Are kitchen islands out of style? [2023]

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Are kitchen islands out of style? Interior designers say that the most frequently asked question by their recent clients is whether kitchen islands are going out of style.

are kitchen islands out of style

It seems that people are concerned about whether their favorite functional space is no longer in style. So we talked to some well-known kitchen designers to gather some facts.

Most designers shared the opinion that kitchen islands have always been the most desired essential during a kitchen remodel project. It’s a versatile and attractive feature that provides kitchens with counter space.

However, it’s not enough to jump to conclusions. Therefore, we decided to dig into more details about the latest kitchen trends and what kitchen island style will fit them.

How has the style of kitchen islands evolved over the years?

Many kitchen trends come and go, but kitchen islands have become more popular and sought after with time. The first time when islands made it to our kitchens was in 1950. After the Second World War, open floor plans and kitchen layouts were in demand for new kitchens.

However, they rose to popularity in 1980.

The Rise in the Popularity of Kitchen Islands from the 20th Century

What was the reason for the sudden popularity of kitchen islands? Kitchen islands became necessary as kitchen designs evolved from close-plan to open-plan styles.

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Increased Popularity of Open-Concept Kitchens

The open-plan living concept involved removing the walls separating your kitchen from the room next to it. This meant that you had to remove the cabinets on those walls.

Since this transition compromised your storage space, it prompted the need to have an extra work surface. And so, kitchen designs with islands became popular.

The island’s inclusion made it a hub of activities for homeowners as they started sitting around it more often, whether it was the kids doing their homework or friends gossiping while sipping tea.

Hence , the island could not go out of style as long as open floor plans prevailed.

Technological Advancements in Kitchen Design

Kitchen islands have become increasingly popular in recent years, primarily due to technological advancements in kitchen designs.

From induction cooktops and built-in appliances to integrated lighting and smart technology, kitchen islands offer cutting-edge features that make cooking, entertaining, and daily life easier and more efficient.

For example, smart kitchen islands can be controlled through a smartphone app, allowing you to monitor and adjust cooking temperatures, keep track of ingredients, and even order groceries from one central location.

Additionally, modern kitchen islands often feature built-in charging stations and USB ports, making it convenient to charge devices and stay connected while cooking.

Recent Trends in Kitchen Island Design

Since the demand for island installation is increasing, new trends and styles are also being introduced to make the use of a kitchen island more effective.

The Rise of Floating Kitchen Islands

Floating kitchen islands are a relatively new design trend that has recently gained popularity. These islands are attached to the wall rather than supported by legs or bases, giving them a sleek and modern appearance.

The floating design also allows for more floor space, making it a great solution for smaller kitchens. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, floating kitchen islands are highly functional, offering extra workspace and storage options.

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The rise of floating kitchen islands can be attributed to the increasing popularity of modern and minimalist design styles. They are a cost-effective solution for homeowners who want to update their kitchen without undergoing a full renovation.

Whether you want to create a contemporary look or maximize your kitchen’s functionality, a floating kitchen island may be the perfect solution.

The Emergence of Multifunctional Kitchen Islands

The demand for more functional kitchen islands has increased with the rise of open-concept kitchens. This has led to multifunctional kitchen islands, which offer additional workspaces and various features that cater to different needs.

Multifunctional kitchen islands can be customized to include features such as sink and cooktop, built-in seating, hidden storage, and even integrated appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators. This versatility has made kitchen islands the hub of the modern home, providing a central gathering place for family and friends to cook, eat, and socialize.

As the trend towards larger and more functional kitchens continues, the popularity of multifunctional kitchen islands is only expected to grow.

The Use of Unique and Creative Materials for Kitchen Islands

Natural materials have always been popular for kitchen islands due to their durability, beauty, and unique characteristics. They are also practical and long-lasting, making them a smart investment for your kitchen.

Wood is the most used natural material, offering the kitchen a warm and inviting feel. It can be painted to match the overall aesthetic of your kitchen, and its natural grain patterns add texture.

Other popular natural materials for kitchen islands include stones, such as granite or marble, that provides a sleek and sophisticated look. At the same time, concrete offers a modern and industrial feel.

Whether you’re looking for a rustic, traditional, or contemporary look, a kitchen island made of natural material is sure to make a statement in your home.

Advantages of Kitchen Islands

From food preparation to keeping your appliances in line, kitchen islands are of great help. Especially if you need extra storage space, having an island is the best option.

Extra Counter Space

If I were you, I’d install a kitchen island as an extra countertop because they provide more space for preparing and cooking meals.

For example, while hosting a party, you need to prepare large meals for many guests. This means you can’t chop vegetables for soup and make dessert in the same area.

However, having a kitchen island will give you enough space to do all the chores peacefully.

Additional Storage Space

Can’t you get your large dishware and pots in the cabinets above and below? The island unit has enough room to accommodate your valuable crockery.

It also provides you with extra space to keep your small appliances hidden. And if you love to stock up on the latest gadgets, you will also have extra storage space for them.

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In addition, islands also serve as a creative display for your glassware and stunning showpieces you want to flex.

Improved Functionality in the Kitchen

Kitchen islands have revolutionized the functionality of modern kitchens. They provide additional counter space for food preparation, storage space for kitchen tools and appliances, and an extra meal-eating area.

The added counter space allows multiple people to work in the kitchen simultaneously, increasing efficiency and organization. Furthermore, the storage options on kitchen islands make it easier to access necessary items, reducing clutter in the main kitchen area.

Lastly, having a designated eating area on the kitchen island creates a more open and communal cooking and dining experience.

A Go-to Dining Table

Not everyone has enough time or prefers to indulge in a traditional breakfast. Especially in the morning, when you rush to send kids to school and leave for work on time, it’s daunting to prepare and serve a wholesome breakfast.

However, a kitchen island gives you easy access to everything you need. You need to have some bar stools on one side of the island, making it easier for you to feed yourself and the family.

Having counter stools aligned with your island also allows you to entertain your friends while cooking meals.

Disadvantages of Kitchen Islands

Besides offering many benefits, kitchen island also has some drawbacks that you need to know.

Lack of Space for Movement

As per the recommendation of The National Kitchen and Bath Association, you must have 42 inches of clearance between the counter and the island. Without it, the island would interrupt movement.

Large kitchens with 10×12 ft measurements are ideal for incorporating an island into the kitchen design. They have sufficient room to move around while cooking, and it won’t feel crowded.

Disrupts The Workflow

The kitchen triangle comprises three important corners: the stove, sink, and refrigerator. You must opt for a layout that facilitates the productivity of your work triangle.

Adding an island is usually considered a barrier to your free passage. It affects smooth workflow during food preparation and cleaning dishes and is often annoying.

Increased Cost

Adding a kitchen island isn’t just about installing a solid slab in the middle of your kitchen. There are other factors to pay heed to that ultimately add up to your renovation budget.

Everything is an integral part of this insulation, from the selection of stylish countertop material to fancy pendant lights for decor. The finer you choose, the more you have to pay for each article.

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Furthermore, the labor cost will increase further if you need to remove walls and cabinets for installation.

Complexity of Installation

Installing a kitchen island sounds great for aesthetic appeal, but it has many factors associated with it to be taken care of.

It requires precise planning and execution to ensure proper installation. The size, height, and weight-bearing capacity count for correct assessment.

In addition, if you want to add a built-in sink, mini fridge, or stainless-steel appliances to the kitchen island, it requires an evaluation of existing plumbing and electrical connections. Else, it will result in structural damage to the room.

Installing A Kitchen Island

  1. Planning the Installation

Before installing a kitchen island, it is important to plan and measure your space to ensure that it fits comfortably and meets your functional needs. Consider the island’s size, shape, style, placement, and access to electrical and plumbing connections. You should also consider any existing kitchen cabinets or furniture, traffic flow, and the positioning of the stove, sink, and refrigerator.

  1. Preparing the Space

Once you have a plan, you can begin preparing the space for installing the kitchen island. This may involve removing existing furniture, cabinets, or countertops and relocating any necessary electrical or plumbing connections. It is important to ensure that the floor and walls are level and stable before installing the island.

  1. Installing the Island

The actual installation process will vary depending on the type and size of the island, as well as the materials used. If you are handy, you may be able to install the island yourself, but if you are unsure of your abilities, it is best to seek the help of a professional contractor. Regardless of who does the work, following the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes is important to ensure a safe and successful installation.

Investing In Kitchen Islands

Despite trends surrounding kitchen islands undoubtedly shifting, this doesn’t mean they have become entirely obsolete. While minimalist and sleek designs have become more popular, kitchen islands still have a place in many homes.

They offer valuable storage space, provide additional work surfaces, and can serve as a focal point of the kitchen. Ultimately, whether a kitchen island is right for you depends on your style and needs.

If you’re looking for a practical and functional addition to your kitchen, an island can be a great investment. With careful consideration of the design and placement, a kitchen island can bring style and functionality to your space for years.

The Future of Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are not easily replaceable. Because of their versatile nature, homeowners have always adorned them to have one in their kitchen.

But not everyone has enough time, budget, or space to dedicate to the kitchen island. Therefore, with time, people are getting over the kitchen island trends and looking for modified kitchen designs that complement their space.

Advancements in Kitchen Island Design

You can also make the most of your kitchen space without having a kitchen island. You don’t need to consult an interior designer to think outside the box.

The typical kitchen island for convenience in a small space may be replaced with the following:


Rather than having a freestanding island, consider having a fixed-style peninsula. It’s an extension of the countertop attached to one side of the kitchen wall.

Peninsulas help create an L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen, giving you enough room to move freely. They don’t affect your workflow but add a work surface for better performance.

Kitchen Table

You may think of the kitchen island as a 2-in-1 solution for preparing and eating meals. But it is inferior to the kitchen table because the island is a permanent fixture.

With a kitchen table, you can move it in and out of the kitchen whenever needed. Hence, you can shift your dining area outside as the temperature rises to avoid the kitchen’s heat.

Another way to save money and get creative with your family dining room is to search for spare furniture pieces in your house to assemble near a wraparound seating.

Kitchen Cart

While kitchen islands are loved for their additional storage space, they are not movable when they are not needed. Moreover, kitchen islands are quite bulky compared to kitchen carts.

However, a kitchen cart with wheels acts as a quick fix. It can house your appliances when not used and serve as a storage unit for your plates, cups, and cutlery. You can also entertain your guests outside the kitchen.

As technology continues to advance, we’re seeing more innovative features integrated into kitchen islands. This has made them even more attractive and functional for homeowners, ensuring their continued popularity in kitchen design.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

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