Kitchen Islands and Carts Make Cooking More Efficient
The kitchen is the hub of any home, so it's important to have a layout that helps keep things running smoothly. Kitchen islands and carts help you do just that by giving you additional surface area for working and storage space to keep everything you need right at the tips of your fingers. We're here to help you find the right island or cart for your kitchen.
Can I add a kitchen island without renovating my kitchen?
Kitchen islands and carts come in a variety of styles and colors, so you can add one to your existing layout without completely renovating the room. Turn the piece into a true focal point or break up the uniformity of rows of matching cabinets by choosing an island made from a contrasting material, like a stainless steel-topped island with wood cabinets. If you'd rather coordinate the new island with the kitchen, look for pieces made from similar materials. You can find islands and carts with surfaces made from granite, marble, and quartz so they blend seamlessly with what you already have.
What is the difference between a stationary and portable kitchen island?
Portable islands aren't permanently installed, and you can move or roll them to another area of your home. Some, which are called kitchen carts, have locking casters to keep them in place. To move the island, simply unlock the casters and roll the island to a new space for food prep or to make more room in the kitchen.
Stationary islands aren't meant to be moved. They're often larger and sturdier than portable islands. They're meant to look like a finished component of your cabinetry, and they may have countertops with overhangs where people can sit. They're ideal if you want a relatively permanent solution without remodeling the kitchen.
How much room do I need for a kitchen island?
Ideally, you should have three feet of free space around the island so you don't bump into cabinets, counters, and helpers. Kitchen islands range in size from small 24-inch wide units to those that measure more than 36 inches wide and come in a wide variety of lengths, so it's important to measure your kitchen space before you make a purchase.
If you're planning to add counter height dining chairs or stools to your island, you'll want to leave three feet open behind the backs of your seats. In addition, plan for each seat to take up 20 to 24 inches of space along the side of the island where people will sit. With a seven-foot-long island, for example, you can comfortably sit three or four bar stools.
If you have a smaller kitchen, consider a microwave cart or storage stand with a built-in butcher block or granite cutting board on top. For larger spaces, check out stationary islands with slide out leaves that have room for stools or chairs.
What features would be most beneficial on my kitchen island?
Extra features transform islands and kitchen carts into practical pieces of furniture:
- Bar islands with seating tucked under a ledge create an extra prep spot, a place for the kids to do their homework as they eat an after school snack, or a seat for your guests as they mingle.
- A drop leaf design maximizes the available space around the island by letting you expand the surface area only when you need it.
- Casters are a convenient option that let you move the furniture where you need it instead of forcing yourself to carry ingredients and supplies from one end of the kitchen to the other.
- Built-in spice racks and towel rods keep supplies handy.
- Adjustable shelves and wine racks under the counter provide plenty of room for storing everything from cookbooks and appliances to your favorite bottles of vino.
Fall in love with your kitchen by creating a space where you feel comfortable working. Discover an assortment of kitchen islands and carts that make your life easier by improving the layout.
Related: Get help deciding if you need counter height vs bar stool height stools for your kitchen island!