Creating The Focal Point Of Your Room: Kitchen Island Ideas

Posted by Rhian Burrell, on December 15, 2023.

Kitchen islands can definitely be more than just aesthetic features in the bespoke spaces that we design. In order to maximise the impact of these stunning additions, we will consider exactly what your space needs. We’ve created this kitchen island ideas guide to help you along with your own bespoke design, sharing some of the pointers that shape our approach to crafting these magnificent centrepieces.

Choosing the right kitchen island design for your space

When it comes to choosing the right design for your kitchen island, perspective is key. While opting for a large, central kitchen island in your room might seem like an obvious choice, it’s not always the right way to add this feature into the space. We consider the room as a whole when we’re designing our handcrafted kitchen islands, looking for ways to blend it into the overall layout. This might include placing the island closer to the worktop area if we’re working with an open-plan space, to distinguish the kitchen from the dining or living area, using the island as a midpoint. 

The shape of your kitchen island should also complement the room, so if you’ve got a longer room, then a slim, narrow kitchen island will add more harmony to the space – as opposed to overwhelming the layout.

Kitchen island ideas: make use of seating

Seating is one of the simplest additions to unlock the potential of your kitchen island. Even by adding simple bar stools, you can create a casual dining spot, a ‘work from home’ space, or your own social hub. It’s easy to see the additional worktop space that a kitchen island provides as mere practical, meal prep space – but seating can completely transform this. You could even create a kitchen island breakfast bar – perfect for a quick bite before the school run! 

Worried about lessening the room that you have in your kitchen? Seating doesn’t need to be an awkward, space-consuming addition. Kitchen island seating that can be stowed away underneath the unit itself is an added perk, as it won’t take away from the room that you have between the island and cabinets. Your choice of seating can also complement your kitchen styling too, adding another focal point to the space.

Functional features for your kitchen island design

We’re always looking for ways to make our bespoke kitchens more functional – it’s no surprise given the non-stop nature of everyday life! We approach all of our bespoke kitchen designs with this factor on our radar, and it’s something that we emphasise when we craft bespoke kitchen islands. There’s a whole host of functional features that we can incorporate into your design, all intended to give you so much more from your investment, and they include: 


While this is one of the most obvious ways to make a kitchen island more functional, it is often overlooked! We’re always open to adding sinks into our kitchen island designs, and there are plenty of ways that we can do it in a way that follows the styling of the space we’re working with. We’re able to create layouts for various sink styles, including undermount sinks, farmhouse sinks, and integrated sinks. 

A kitchen island with a sink fitted in is a great way to maintain the ‘working triangle’ concept that we follow – essentially, having your main work areas all contained within one space.

Hobs/cooker tops

Another way to feed your kitchen island into your working triangle is to include a hob as part of the design. These can be blended into the unit seamlessly – our shaker kitchen Bedford project is a great example of how we’ve achieved this for our customers. Adding a stove to your kitchen island will add to the open layout of your kitchen, and it also frees up some of your main worktop space.

Storage solutions

You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring the storage capabilities that a kitchen island can have! From custom wine racks, to using open and closed cabinets, or making use of under unit shelving, the possibilities are endless. Approaching your kitchen island this way will ensure your design has equal measures of practicality and style. 

Colour – harmony versus clever contrast

The colour palette of your kitchen will likely lend itself to the choice you make for your kitchen island, and this is a way to introduce unity across the space as a whole, as showcased in our Edgcote shaker kitchen project – but there’s no set rules. For example, neutral cabinets could be complemented by a kitchen island in the same shade, or by a deeper, darker hue such as forest green or rich navy – our Cropredy shaker kitchen project exemplifies this perfectly, demonstrating the aesthetic appeal that this creates when paired with a neutral countertop. 

bespoke kitchens Oxfordshire

Our bespoke plywood kitchens also give you the opportunity to show off the unique characteristics of this sustainable, scandi-inspired material, creating a rustic appeal.

Finishing touches: kitchen island lighting, fixtures and decor

The finish of your kitchen island is hinged upon all of the final details that you can customise – from cabinet knobs to additional fixtures and even kitchen island lighting. 

Adding sockets to your kitchen island

When we’re finalising your kitchen island ideas, our designer will likely suggest adding electricity sockets. They’ll give you some extra practicality, and they don’t have to take away from the style of the unit itself – in fact, they can even add to the aesthetic you’ve created, with a diverse range of finishes available to choose from. 

Introduce sleek accents with handles and knobs

The hardware that you choose for the cabinets and drawers on your kitchen island will serve their own stylish purpose. There’s an array of options to consider, including boss bars, drop handles, d and t style handles, and round knobs. You’ll find varying material options for each, all adding a unique touch of texture to your space.

Kitchen island lighting

Kitchen island lighting is a feature that will ensure your stunning unit garners attention from all angles! Smart lighting choices can create a warm, welcoming ambience around your kitchen island – explore pendants, recessed lighting, or LED strip lighting for some initial inspiration. 

You could also add lighting to your island unit underneath the edge of your worktop, within shelving, or around your custom wine rack. This is a simple way to add your own distinctive appeal to your space. 

Share your kitchen island design ideas with us, and we’ll tailor a bespoke layout that enhances your space. Your kitchen island will be much more than a focal point – it will be an integral part of your refreshed room, and it will serve you and your family for years to come. 

Discover our signature shaker kitchen design, and contact us now to share your project inspiration with us or alternatively, arrange a free home consultation.