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Kitchen Design Fix: How to Fit an Island Into a Little Kitchen

I have read again and again that a 12-foot-wide kitchen is not wide enough for an island. Of course, available space for an island is based upon the specific supply of kitchen workspaces, in addition to your way of life and household dynamics, however a 12-foot-wide kitchen can certainly have a remarkably efficient island. Small islands might be functional and beautiful alternative — as these gorgeous examples in a range of kitchen dimensions prove.

Shawn St.Peter Photography

This photograph is perfect for our conversation of islands in modestly sized kitchens. Contemplating the approximately 25 1/2-inch countertop thickness on both sides (and an inch or two to the bump-out of this farmhouse sink along with the freestanding gas range), you’d want a minimum of 36 inches clearance for aisle space. This leaves about 18 to 21 inches to the island thickness — and that’s countertop space worth having.

When it comes to private family dynamics, remember that this sort of setup doesn’t allow for another relative to squeeze by the person working at the stove or doing the dishes. I call it the “ass rub” factor, which could definitely cause arguments at the end of a long moment. A 36-inch clearance would likewise not be enough between a fridge and an island, unless it is a French door fridge, which has a bigger door swing.

One option would be to bring a small prep sink into the staircase, to avoid anybody’s having to walk around the island whilst somebody else is working at the stove.

JOHN DANCEY Custom Designing/Remodeling/Building

Think about a square island if it suits your distance, but remember that a countertop bigger than 4 by 4 ft will be tricky to reach and maintain clean.

To produce an island really yours, give some thought to what you want to shop there. It’s worthwhile to incorporate a mixture of small and large drawers, an open shelf for storing larger items such as platters, or baskets for storing root vegetables.


This is a bigger kitchen with a magical little round island, with a stunning two-tone butcherblock top.

When deciding on the shape and style of an island, you’ll want to consider access for pets and kids, what you want to store and exhibit from the island and how often you entertain. Everyone has different ideas about the presence of pets and their snouts becoming into food-related items!


This is a simple yet very effective island layout executed with a 4-inch-thick butcher block top. Including a towel bar or some hooks to a side might help increase its usefulness, also.

Alabama Sawyer

It’s great to see this type of soft contemporary interpretation of a small island. Lifted up on trendy stainless steel legs, this island provides storage and style at precisely the same time. Selecting a small island also means you can be daring with your choice of material or colour.

Dallas Renovation Group

Little but hardworking, this tiny island is not more than 30 inches wide, yet it manages to house among those very practical microwave drawers. It’s nicely wrapped into angled posts, a simple design to incorporate into a small kitchen.

Drawer styles allow you to hide your microwave as much as possible; plus, you don’t have to strain to look at the controllers or load this up. The slanted control pad and push-button opening with this microwave stall make it easy on the eye and the trunk.

Watch more about microwave drawers

Southern Studio Interior Design

Twice the length of the prior island, this island is one hardworking bit of cabinetry. Beautifully executed with corner poles and a furniture-style Cable kick, it houses a microwave and a mini fridge.

The rock countertop with the corner detail adds another layer of elegance.

Turan Designs, Inc..

Along with a drawer cupboard, this unit helps retains cookbooks right in the hand. You might also add a row of square cubbies for wine bottle storage only below the counter tops, which would still allow for two shelves underneath.

USI Design & Remodeling

The small island provides you with an opportunity to add a splash of bold colour to an otherwise neutral area. This one appears charming and has lots of storage, and the timber counter adds country-living flavor.

Ana Williamson Architect

Here is an interesting way to create chairs space in a contemporary kitchen. Notice the way the white quartz counter is used instead of a cupboard gable on the sink side, continues the cupboard for approximately 12 inches and then juts outside to allow clearance for stools.

As for countertop overhangs, remember that rock counters need additional support than quartz ones. Brackets are a typical solution, however on a small unit they might get in the way. Flat steel bars are an undetectable alternative, but you should discuss this with your rock manufacturer and cabinet supplier early on.

Tip: Be alert to the different chair and stool heights, so you can pick the right one to your kitchen. Be certain to test each version by actually sitting inside it, as particular layouts work better for short- or long-legged individuals than others.

A typical chair height is 18 inches for a 30-inch-high dining table. But, that height will not do the job for a high-countertop. Search for 24-inch-high stools to your own kitchen island, unless the model has an choice to move the chair up or down.

Stools for standard 42-inch bar heights are generally 30 inches high and often have a footrest.

Marrokal Design & Remodeling

This is just another inventive instance of a tiny island; it has a diminished seating area in a contrasting material. The timber counter’s round shape is perfect for a smooth transition into the aisle area, and timber is soft and warm to the touch, as opposed to granite.

Permit 2 feet of width per chair for comfortable seats — even more if the both of you want to both read the newspaper at precisely the same time in the morning.

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Kitchen of the Week: Simple Style Fuels Creativity

Little spaces tend to make people feel liberated or limited. In the amazing dishes Shanna Mallon of Food Loves Writing whips up, you would not believe she was working from a simple 100-square-foot kitchen in her Nashville, Tennessee, apartment.

Shanna and her husband, Tim, love to cook and they understood a simple kitchen could work best for their shared enthusiasm. Clean counters and nominal accessories make cooking cleaning and — — considerably easier for this particular culinary bunch.

Food Loves Writing

Shanna makes the most of the counter space by employing every available inch. A toaster oven is one of the only appliances out on the counter tops. Little cutting boards make it effortless to move the prep area and clean up after meals.

Q. What’s the toughest part about cooking in a small kitchen?
Feeling limited — when you have no pantry or island, you may begin to feel as if there are things that you can not do, like store extra flours or have friends over to cook.

Food Loves Writing

Dry products and compact appliances have been tucked away in cabinets or in addition to the fridge. Accessories are kept to a minimal, with the exclusion of beloved photographs on the fridge. The clean palette is soothing and promotes organization.

Q. What’s 1 storage or space-saving suggestion you’ve discovered to make cooking in a small kitchen simpler?
Be flexible. Store flours somewhere else and look at shared cooking as a means to construct intimacy. Plenty of times, just establishing another mind-set is half the battle. Think beyond the kitchen, or beyond the common cabinets and countertops. We keep mason jars in a cupboard in the dining area and extra dry goods in addition to the fridge so as to free up valuable workspace.

Food Loves Writing

Shanna’s crunchy and creamy avocado fries and yogurt sauce have been a huge hit among her readers that are online. Using fresh ingredients in unique, simple applications is part of what makes her blog so appealing.

Food Loves Writing

The artichoke artwork on the far wall is one of the few pieces of decor in the kitchen. Shanna took the picture herself had it published on a 16- by 20-inch canvas.

Q. What do you love about your kitchen?
With a window over the sink! I can not say enough about organic light, in the kitchen and everywhere.

Food Loves Writing

After a few rounds of experimentation, Shanna created the recipe for this succulent-looking pot roast. She likes to utilize grass-fed steak and button mushrooms on cold winter nights.

Q. What’s your go-to dish for a dinner party at home?
once we wish to do something unique for friends, our go-to is obviously our fork-tender grass-fed pot roast. I have been producing it since the days of long-distance dating, when I was in Chicago and Tim in Nashville, and he was the one coming into town and over for dinner. Now when we make it it is just like a part of our story.

Food Loves Writing

Sometimes a rental kitchen is greatest when stripped down to the basics. Shanna and Tim’s simple distance promotes their culinary imagination.

Q. What do you expect to change on your own kitchen in the near future?
I would really like to find a few small succulents for the window. Right now we have just a little aloe vera which brightens my days when I see it thriving in the sun, and it is amazing how low maintenance and simple it is to care for. I believe adding a few more greens into our space will fill it with even more life.

More food blogger kitchens:
Little, Creatively Used Kitchen
A Cooking Maven’s Little Kitchen
Food Photographer Warms Up a Lease Kitchen

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24 Great White Kitchens

While trends in kitchen materials, finishes and details might change, a white kitchen is always in fashion. It’s clean, bright, can seem bigger than it is, provides a wonderful view from different rooms, and functions with every layout style. Have a look:

Cary Bernstein Architect

Contemporary: This kitchen is streamlined and modern without being cold. The natural fiber carpet adds warmth, and also the simple horizontal drawer pulls tie the cabinets to the appliances and backsplash. In addition …

Cary Bernstein Architect

… it is not distracting when seen from another room. In fact, it’s a pleasing view.

Suggestion: Desire your kitchen to appear bigger? Try out an open kitchen island.

Andre laurent

Minimal: So when deciding what makes a kitchen a “white kitchen,” we are a bit on the fence. Must it be all white, with only a contrasting flooring and one pop of color? Must the countertops and appliances also be whitened? Please tell us what you think in the Remarks section below.

Andre laurent

This kitchen receives a significant burst of color from built-in seating and one piece of art, but we would still call it a white kitchen.

Likewise, the timber stools and matching tone of this waterfall counter around the island stick out against this sea of white.

Aviad Bar-Ness

Mid-century modern: A blank slate provides special furniture a chance to stand out. Here we’ve got vintage Eames shell chairs, an oval Saarinen tulip dining table and Caravaggio P4 pendants grabbing each of the attention.

Ed Ritger Photography

Scandinavian modern: This European style emphasizes materials through simplicity. This white kitchen/dining area is infused with warmth from the wood flooring, table and walls. Interesting shapes come from the Panton S seats and the floor lamp.

Elad Gonen

Blonde flooring and a mixture of new and old give this kitchen Scandinavian flair.

Laux Interiors Berlin

This open kitchen provides a wonderful white background for your dining room, giving the amazing Finnish Secto Lamps the backdrop they deserve.

PC, Chelsea Atelier Architect

Mod-ish: Between the white marble waterfall counter tops, white Cherner stools, white cabinets and white walls, this kitchen is about as white as it gets. The dark wood flooring create continuity between the kitchen and the other regions in the area.

Sleek galley: One might hardly notice that this kitchen is narrow due to the glistening white cabinets and white walls.

In Detail Interiors

Transitional: Upholstered counter stools are an impermanent element that may bring in a touch of color. In addition, this can be accomplished with fabric cushions for counter stools or chairs.

Dijeau Poage Construction

All this white gives this kitchen a modern feel, while the furniture, architecture and accessories are all rooted in custom, giving this space a transitional style.

Melissa Miranda Interior Design

Romantic: A white kitchen may go very romantic and glamorous. The clean backdrop lets the beautiful veining of the marble capture the attention it deserves.

Complex country: Vintage touches add character to this clean canvas, whether molding, hardware, lighting fixtures or accessories.


Elegant: Here the base is white, however also the upholstered counter stools, valence, harlequin flooring and drum shade pendants up the style ante.

Eclectic: Just because your kitchen is white does not mean everything has to be vacant.

Brian Watford Interiors

French-inspired: Here, the Madeline seats, big glass bottles and other accessories sign at a trip to a French flea market.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Vintage modern: This kitchen is crisp yet detailed. The schoolhouse light fixtures, French cafe seat and stools, bin pull hardware and timber details about the cabinets contribute to the style.

MusaDesign Interior Design

Industrial: Touches such as the metal vent hood, pendant lighting and counter stools give industrial style to this big open loft’s kitchen.

Farmhouse: A farmhouse table, paned glass-front cabinets, and bin pull hardware give this kitchen just the ideal dash of rural charm.

Gast Architects

Traditional: Carefully chosen vintage touches give this kitchen an updated New-England feel. The Windsor-inspired counter stools are the ideal selection for this look.

Amoroso Design

Collected: Hicks pendants, a blue desk, and fun floral patterns on the banquette stick out from the white backdrop.

Luck Stone Center

You can layer your own private style on top of this white backdrop effortlessly. Switch out stools, rugs, seats, pillows, glassware, small appliances (i.e. swapping a Mary Englebright teapot to a Michael Graves one), tableclothes, place settings, or hardware for completely different look.

Tell us : Which is the white-kitchen style?

More: Browse more white kitchens
Mix and Match Your Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchen Layouts: Suggestions for U-Shaped Kitchens
High-Contrast Kitchens for Every Style

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