Kitchen Island Design: Picking The Right Fixtures, Cabinetry, Paint & More

Not sure how to design your kitchen island? When it comes to designing your kitchen, it is important to pay close attention to your kitchen island. Whether the island is in the center of your kitchen or is on the outskirts of the kitchen, it is a very important component of any kitchen. The kitchen island is multipurposiful and can be used as a place to eat, place to prepare food, or a decorative component. 

Satin & Slate designers have the experience in designing kitchen islands from start to finish. There are many ways to design your kitchen island. This article will cover the different styles, layouts, and decorative components for the trending kitchen islands.


Kitchen Island Styles

The style of your kitchen island will depend on the style you choose for your kitchen. Some of the more popular styles are mid-century modern, modern farmhouse, transitional, contemporary, and more. If you are using an interior designer for your kitchen remodel, they will suggest kitchen islands that best fit your style. The following are some examples of how kitchen islands are created based on the overall style of the kitchen:

Modern farmhouse kitchen islands tend to be made from stained wood in order to keep up with the wood heavy style. Mid-century modern style tends to lean towards waterfall islands with stained cabinets and islands completely made out of natural stones. Transitional styled kitchens will have painted wood with a lighter toned countertop. Contemporary kitchen islands tend to be darker stained or painted wood with light or dark countertops. Picking the style of your island will dictate how the rest of the components of your island are.


Kitchen Layout

When designing your kitchen layout, it is important to map out where you want all of your cabinets, appliances, and the island. In some kitchens, the island is in the middle of the kitchen. This can be convenient because they can be used for preparing food. Some kitchen islands that are centered in the middle may have extra cabinet space, a sink, an oven and even a mini refrigerator. Sometimes islands in the middle of the may also have chairs. 

Islands that are on the outskirts of the kitchen, tend to be used as a sitting area. This is convenient for smaller families, creating intimacy in the kitchen, and for extra sitting when guests come over. The other side of the island may be used for extra counter space and extra storage below. Regardless for how your island may be arranged in your kitchen, the island can create more flow, seating space, storage space, and counter space in your kitchen.



Prior to building your island, it is important to have a plan and layout of the cabinetry of the island if there will be some. Making sure this is part of your floor plan is very important because once the cabinet builder begins to build the base of your island, it is hard to add cabinets after it has been completed. Cabinet space in the base of an island can be very useful and can be used for a variety of items. Some cabinets are built using stools. This allows the cabinets to be concealed and they tend to be larger cabinets.

Some people design their cabinets in a way to have a mini fridge or wine fridge in them. Having a mini fridge on your island is great for leaving food preparation items in them, having alcohol and drinks for entertaining, and can create some extra refrigeration space without taking up more kitchen space. If a sink is added to the island, it is important that it is incorporated into the plans so that the plumbing can fit properly underneath the island. You will also want to make sure that any electrical that is going to be in the island is properly mapped out on the floor plans. This ensures that the cabinet builder leaves the correct holes in the correct places for all of the electrical elements. Making sure all components of the base of the island is planned out accordingly will ensure that the cabinet is built to precision.


Colors and Hardware

The base of the island can be stained or painted to whichever color of your choosing. It is best practice to have the base of your island the same color as the rest of the cabinets in your kitchen. If you are doing your kitchen island at a different time then getting an exact match may be nearly impossible. This is especially true if you stain the wood used to make the cabinetry. The type of wood used to make the base of the island can affect the color of the bases if the wood is being stained. If the cabinets are made at different times, the ware and tear of the cabinets will cause the cabinets to be different colors. This will be the same issue if the cabinets are painted. 

When choosing hardware, it is custom to have the same hardware throughout the kitchen. The size of the cabinets will dictate how large or small your hardware may be. Whether you use pulls or knobs is completely up to you. In many kitchen knobs are used for smaller drawers while pulls are used for larger drawers and cabinets. Some interior designers like to mix and match different finishes. An example would be if the other kitchen cabinets are chrome, then the island cabinets may be nickel. Hardware tends to be considered one of the finishing components of cabinetry.



The countertop is one of the most important components of your island. There are many types of countertops such as porcelain, granite, quartz, semi-precious stones and more. Important things to consider when choosing a countertop is what color you want your countertop and what finish. Many countertops come with colored veins or a mixture of stones. If your countertop is stone or vein heavy, it is best to pick backsplashes, tiles, and other decorative elements to be more neutral or pattern free. This will help make your kitchen look less busy and create a better sense of flow. 

It is also important to keep in mind the finish of the countertop. Some countertops can be made to have a matte finish. Although this appears to be a beautiful look and feel, it is much harder to clean. If your island is not used for cooking, a matte finish may be a nice touch to your overall kitchen aesthetic. 


Islands with Chairs

More and more islands are beginning to act as both extra counter space and a setting area. Incorporating chairs on your island can be very convenient, especially when guests are over. The island seating area can also be used as an everyday eating place instead of the dining table. This creates the sense that the dining table is reserved for special occasions. 

It is important to keep in mind that when designing a kitchen island with chairs, that there must be an overhang of the countertop so that when people sit down, their knees do not hit the base of the island. You must also ensure that the chairs are the right height and width to fit underneath the counter top comfortably. The types of chairs chosen will heavily depend on what style your kitchen is. The majority color of your chairs should match the color of your hardware or other decorative elements. This ensures that there is a sense of flow throughout your kitchen.


Kitchen Island

There are many components that must be kept in mind when designing your kitchen island. Making sure you incorporate all aspects of your kitchen island into the floor plan, ensures that it is built correctly. Planning out the design elements throughout your kitchen allows for flow and consistency throughout the space.  In cooperating a kitchen island can create more storage space, eating space, and make your kitchen more functional.


Satin & Slate have experienced interior designers that can help create the perfect kitchen island and kitchen layout for you. Ready to start your kitchen remodel project? Contact us today to set up a consultation.

About Us:

Founded in 2017, Satin and Slate is one of the elite interior design studios in Southern California. Located in Long Beach, this dedicated team of designers oversees from kitchen and bathroom renovations to commercial projects. Equipped with their own showroom/studio they can satisfy the needs of any client. Featuring clean lines, bright colors and fresh ideas Satin and Slate’s mission is to bring your vision to life and help transform your space into something extraordinary.

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