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Islands have become the norm in new kitchens for good reason. They’re multi-taskers, capable of storing pots and pans, concealing appliances, serving as an anchor of the work triangle and taking the place of the kitchen table.

Especially useful in kitchens with open floor plans, islands can open up a dialogue between the kitchen and the living room, the cook and the guests.

The most important design tip for a kitchen island: Resist the common urge to stuff 10 pounds of island into a 5-pound kitchen. It’s natural to want to gain as much storage and counter space as possible,
but an oversized island interferes with appliance and cabinet doors
and doesn’t offer room for cooks to maneuver.

Industry guidelines recommend at least 3 feet between the island and a wall and 31 feet between the island and surrounding cabinets and appliances.

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