Installing or upgrading a kitchen island in your kitchen is a good thing. According to an expert on home sales, buyers are most impressed by kitchens with a welcoming cooking island. Other designers and brokers find a cooking island indispensable.
Blue and white kitchen island via Country Living
The islands are beautiful, space-saving and offer additional storage space and functionality – not to mention that they give the overall impression of a more luxurious kitchen. Even if you do not intend to sell your home immediately, it is never a bad idea to make your home more attractive and at the same time increase its value in the long term.
Since a cooking island is generally not very expensive (compared to an average renovation project), it is often a safe bet for a high return on investment (ROI). This is all the more true when factors such as aesthetic value and pleasure are taken into account – although these are difficult to assess because they differ from person to person.
In general, however, most small kitchen renovation projects (such as adding an island) restore an average of 83% of their cost when the house is sold. This is much more than most other redevelopment projects!
Below are 18 incredible cooking island candidates to get you started, along with the pros and cons of each island and their estimated costs.
- Kitchen island converted into kitchen island Console
Fitted kitchen island with console table
If you have an old console table you don’t use, why don’t you make it your next cooking island? Cantilever tables are designed for use in corridors and aisles to provide aesthetic value and (often) extra storage space. But nothing stops you from reusing furniture that has already been designed to decorate your space and use it to improve your kitchen.
On: Decoders are usually very thin, so they don’t take up too much space. Many of them are equipped with built-in drawers or shelves, providing essential storage space.
Delays: If the console you use doesn’t have a lot of storage, you may need to be creative or add a lot of hardware to get the space you need. And if you don’t have one and can’t find a suitable kitchen, you might have to buy a new one – but that defeats the purpose of the new look.
Cost: If you already have one, it could be free! You can also get them between $10 and $100 on Craigslist, at a yard sale or real estate sale. If you plan to paint or add appliances (such as wheels – a smart, inexpensive solution in the kitchen), you should also consider these costs.
- A kitchen island on a workbench
Kitchen island on workbench above Ana Wit
Remember that workbench in the garage that nobody ever uses? The one who takes up space, but you don’t want to lose it because you might need it someday? Well, you know what– someday you’ll use it. Like your cooking island! The workbench is usually designed to fit exactly on the island and often has perfectly dimensioned drawers. And many of them are already on wheels, which is excellent for portability.
On: If you use a metal workbench like this Husky workbench, you’ll love the extra-large top drawer for storing herbs, cutlery and other items that don’t take up space in your kitchen. But whatever you choose, the workbenches are designed to hold tools and dough – exactly what you want if you plan to use the island for cooking.
Delays: If you’re renovating an old sofa, you probably need to consider the cost of sanding: sanding the surface and possibly oiling and pickling – although these things usually don’t matter much (you don’t want to cook on a surface with old oil or spilt paint!) Also, workbenches are best suited to kitchens that already have a rustic or industrial look – so this island solution won’t be good everywhere.
Cost: It depends on what you have in your garage. Old sandpaper can cost you $20 and good hooks for hanging objects or other decorations. A brand new unit usually costs between 200 and 300 dollars.
- Metal kitchen island countertop
Metal cooking island via hay needle
For a different look that has unlimited industrial appeal, almost any metal shelf can be transformed into a kitchen island if you add a set of wheels (and possibly a kitchen counter if you have a small set of metal shelves for sale). Often sold as new kitchen trolleys, these professional looking appliances literally beg you to start cooking.
On: The metal supports are resistant to germs and very easy to clean. They’re also light, mobile and perfect for storing the things you want to show off: a beautiful basket, a set of colourful plates or your impressive KitchenAid.
Delays: Metal racks usually have no drawers and storage space may be limited. Their aesthetic is industrial, which can be too cold or unattractive for some people.
Cost: Even new metal racks are often cheap: This one at The Home Depot costs $60 and can be turned into a beautiful island by adding a hardwood tray, which, depending on the distance, can cost between $60 and $300 or more.
- Kitchen island with antique furniture
Antique Furniture Kitchen Island via Bellacor
Looking for something warm? Antiques are a way to give your home a cozy and nostalgic look. Almost all antique furniture can be turned into an incredible kitchen island with a little creativity and elbow grease. A good choice for the job: Side and side tables, cupboards and even chests of drawers.
On: Recycled antiques are a certain topic of conversation and have great appeal; it can really stun at first sight. They are perfect for displaying or storing your best dishes. And if they have lasted a few decades and are still in good condition, you can be sure that they will last for years to come to brag about.
Delays: If you plan to use the island for cooking, it may be necessary to add a custom plate, both for food safety reasons and to avoid damaging your room, which will turn your modest do-it-yourself project into something more expensive. In addition, older parts may be heavier and more difficult to clean or move. Also remarkable: If you have young children, you may need to keep them out of the kitchen to avoid putting a pencil on grandma’s porcelain box.
Cost: Antiques vary greatly depending on the quality, age and location of the antique shop. (Places known as antique shops are likely to be overvalued, so check local yard sales, property sales, Craigslist and others).
- Kitchen island with lacquered cabinet
Painted cabinets Kitchen island via HGTV
One thing that many kitchens – even well designed – miss is personality. How is your kitchen different from all the other kitchens in the area? An island is a good piece to make a statement – especially because it is easier to remove a turquoise island than a turquoise stove if you don’t like the statement you’ve made. But coloured splatters are the right idea; you could easily say that they are unique without being boring.
On: Old cabinets that are easy to soil and offer generous storage space are just what you need to create this unique reporting island.
Delays: Some cabinets can be very large and heavy. And small cabinets – like old kitchen cupboards – don’t necessarily have the storage space that makes their larger versions so attractive. You are also less likely to leave a set of cabinets lying around than others that are potentially useful.
Cost: The most important characteristic here is the colour. If you don’t already have a light-colored piece of furniture, you should start your estimate with the cost of a high-quality oil paint – usually between $18 and $35 per gallon. (If you are using an older component, you may need a orbital sander to soften the surface).
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to install a sink or custom equipment. While knobs and similar items are cheap, custom countertops can cost between $40 and $100 per square meter, depending on the material you choose. And if you buy a closet to start from scratch, expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars.
- Round cooking island
Round cooking island via beautiful rooms
Another way to make things happen? Go around! Almost all kitchen islands are rectangular (or square if they are small). A round cooking island is new, but unusual enough to attract attention (as on the picture above).
On: Having fewer corners in the kitchen creates an informal atmosphere and a soft, warm atmosphere. In addition, round kitchen islands take up a little more space and fit into more kitchen configurations than their traditional cousins.
Delays: If you don’t have a round table suitable for your bike, you’ll probably have to buy this new table – and it’s rare enough that you’ll have trouble finding one! Moreover, it is impossible to store as many types of items as on a typical rectangular island, because everything that is stored must conform to the curves (and may have a smaller area to rest).
Cost: Prices vary considerably, but are usually high: from $250 for a small car to $2,500 or more for a sophisticated appearance.
- Kitchen island with folding table
Kitchen island with pull-out table for living room furniture
One thing people like to do with their kitchen islands is turn them into small living spaces or extra tables for those days when you have a lot of people at home (like Thanksgiving). However, if your kitchen is not suitable for a large island, a folding worktop may be the solution you are looking for.
On: Of course, with a drying island you can have more surface area when you need it and save space when you don’t! This flexibility is hard to find and is especially suitable for small kitchens where space is limited. And the leaves should not only be used to transform an island into extra space, they can also be used to increase the working space in the kitchen.
Delays: The only real disadvantage of the relaxation island – unless you just hate the appearance of the island – is that the space under the lowered fenders is largely unusable, while the roof is not adjustable, which limits the storage space and/or extra equipment you could have in the non-foldable version.
Cost: The cheapest folding islands cost about $130, while the more expensive versions cost $400 or more. (They are usually cheaper than other new islands because they are built smaller).
- Brick cooking island
Brick kitchen island
There is no doubt that the redhead is in the game. Rough wooden beams, stone, natural fabrics and (you guessed it) traditional building materials for the exterior such as brick fill the houses of design conscious homeowners. A typical brick kitchen island is actually a set of wooden cabinets with a brick look – which means you always have room for the pots and pans you’re looking for.
On: The brick islands are unique and charming; their appeal stretches along typical aesthetic lines and captivates an older couple who love everything vintage, millenniums trying to create an industrial look and forty-somethings looking for country chic. You will certainly add the wow factor, which tends to lead to a higher return on investment when you try to sell.
Delays: If you have children, a non deformable brick wall in the middle of your kitchen can be a danger. What’s more, the joints are notoriously cleanable, although spilled liquids can easily mix with the overall picture. Finally, unlike many other kitchen islands, a brick island is not easy to remove or replace. Think of it as a permanent installation.
Cost: Well, uh… how rustic do you want to be? Here is a very simple DIY tutorial that involves the use of outdoor paving tiles (sometimes at $0.50 per stone) and plywood (from $15 per slab, depending on the type of wood and size).
Otherwise, if you want a more professional look, you should hire a masonry specialist; expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars.
- Kitchen island with recycled wood
Patented wood has been a big hit in design magazines in recent years. If you don’t know, salvaged wood is wood that comes from old structures – doors and walls of old factories, barns, etc.. – has been extracted and used to build a new one. – and is reused. It is appreciated because it has respect for the earth (because no new trees need to be felled) and also because it is unique: Each piece of reclaimed wood has its own flaws and changes and tells the story of its former life.
Kitchen island, industrial butcher block, reused wood.
On: As mentioned earlier, the restored Tree Island is both durable and visually stunning. They give the room a pleasant warmth that no other material can achieve.
Delays: A kitchen island made of salvaged wood will have to be fitted with a new worktop, which can be expensive, especially since you don’t know where the wood comes from and therefore don’t know what chemicals and treatments have been applied to it. Even this is expensive in itself, because it takes a lot of effort and skill to assemble and refurbish the wood for a new life in your kitchen.
Cost: If you buy one in a shop (i.e. not custom-made – they’re too complicated to tinker with) you can expect a lot of money: Crate & Barrel’s costs $2,000 and is quite typical, although some are a bit cheaper.
- Kitchen island with marble worktop
Kitchen island with marble worktop
One of the most interesting aspects of kitchen islands in general is that because of their small size you can do crazy things with materials you can’t afford in your whole kitchen. The luxurious marble countertops you’ve always dreamed of are much more affordable on the islands.
On: Marble is practically the ultimate luxury, and many consider its natural beauty unsurpassed. What’s more, marble is heat-resistant – which means you can afford to put this hot pot on your island while you work.
Delays: The marble must be kept in good condition: Usually it is necessary to seal it once a year to maintain its optimal appearance, and even then the material is so porous and flexible that it is sensitive to stains and scratches. So it’s not the best equipment for an island predestined to see what kind of cooking you do.
Cost: If you buy an island with marble veneer on it, you can only spend $400. At the other end of the spectrum, a large island with a solid marble top can cost up to $4,995.
- Kitchen island with newly designed worktop
Kitchen island with recycled tables
Although we talked a lot about bringing other furniture to a new island, the old tables make such an interesting transformation to an island that they deserve to be considered in seclusion.
On: The tables are designed at the right height for working and sitting, so you won’t break your back when bending over the island when cutting vegetables and your bar stools fit perfectly. The large space, originally intended for feet while working, offers plenty of storage space for large kitchen appliances such as mixers, KitchenAids and double ovens. (It’s also a great place to put hooks and hang up long spoons or short pots and pans). And if your desk has a sliding keyboard drawer, bam! – Instant extra workspace.
Delays: Desktops are often too heavy and cumbersome to turn, sacrificing some portability. In addition, depending on the condition of the sheet, it may be necessary to sand, stain and seal the surface.
Cost: If you have extra furniture that you’re not using, it’s probably an office – and even if you don’t, they’re incredibly easy to find when you’re selling yards and in local buying and selling groups on Facebook. You can spend between $0 and $150 if you buy a used unit. Then your costs become even more specific to your situation: The equipment? The color? Sealant? It’s up to you.
For inspiration, here is a DIY tutorial that includes a towel rack and corner profiles.
- Kitchen island with tiltable dustbin
Kitchen island with foldable waste bin
Of all the ways you can add functionality to your cooking island, the fold-down bin is definitely one of the most useful and practical – especially if you want to use your island as an extra space for cooking. You can even get extra crispy muesli and install a small kitchen composter instead of a dustbin.
Kitchen island with folding bucket
On: No more lugging leftover vegetables around the kitchen. And if you’re one of those people who don’t make a lot of money or have a higher island, you can manage with just one garbage can in the middle of the kitchen, i.e. without an ugly garbage can in the middle of the kitchen.
Delays: Of course, when you keep a garbage can in a small enclosed space, you have to deal with the growing smell, so make sure the garbage can is emptied regularly and that the room is clean.
Cost: Here is a tutorial on how to build a small folding cabinet like the one shown above for less than $100. However, new islands with integrated bins usually cost between 170 and 550 dollars, depending on the size of the island.
- Kitchen island with integrated fridge
Refrigerators and under-counter beverage coolers are a fashionable trend in kitchens that promote a modern, clean look. It is possible to install an unlimited number of cold stores on your island, giving you an extra cooling space, which is especially useful if you want to entertain guests on a large island and don’t want to get up all the time for a snack and a drink.
On: This is a particularly interesting idea for wine lovers, who can turn their kitchen into a temperature-controlled wine refrigerator instead of storing the wine in a refrigerator or a room that is too cold.
Delays: This is not the best idea for people with children, because you can virtually guarantee that young children will open and close the door again and again and waste energy if you don’t take away the wine, beer or whatever you have stored.
Cost: When buying a new product, these chic accessories can be quite expensive: Expect to spend between $1,000 and $4,000. However, the cost can be a bit lower if you do it yourself – buy a stand-alone wine cooler for about $500 and install it yourself on your island with a little elbow grease.
- Kitchen island with microwave under the sink
Kitchen island with underwater microwave at Trab Homes
Are you not satisfied with the traditional location of the microwave in your kitchen? You don’t want to waste your precious workspace? Do you hate excess or can’t you see it? The cooking island is a great non-traditional place to keep the microwave away, yet practical.
On: Saving space in the kitchen and not having bulky appliances are two obvious advantages, but they are quite large. It can also be a good choice for accommodation for a person in a wheelchair.
Delays: Like an illuminated fridge, it is not the best choice for those who have children and may find that some household items have unexpectedly ended up in the microwave. You must also have an energy source near your island, which can be difficult if your island is in the middle of a free area. And some people don’t like bending over to open the microwave.
Cost: Costs vary considerably depending on whether you need to buy a new island for your microwave or just install a new drawer. Microwave ovens built for use in microwave drawers are typically $1,000 to $2,500.
- Kitchen island with second sink (or stove!).
Kitchen island with second sink
If you can’t afford a microwave without dreaming big, why not a complete built-in oven? Or a second sink. Who can’t use something like that? The functionality is there, so let your imagination run wild.
On: A second sink allows one person to do the dishes while another person washes the potatoes. So you can do a lot more if you cook for a large audience and your sous-chef has his own workplace. This also applies to the second stove. Or if you need to defrost something or put it in a bucket of ice, it’s nice that you don’t have to lift the main sink.
In addition, the appearance of the optional appliances or metal sinks is fantastic and somehow very comfortable, especially against the beautiful soapstone countertops.
Delays: A kitchen island with an extra sink requires a lot of plumbing, and an island with a stove may require extra electrical work. In all cases it will be expensive – and permanent.
Cost: It wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend $4,000 to $6,000 on a modified island with this equipment.
- Kitchen islands with hidden spice racks
Kitchen islands with hidden spice racks
Of all the extra features you can use to improve your island, the hidden spice rack is probably the coolest – especially if you like to cook.
On: Finding out how to organize a bunch of different herbs is the same puzzle that generates thousands of idea boards on Pinterest. But you don’t always want to have to deal with unreliable magnets or expensive glasses.
A spice rack on the island organizes your herbs for you, keeping them both easily accessible and out of sight. You could even become super nerdy and build your own pop-up spice rack.
Delays: Very little. You may not want to bend down to reach the bottom shelf, or you may have trouble installing a spice rack on your island.
Cost: You can buy a rolled-up shelf for a hidden spice rack for about $130. Other solutions for spice carriers can cost different amounts.
- Kitchen island with blackboard
An island panel is not a necessary piece, but it is comfortable and inspired by the country style – two things designers love these days.
On: Finally a new family member on the island! Your children – and perhaps your whole family – will be happy to sign and leave messages on the island. You can use it to promote the menu at a dinner you are organizing. You can even write a new recipe and watch it while you cook, instead of trying to use your cookbook or smartphone while keeping it out of the way.
Delays: Two words: Chalk dust!
Cost: Chalkboard paint is cheap – about $12 – making it one of the cheapest upgrades you can add to the island, and probably the best in terms of return on investment.
- Kitchen island with LED lighting
LED cabinet lighting can create a soft, warm, layered look in your kitchen and create a special atmosphere in the evening when you’re looking for a midnight snack.
On: It’s a question of aesthetics – and functionality. The extra light can help you to see what you keep in the back of the dark cupboards, which is useful when they are particularly deep. Even in a colder state, the LED lighting can be programmed and/or made motion-sensitive without losing a drop of energy.
Contraindications : This can be a complicated and/or costly upgrade. But if you have the skills or the money, it can really improve your cooking. According to Forbes magazine, this type of lighting is increasingly becoming the standard in home furnishings.
Cost: It depends on your comfort. Here is a DIY tutorial for the accent lighting you see on the picture above.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of the LED strip and the power supply. Otherwise, you may need to hire a carpenter and/or electrician, which can cost about $300 for a 12-room apartment.
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