The kitchen is often called "the heart of the home." Meals are cooked there, families gather around the dinner table, and memories are created as children are taught the fine art of baking and cooking. Too often, though, people get frustrated while trying to function in the kitchen because of a lack of usable counter space.
Rather than throwing hands up in despair over the lack of space, many have decided to think outside the box. They have come up with creative ways to make islands within whatever size kitchen they have and thereby, double their working space. Below are a number of great ways to get an island in your kitchen.
1. "Murphy" island by Ikea Hackers.
If space is an issue, the "Murphy" island might be the solution. Ikea Hackers took Expedit kitchen storage shelves and turned one section into a collapsible counter. The shelving unit has to be modified to make the island, but it can be done.
2. Bar-Island-Storage combination, seen on Apartment Therapy.
Combining your eating area and working area with some storage space is a perfect solution for apartment or tiny space living. Making spaces multi-functional allows you to get more out of less.
3. Sliding island, seen on Better Homes And Gardens.
For those who need additional workspace but can't afford to lose floor space permanently, the sliding island might be the solution. You can bring it out when you are working; but when it's not needed, it slides back into the counter and out of the way, keeping the floor open and easy to move around.
4. Repurpose an Ikea shelf and turn it into a kitchen island with storage like Golden Boys And Me.
Courtney and her family opened up the space between her kitchen and living room. They took an Ikea bookshelf and placed a butcher block counter top on top of it to create an island joining the two rooms. One side reflects the kitchen, and the other side has outlets and bar stools. The bookshelf makes the perfect base for the island.
5. Kitchen island with knife storage by Wayfair.
If you don't a place to put a permanent island but still need the extra space, Wayfair's movable kitchen cart with the butcher block top may be the solution. It gives additional work and storage space while maintaining the luxury of being able to be placed in convenient storage spots.
6. Tall kitchen island that doubles as bar and eating nook, seen on Apartment Therapy.
This taller island makes a great place to eat, and the height lends itself to being an ideal place to squirrel away things you don't want to be seen by others.
7. DIY mobile kitchen island by My Old Country House.
You can create your own movable island with an old desk and a counter top. My Old Country House took an old desk, painted it, redid the top with Formica that matched the countertops in the kitchen and added some wheels. The result is a movable island with very little cost.
8. Give your kitchen island a makeover to make it more space-efficient. At the Picket Fence shows you how.
If you have an island but feel it needs a face-lift, Vanessa shares the process of how she did hers. She covered her existing island with beadboard. A butcher block countertop replaced the existing countertop. She extended the length of the island with the butcher block and used furniture legs for support. Trim was placed under the new extension and between the legs to finish off the island.
9. Kitchen island with hideaway table by Fine Homebuilding.
Chris Greenawalt came up with a hideaway table to increase seating in his kitchen. The table slides into the existing island so that when it's not in use, it's not in the way.
10. Apothecary-style kitchen island with multiple drawers, seen on HGTV.
This movable island has lots of extra storage in it with all the different drawers.
Whether the space you have to work with is large or small, having an island in the kitchen gives you extra versatility. It can be used for prep work or as extra eating space. However you put it to use, the space will never be wasted.