The Top Kitchen Island Trends of 2023, According to Designers
Contemporary finishes, bright hues, and nontraditional shapes are all in the forecast.
Kitchens are more than just a space to prepare and enjoy meals. They’re also a place to work, play, and entertain, so it makes sense that kitchen islands are at the top of many homeowners’ wishlists. The stylish and functional element can easily harness a kitchen’s potential, adding a central gathering space to your home.
“A clever kitchen island design will increase worktop space, improve storage capacity with innovative designs, and even potentially add a dining area by way of a breakfast bar,” says Mor Krisher, design director at Caesarstone. Kitchen islands also create a focal point in an open-plan layout providing a central hub for friends and family to gather.
As kitchens grow in size and importance, innovative design ideas for kitchen islands constantly evolve. We chatted with designers and kitchen experts to find out what kitchen island trends are dominating 2023 so far.
1. Multiple Islands
“Islands are a perennial favorite, and we are now taking it to the next level and expanding our island space by doubling up for two worktops,” says Tom Howley, design director of Tom Howley Kitchens. Double kitchen islands make our multifaceted lives more manageable, providing twice the amount of counter space, which can be allocated for different tasks. “Typically, one island serves a more functional role—great for food prep and may include a second sink or even a dishwasher, streamlining the cooking process—while the second island is then dedicated to entertaining or eating,” Howley says.
2. Waterfall Edges
Add a waterfall edge to elevate your kitchen island design. “Waterfall edges speak of high design, and they can help create that sleek and minimal look that people want in a contemporary kitchen space,” Krisher says. The waterfall effect can be added to one or both ends of the island or the front and back, adding a stunning visual element and concealing cabinetry and appliances for a clean finish.
3. Two-Tier Kitchen Islands
Casual entertaining and additional seating are some of the many appeals of a kitchen island. Most kitchen islands have a row of stools on one side facing the cooking area—however, a new setup is taking kitchen island designs by storm. “We’re seeing a lot of islands with creative seating arrangements, like two-tiered designs with seating for ten people and dropped-down or raised-up areas for various needs,” says Mitchell Parker, senior editor at Houzz. This new arrangement allows people to sit face-to-face and at a standard dining table height.
4. Dual-Surface Countertops
“We’re seeing more incorporation of the two-color and two-surface type tops on kitchen islands,” says Bob Bakes, head of design at Bakes & Kropp. Wood and marble are a popular combination, creating textural contrast and lending a traditional rustic touch to a sleek, modern scheme. Beyond their visual appeal, two-surface countertops add functional value; placed strategically, the wood block can serve as a food prep area and integrated chopping board, or it can be perched on the end of the island to define the breakfast bar.
5. Built-In Wine Fridges
If you’re a keen entertainer, a kitchen island with a wine fridge is a must. That way, you’ll always have a bottle or two to hand, no matter the occasion. “A wine fridge built into the back of the island is on trend for those who love to entertain,” Howley says. “It allows guests to help themselves to drinks without entering the high-traffic preparation and cooking areas.”
6. Kitchen Island Corner Seats
“The main design element that we have been incorporating lately is a corner seating arrangement,” says Eric Smith, founder and director of Eric J. Smith Architect. Creating space for two to four stools on the corner of the island, as opposed to along one side, allows for a more intimate and friendly dining experience. Especially when more than two people are sitting at the kitchen island, a corner seating arrangement allows for much more comfortable and inclusive conversation.
7. Green Kitchen Islands
“Green kitchens are having something of a moment right now,” Howley says. “Painting just your island green can be a great way to incorporate color in an otherwise neutral kitchen, providing a bold, captivating focal point without committing to a full-on green space.” Always match the green tone to the rest of your kitchen. For example, a warm mossy green would look particularly appealing combined with burnished brass hardware, a sleek white worktop, and exposed wood elements. Here, the mint island combines the green color trend with the curved kitchen island design that’s popular right now.
8. Overhead Shelving
Establish your kitchen island as the focal point with overhead suspended shelving. “I love this trend because it is great both for functionality and design,” says Mary Maydan, founder and principal of Maydan Architects. “It allows us to store useful items, such as pots or plates, but mainly it allows us to add decorative items that make the kitchen feel more liveable and personal without looking messy.” Plus, the open shelving won’t block light or view lines.
This article was originally written by Sophie Flaxman and appeared here.