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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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