7 Types of Kitchen Islands and Things to Consider During Installation

Sam Street
 | September 15, 2023

The kitchen is one of the focal areas in your home. It’s an inescapable part of your life since you were young, even until now that you’re an adult. It’s where you cook, prepare, and eat foods. 

If you’re now a homeowner, you’d probably want to make your kitchen as comfortable and as functional as possible. To do so, you might need to renovate your kitchen or add efficient appliances. You can do a lot of things during renovation such as opting for an open-plan design or adding a kitchen island.

Award-winning interior designer James Dawson called the kitchen the ‘hub of the home’ and the kitchen island as ‘the centre of activity in the kitchen’. If you’re not familiar with it, a kitchen island is a particular counter used for meal preparation, or for other purposes such as a table for eating breakfast and dinner.

Read on to learn more about the kitchen island, and the types that you can add to your home for you to assess what will fit in perfectly with your kitchen theme. If you don’t have ample space, you can always opt for renovation.


You need to match your kitchen island with your decor and area space. If you’re not sure what type you need for your home, read on to get ideas about the different types of kitchen islands.

  • L-Shaped Kitchen Island

You can install cabinets to create additional storage space using this type, thanks to its generous capacity. If you have available space in your kitchen, incorporating this type of cabinet will provide you with ample room to maneuver and work comfortably. It’s especially beneficial if you have a helper while preparing meals, as it can accommodate more than one person.

However, this design isn’t convenient if you have a small kitchen. It will take up a large part of your L-shaped kitchen, leaving less space for other appliances such as your dishwasher. You need space for this because its door opens downwards, which means you risk tripping on it if you don’t have enough space in the kitchen.

  • U-Shaped Kitchen Island

This type of kitchen island maximizes efficiency in your kitchen. It offers ample storage space and provides a dedicated area for placing your small appliances. While it does occupy a significant amount of space in your kitchen, the benefits it brings make it worthwhile.

With this type, you gain increased storage capacity, a larger workspace for food preparation and chopping, and the option to add chairs for dining.

The vast size of this type can also be a nuisance for you. You have to run from one end to another if you’re in a hurry. You also have more space to clean every day. Its massive size can also make your kitchen feel crowded if you didn’t have much space in the beginning before you installed the island.

  • Rolling Cart Kitchen Island

This type is portable, and it comes with wheels. It’s cheaper and smaller than the other models. You can also move it around your kitchen and place it in a convenient place for you when you need it. However, if your island doesn’t have a wheel lock, it might roll around your kitchen, causing damage to some of your appliances.

  • Small, Non-Portable Kitchen Island

This type is small like the rolling cart, but it doesn’t have wheels. It looks like a minuscule version of the large kitchen island types. However, the small size can also be inconvenient because it’s too small for some homeowners. They would instead buy the larger models to get full efficiency in the kitchen.

  • Galley Kitchen Island

If you’re considering renovating your kitchen and changing it to an open-plan design, the galley is what you need. It’s not too big for small-size kitchens, but it’s still efficient concerning design and storage. You can even add bar stools for you to sit on when you’re eating.

If you want your kitchen to have more personality, the galley might be too dull for you. Its design is functional and straightforward, but it’s not best to pair up with a kitchen with an elaborate plan.

  • Circular Kitchen Island

A round-shaped kitchen island will surely make your kitchen more unique than before. Usual kitchen islands come with straight lines, so if you’re looking for something different, go for circular. You can still add cabinets for storage if you want, or chairs for meals. However, your storage areas can be hard to reach with this design, and it’s not as efficient as the other types.

  • Fully Functional Kitchen Island

This island almost seems like a tiny, independent kitchen. It comes with a sink, drainage, and enough workspace for food preparation. However, remember that your expenses will also grow. You have to add plumbing and an extra sink. Assess if you can afford it or go for the traditional kitchen island types.


Space is a significant factor in the process because a kitchen island can crowd out your kitchen if there’s not enough space left for you to move around. You need to assess the current size of your kitchen, and what are the things that you need to adjust if you want to get a kitchen island.

Kitchen islands take up the centre area in the kitchen. The thing that you have to prioritise is the walk space around the island. The ideal walk space should measure at least 36 inches wide for you to be able to walk around and move around your kitchen comfortably.

If you have a small U- and L- shaped kitchen layout which is popular in Australia, you can still add a kitchen island with an approximate size of 40 x 40 inches. The walk space recommended for this area is 31 ½ inches. However, this space works well for one person only. If you have more people in the kitchen, it will feel crowded due to the small area space.

If you feel uncomfortable with the walk space, the best option is to renovate your kitchen. Browse online for experts on kitchen renovations in Melbourne, Sydney, or Brisbane has and you

can select the designer that you feel the most comfortable with in teaming up for your kitchen renovation.


A kitchen island can do wonders for your kitchen. Choose a type that will fit in with the rest of your decor and appliances. If you need a bigger space, consider renovating your kitchen and hire a designer to help you.

Sam Street

Sam Street

Construction Manager

Sam is a qualified carpenter that has been working in the construction industry for the past thirteen years, both in Australia and abroad. With over a decade of experience, Sam has gained an extensive knowledge of the residential construction space.


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