Start scrolling through kitchen inspiration, and you'll be sure to see lots of beautifully designed kitchen islands that you will want to include in your own home.
An island is a must-have feature in kitchens with enough space. The added surfaces make preparing and cooking food much easier, and the extra storage beneath always comes in useful. And let's not forget, it's an eye-catching design feature that creates a focal point in a kitchen.
There are so many different designs to choose from, so we've turned to leading interior designers to find the best kitchen island trends.
5 kitchen island trends to try in 2024
A tailored kitchen island will elevate your kitchen scheme, so take extra care when choosing the shape, size, and materials. There are some beautiful island designs taking center stage in kitchen trends for 2024, many focusing on adding warmth and function.
1. Kitchen islands that look like traditional tables
The year ahead is all about making the kitchen feel more homely and sociable. One way to do this is to create a kitchen island that has ample seating and feels like a traditional kitchen table.
'A kitchen island trend I see growing in 2024 is the dual-purpose kitchen island that feels like a cozy piece of furniture, but performs like a functional workhorse, hiding pull-outs for trash, an extra oven or microwave, a beverage fridge, drawers with ventilation for storing vegetables and more,' says Julia Chasman, of Julia Chasman Design.
'This bespoke island is made of red oak, and has large turned legs on the seating side, with a low open shelf for pots and pans that look pretty and are used often. This side is open to view and looks like a French country kitchen table. The other side of the island is the "business side" – with the trash, extra oven, and other practical features more hidden but close to the sink for convenience.'
2. Integrated details for practical usage
Modern-day living is all about multi-functional spaces, and the kitchen often serves as a space for more than just cooking and eating. As such, it's handy to think about the smaller details prior to any redesigns or renovations.
'Kitchen islands are no longer just cooking spaces; they are transforming into versatile hubs for dining, food preparation, and even work, complete with built-in charging stations,' says Kriste Michelini, owner and founder at Kriste Michelini Interiors.
'Kitchen island range hoods are also becoming statement pieces, offering efficient ventilation and lighting while enhancing the kitchen's look. Lastly, the integration of technology in kitchen islands, including charging stations and smart appliances, is making these spaces more user-friendly and convenient.'
Kriste Michelini is the owner and founder, Kriste Michelini Interiors, which she established in 2002.
3. Statement marble
A marble kitchen is an enduring trend that's unlikely to ever go out of style. When it comes to a kitchen island trend, you can really make a statement with beautiful designs.
'The natural beauty of marble can serve as a focal point in a space without overwhelming the room' says David Hood, Director at Goddard Littlefair. 'When designing a kitchen with marble, it is essential to create a cohesive palette that combines the material with other elements. Introducing different tones and textures through wood, metal, and glass accents can contrast with the stone, adding depth and visual appeal.'
'One of the distinctive features of marble is its unique veining, which lends a bespoke quality to kitchen designs. Depending on your desired aesthetic, you can choose from classic white for a timeless, refined look, which is something we chose, or opt for dramatic black to create a bold and striking space.'
4. Kitchen island storage dedicated to personal items
As our kitchens become more sociable, lived-in spaces, try to create an area for the belongings that are associated with leisure and bring us joy, such as books, whether that be recipe books or novels, and family games. Kitchen shelving makes sense for this, however, you can use a kitchen island to add some character to a kitchen.
'Decorating with books in a family room or living room add so much warmth on a coffee table or bookshelves, but in a kitchen, it is hard to find the right place for them,' says Alexandra Kaehler, founder of Alexandra Kaehler Design. 'In this kitchen, we dedicated space in the island to storing cookbooks for easy access and also a bit of a lived-in touch.'
Alexandra Kaehler is the principal of Alexandra Kaehler Design, which she founded in 2011 after attending a post-graduate programme at Harrington College of Design.
Alexandra's designs reinforce her belief that every home is unique, which is evident in her thoughtful use of colour, pattern and blend of furniture styles.
5. Mixing materials
The kitchen is often one of the largest spaces in a home, so adding warmth and interest is a priority for many designers this year. The kitchen island is an ideal space for this as the eye is naturally drawn to it. Consider mixing different materials as a way to introduce warmer tones and a sense of depth to the room.
'The floorplan in this home is very open, so the kitchen is one of the first things you see. As a result, we infused functional elements with as much beauty as possible' explains Paloma Contreras, interior designer and founder at Paloma Contreras Design.
'The mix of materials, such as Texas white oak flooring and reclaimed oak beams on the ceiling, imbues the kitchen with warmth while maintaining a clean-lined, contemporary aesthetic. While the perimeter kitchen countertops are clad in Calacatta Statuario marble slabs, the workhorse waterfall island was fabricated in a crisp white quartz that is nearly indestructible. The white oak paneling beneath the island adds warmth and dimension.'
Kitchen island trends this year are generally focusing on eye-catching forms and practical functions by choosing dual-purpose designs and creating a cozier atmosphere. Whether it's the type of marble you use, the storage solutions you add or you just want your island to look closer to a farmhouse table, these trends are all sure to endure.
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Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to the best places to source pre-loved homeware.
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