting, the best options for kitchen islands are pendant lights or chandeliers. Both will look amazing. 

Is Installing a Kitchen Island a DIY Job? 

Installing a kitchen island will require experienced professionals. This is not a job for even the most skilled homeowners. 


How Can You Keep a Kitchen Island in Good Shape? 

As you would with the rest of the kitchen, make sure to keep up on cleaning (and re-sealing if you choose natural stone). When you utilize your prep space, always use a cutting board, trivets or hot pads. 

Kitchen islands are a key component of any kitchen layout. Because this is the case, you will want to carefully plan out the various elements that go into an island’s design. Through reviewing this guide, you can have a better idea of what you need to plan for, as well as what materials are the best to use.

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