9 Awesome Kitchen Island Ideas for Small Spaces

Kitchen island ideas for small spaces - Neutrino Burst!

Dream big even for small spaces.

While designing a dream kitchen, many neglects the multi-functional kitchen island option due to small space.

Truth is, you don’t need a spacious urban-style kitchen to incorporate this fantastic option. You too can dream big for your small spaces to serve many purposes like preparing meals, dining, or drafting emails.

There are several kitchen island designs for those with even smaller space. To help you find the perfect option, we’ve laid down a wide-range of examples to fulfil your dream. So, pull up your sleeves and get ready to make your kitchen more functional and eye-candy – read our handpicked nine kitchen island ideas.

First, when considering these designs, we’d recommend you selecting an island that has the following five abilities.

Criteria for selecting the best kitchen island design:

  • It must create extra space for you
  • Its design should make it look like an eating counter
  • It should have additional storage like drawers or shelves
  • It must have the correct size which will not interrupt your kitchen workflow
  • It needs open shelving to make your knees comfortable with backless bar stool

Kitchen Island Ideas for You

Idea-1. Go for the butcher block

The butcher block will be a beautiful and unique option for home chefs and will also amplify your space.

If you continually chop or slice in your kitchen, then small butcher block tables that come in a different size will come to your aid. You can squeeze the compact square version in your tight spaces quite easily.

Butcher block kitchen island
Image credit House Tweaking

The base cabinets underneath can add beneficial storage. Also, the island’s exterior renders a spot to hang a step ladder or kitchen rail. In case you’re looking to renovate your kitchen, then you can switch out your existing cabinets for this purpose.

Also, add a couple of stools to create a breakfast or brunch counter.

Idea-2. Say yes to straight and narrow freestanding

A long and slim island will provide additional countertop space that many homeowners want in their kitchen.

No matter how you opt for a modern parsons-style table or a traditional marble-topped one, it will add elegance and functionality. In case you choose to place the marble, then learn the difference between natural or engineered stone benchtops.

Long narrow freestanding kitchen island
Photo by Maria Killam

White surface and black legs will demonstrate a bold visual statement in any design or style of your choice. The best part of this type of island is – it’s not built-in, so you can move it here and there.

Idea-3. Lift it with a small stainless-steel table

The stainless-steel table is light in weight yet sturdy in nature. Their slim, durable, and inexpensive profile make them a great kitchen island option for small spaces. You can even install the butcher block top for the surface to depict a less industrial look.

Stainless steel kitchen island
Image credit: Cento Ventesimo Decor

To use effectively, select the one that has a towel bar for hooks and open shelving below. And to move your island often, pair it with locking wheels. You can visit any restaurant supply store to buy such a table and pick the best for yourself.

Idea-4. Roll in the drop-leaf kitchen island

The drop-leaf table is ideal for small kitchens that need more workspace.

The useful piece of furniture can be moved easily around the kitchen (quite optimistic!). So, pop it up when needed, or shift aside for the ease of movement – smart way for a small kitchen. It comes in various styles with many drawers and compartments, and hence you’ll never run out of place for storage.

Wooden drop-leaf kitchen island
Image credit: Foter

You can even place it at the end of the kitchen cabinet or wall if you cannot install it at the center. This way, the extra space counter could either serve as an eating nook or prep area.

Idea-5. Tuck in the small yet mighty island

Though the storage compartments on the kitchen island are tiny, it packs a lot of function within that dimension. You’ll enjoy the space of a slim drawer, a wine rack that can fit a couple of bottles, a wire basket, and a small bottom shelf.

Small mobile kitchen island with wine rack
Image from Pinterest by Pilar Blasco

For contemporary aesthetics, place a piece of sleek granite slab top available in green, grey, and white. You can even put your island on wheels so that movement of the table would be effortless.

Idea-6. Add colors to the modern island

White, grey, and brown are some of the most common décor colors in the kitchen, leading to a boring home that is far too vanilla.

So, adding different colors to your modern island will allow you to move away from generic and breathe a whole new life. Sky blue benchtop with red round plastic chairs will suit well in a white kitchen, rendering you a bachelor-pad vibe. Another fantastic color combination would be splashing some lime-yellow around your kitchen island while keeping the white-vibe.

You can also experiment it further with materials and lighting to add extra effect. Or else, go with the “less is more” theme.

Idea-7. Get inspiration from a floating island

A floating design will make your island fly above the floor, showcasing a remarkable striking look. Its floating worktop with no support above the cabinets will make your kitchen a focal point of attraction. Say hello to a simple and elegant look without much cabinets and shelves (if storage is not your main concern).

Modern floating kitchen island
Image from Pinterest by Architonic

The one-of-a-kind island with sharp lines and modern décor elements will surely make many hearts jealous. You can also place bar chairs according to space along with a fruit bowl on the surface to give a cooler look.

Idea-8. Give a traditional touch

Sometimes, designing an island in the middle of your kitchen is merely not possible. But that doesn’t mean you’ve to miss out on kitchen island idea. You can still have an additional workspace or breakfast counter in your tiny kitchen.

Without hindering the flow of the room, you can extend your benchtop at the side. Also, add a traditional table leg to get the feel of ancient times and place small tools according to space.

Idea-9. The two-tier island is the new addition

It will impart utility, functionality, and grace to your kitchen floor.

You can also replace the existing cabinetry and old countertops as this two-tier kitchen island will create enough space. According to your kitchen’s design, you can consider its shape – gentle curve or narrow. Plus, it also offers a bookcase at one end to digest your favorite novel in addition to your meals.

Two-tier kitchen island
Image credit Cliq Studios

The crude and rudimentary style of the two-tiered kitchen island with surrounding chairs will stimulate the interest of outdoor enthusiasts.

Dos and Don’ts of Kitchen Island Design

When determining the design of the kitchen island, you may need the right brains. That, of course, means you need to put your money after a professional. Well, to save your hard-earned money, we’ll be providing you sage advice on dos and don’ts of the design.

You should…

  • Decide the dimensions beforehand: The size of the island will depend on the size of your kitchen. It may look obvious, but many homeowners make this basic mistake. Too large can become a barrier for foot traffic, while too small can make it look lost in your space.
  • Make comfortable seating: For stools, you should allow a 300 mm overhang at the very least (900 mm is the standard height). Some experts suggest 1000 mm, but that is typically for dining, but in the end, it is a matter of choice. Also, ask yourself how many stools you want (2 or 3?). However, bear in mind that the island is for perching and casual eating.
  • Use contrast: The table of the kitchen island can be a complete contrast in color as compared to the rest of the kitchen. But on one condition – it must keep continuous flow throughout the space. Because nowadays, the contrast color is trending the most.
  • Change up your benchtops: Give a different color to the benchtop if you want your island to be a standout feature. In case you want a natural look, you can go for natural marble countertops.
  • Crave for storage: Homeowners with small spaces should include doors, drawers, or open shelves to the island. It will not only look stylish but will also add extra storage space.

You shouldn’t…

  • Omit its purpose: You can use the island for five primary purpose – storage, prep meals, cooking, serving, and washing up. Before you lock your design, you should decide the role of your island. Many blindly give the nod to the design, which creates a mess later while using it.
  • Obstruct the workflow: You should prioritize your workspace and set the location around the space. Cabinetry, sink, dishwasher, etc. should be arranged in the proximity of your island. Hence, don’t forget to think about how you’ll move around the kitchen.
  • Don’t copy: Taking ideas and incorporating it unleashing your creativity is fine, but copying will make it look too duplicate. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and put some personal touch to show your personality.
  • Neglect electricity: As many homeowners use an island majorly for prep work, you need to make sure that there is an outlet built. It should offer a convenient space for your blenders and food processors. In case you incorporate dishwashers there, then it goes without saying that you will need proper plumbing too.

Don’t miss…

The budget part!

When it comes to designing a kitchen island, there is often a big gulf between budget and expectation. You tend to invest more in labor and worktops. Frankly speaking, your kitchen island doesn’t have to be that costly.

You don’t have to go out and buy or custom-make a kitchen island. Consider any of the above simple designs and start with your preparations. Additionally, bear in mind that the simpler it is, the more beautiful result it would be.

So, what do you think of our list? We tried to keep it minimum but list both practical and stylish options. However, if you think that we can replace one or two items with better ideas, feel free to share in the comment section below.

Creativity varies time to time – we know this!


As a professional writer, Mike Morleye tries to put together his writing skills to share knowledge on various topics. He travels different places and shares his experiences in a readable, understandable, and appealing way.

Featured image by jai hill on Unsplash

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