Kitchen Islands With Seating and Storage: 9 Functional Ideas

Having a kitchen island is like having your own sous-chef who’s always ready to assist you in your culinary conquests. Not only is it a central gathering space in the most important room of the home, it also provides tons of countertop and storage space. But if you’re going to have a kitchen island, why not make it as functional and efficient as possible?

As the center of the kitchen, the island should be more than a pretty accent piece. It should provide clever storage and seating solutions that make your kitchen the best it can be. Here are a few ideas to use your kitchen island to its fullest potential:

Plenty of Seating

Kitchen Islands With Seating and Storage

Who says you must have a kitchen table? With a countertop overhang and toe kick, your kitchen island can function as a casual dining area, too. Depending on the space available in your kitchen, you can choose as many (or as few) seats as you’d like. Form 2, 4, 6 or more — you can work with your kitchen designer to plan for the perfect number of seats at your island.

Deep Drawers

deep drawers for kitchen island storage

An island is (at minimum) a few feet wide, making it the perfect place for deep storage solutions. Drawers are a great addition to an island because they can store large items like pots and pans, but are easily accessible. We see many of our clients put large drawers in their islands because of they’re functionality and versatility.

Trash & Recycling Pullout

trash and recycling pullout drawer in the kitchen island

How many times a day do you throw something away? Since the kitchen island acts as the central gathering place, it makes sense to put one of the most important items (the trash) there. As a pullout storage solution, tucking your trash and recycling cans into the island saves space and makes your life easier. It’s a win-win.


rollouts in kitchen island cabinets

Another way to make your island functional is to add rollouts to cabinets. This customization allows you to pull the items in the cabinet towards you so you can easily find what you’re looking for. That’s right — no more bending, digging and straining your back to find what you need. This is especially useful with under-the-sink cabinets that store everyday items like cleaners, sponges and soaps.

Hanging Storage

Is your kitchen island on the smaller side? There are still plenty of storage solutions to consider, including above-the-island hanging solutions for pots and pans. This is a smart option if you don’t have enough room in the rest of your kitchen cabinets for such large items. And if you have high-quality stainless steel pots and pans, you can even use this storage solution as a modern, decorative feature.

Side Storage

side storage in a kitchen island

Who says your cabinets or drawers have to be on one side only? Customize your island to take advantage of every nook and cranny — including the sides.This is a wise design choice for those who don’t want deep cabinets, but still want to use every ounce of storage space available by adding more narrow cabinets.

Built-in Wine Fridge

wine fridge in kitchen island

Need a place to store all of your favorite bottles of wine? Why not use your kitchen island? Installing a wine rack or even a wine fridge will keep your favorite beverage within reach, a convenient feature for your central gathering space in the home. No more walking across the room or to the garage fridge to grab an alcoholic beverage for your guests.

Utensil or Knife Drawer

utensil drawer in kitchen island

There is no better place for a utensil drawer than in the kitchen island. At the center of the room, it’s the ideal location for something you use every day. Install a custom utensil drawer with dividers for the utmost functionality, but keep it somewhat shallow and narrow to prevent smaller items from getting lost.

Charging Station

A charging station is a convenient feature for the modern kitchen, especially when you consider that smartphones and tablets have become an essential part of our daily lives.

Typically, a charging station will have a power outlet or two installed within a drawer or cabinet of your island, along with a docking station or USB ports for your devices. This can keep your countertop free from cords and clutter while you charge your phone or tablet.

Another option is to have it installed in a shallow drawer with a hinged top that lifts up to reveal the charging ports and outlets. You could also install a pop-up power outlet that is flush with the countertop of your island.

The kitchen island is always a beautiful addition to a kitchen remodel. But if you want to take it to the next level, consider adding smart storage solutions. By using one of the ideas above, you can make your kitchen island the most functional place in the home.

Kitchen Remodeling & Redesign Solutions

Every home deserves a kitchen that’s beautiful, welcoming, and functional — designed for the way you live. Established by two long-time central Ohio homebuilders and craftsmen, The Creative Kitchen Co. offers customized kitchen remodeling and refacing solutions. Contact us for more information.