Kitchen Island Design Ideas for DIY Enthusiasts

How to Design a Kitchen Island From Start to Finish
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There are thousands of kitchen island design ideas out there plastered in home and garden magazines and posted on design websites. With so many ideas available, it can be overwhelming trying to decide how to design a kitchen island for your own home. You may be wondering if it’s even possible to design your own kitchen island. If you could, it would certainly save you money. If you are trying to design a kitchen island on a budget, you should consider using an e-design website. E-design websites can provide you access to a professional designer that can assist you virtually. We will provide more information on how this works a little later on.

So, what should you consider about kitchen island design before diving into your project?

Many factors like size, functionality, shape, location and budget will need to be considered before construction can begin. But hey, that is half the fun. 

Let us take a closer look at some of these factors and address some other considerations you should have before you install an island in your kitchen at home.

How to Design a Kitchen Island from Start to Finish

The first thing you will want to consider when you design your own kitchen island is functionality. Do you have a large family? Do you like to host different social gatherings? Do you want more workspace for unleashing your culinary creativity in the kitchen?

The prospect of adding a kitchen island allows you to install additional seating for your large family and many friends, or to have an additional range put in for cooking. Maybe have a wine fridge installed on the island for your extensive collection. Whatever you prefer, you should have a good idea of purpose cemented in your head before anything else. 

How do you design a kitchen island?

Once you have the purpose of the kitchen island nailed down, you are ready to begin the design process. But where and how does one begin? 

You may consider one of the many online kitchen design tools for your project or you may want to hire a professional architect or designer to help with the process. At Skipp, working with a professional kitchen designer can be affordable. Professional designers can suggest design ideas that you may have never considered, while helping you make your space as functional as possible.

Whether you choose to DIY a kitchen island design, or partner with a professional, you will want to create detailed plans with dimensions, materials, service needs like electric or plumbing, and selected places for where within the kitchen the island should be erected. 

Is a kitchen island worth it?

Kitchen islands are almost always worth it. If you have room, you should not have to think too hard about adding a kitchen island. An island offers a practical way to increase seating, counter space, and storage space in an aesthetically-pleasing way. 

The kitchen island often becomes the center of your family’s home. Your family can sit around and share the events of their days as you prepare dinner. The island can also provide a space for reading the morning newspaper with a hot coffee, or for working from home on your laptop. 

The opportunities that an island brings to your living space are endless.

What is the best shape for a kitchen island?

The shape of your island should depend on the overall shape of your kitchen. The most common island shapes are square or rectangular, because both are practical, fit most kitchen spaces, and offer storage space underneath, workspace above, and seating along one of the sides of the island. 

One thing that is for sure is that you will want 36 inches of space on each side of the island at a minimum, for egress and to ensure a fluid kitchen workflow. With that in mind, you can get creative with the island shape. If you have more of an open floor plan in your kitchen, maybe try an L-shape or T-shaped island.

For the L-shape, on the short side, you could have a space for chopping vegetables, and on the long side, you could have a range installed for cooking, and then have seating on the other side. 

Basically, the more open and spacious your floor plan is, the more creative freedom you will have. 

Can you build your own kitchen island?

Yes, of course you can build your own kitchen island. A quick internet search will return hundreds of DIY ideas for kitchen islands. It all depends on your carpentry skills, experience, and resources. 

If you are thinking of installing a sink or additional electrical outlets, it might be best to hire a professional to ensure that everything is up to code and can be used safely. Do-it-yourself projects are always encouraged, but we do not want to risk injuring ourselves or our loved ones because of our inexperience. 

Can I make my kitchen island bigger?

You can always extend a kitchen island by pushing a table up to the end of the island; however, if you would like to build on to it, that is a different story. 

You will want to make sure you can secure similar materials, or at least materials that flow with the original makeup and design of the island. 

If you have space, go for it!

What is a good size kitchen island?

A kitchen island should be no shorter than 42 inches deep. If you want to place some high-top chairs or bar stools at one side of the island, we recommend that your island be no shorter than 57 inches deep. 

An ideal height for an island is 36 inches, and remember: we want 36 inches of egress on each side as well. The side that contains a breakfast nook or lunch bar should have 48 inches of egress to accommodate for when the chairs are pulled out. 

After these minimum requirements are fulfilled, you can make the island as wide or as long as you’d like, depending on your floor plan. 

Does a kitchen island have to be attached to the floor?

Not necessarily. There are numerous islands out there for purchase that have four legs, similar to a table, and can be assembled in a few hours. One of these types of kitchen islands will give you the flexibility to move it around as you see fit.

If you get a smaller island, you may want to attach it to the floor just in case it is top-heavy. Someone leaning on it may tip it over. Otherwise, if the island is large and heavy enough, it should be no different than a kitchen table in terms of stability. 

Should a kitchen island be the same height as a counter?

For the most part, yes. You will want the island to be the same height as your other countertops for aesthetic, as well as practical, reasons for when you are working in the kitchen.

However, if you have a T- or L-shaped island, you can always have one of the sides be a little bit taller to accommodate bar stools and high-top chairs for a lunch bar. 

How do you make an inexpensive kitchen island?

You can always build your own small kitchen island, but once you pay for materials and spend your time constructing the island, you could have saved your time and money by purchasing one from any number of retail stores. 

Many excellent kitchen island options in the $100-$400 range would be sufficient, look great, and save you a lot of time.

Is my kitchen too small for an island?

Think logically about this one. Remember, you want at least 36 inches of egress on all sides, and the island should not be shorter than 42 inches wide. 

Take out the measuring tape and do the math. Sometimes it just will not work and you do not want to force it. You do not want your kitchen to be awkward or restrictive in any way. 

Is it cheaper to build a kitchen island yourself?

Not always. Remember that many retail stores have many island options out there for under $500. It might be easier to just buy one and assemble it in your home. 

Should your kitchen island match your cabinets?

The kitchen island does not have to match your cabinets; however, it should not clash, either. Whether the island matches cabinets or not really just depends on personal preference. It’s your personal space, so do what is aesthetically-pleasing for you and your family!

Can you make a kitchen island with base cabinets?

Yes, you can. Having a kitchen island with base cabinets will provide additional storage space that will reduce clutter and help things like pots, pans and cutting boards to remain out of sight. 

How can Skipp help me design and build my kitchen island?

Skipp makes kitchen renovations simple and affordable, compared to traditional methods of layout design and architectural plans. 

Creating your dream kitchen can be done without hiring the most expensive designer in town and breaking the bank. Skipp strives to provide homeowners with affordable kitchen design solutions. With a simple deposit, homeowners can begin their Skipp kitchen renovation in only a few days from your first consultation with us. 

Top interior designers can help with your design every step of the way, throughout our kitchen renovation experience that you’ll actually enjoy!


Designing a kitchen island should be fun and hassle-free. The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, so it’s worth every penny to ensure that it’s a place you’ll love.

As homeowners, we want our kitchens to be as functional and inviting as possible. A kitchen island can make your kitchen a more welcoming place to hang out by providing seating or an extended workspace. After living in a home with an island, you’ll probably wonder how you ever lived without one. The unlimited possibilities of functionality will be appreciated by you and your family for generations. 

Just remember that there is no universal design for a kitchen island, and that you have complete control over what your island will look like, its size, its shape, and how you and your family decide to use it. 

With Skipp, you can interactively design your kitchen layout and kitchen island virtually with a professional designer. Skipp also will provide the best suggestions for finishing touches in design elements, from island shape to island accessories, such as placemats, fruit baskets, and more. 

We’re here to get you the simplest and most stress-free process for renovations on the market right now, and you can get started now. 

Design the kitchen island of your dreams from the comfort of your own home. . . visit Skipp today and start your estimate.


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