It’s nearly impossible to talk about kitchen design without mentioning some of the latest kitchen island trends. The kitchen has long been the heart of the home. Now, with open floor plans at peak desirability, the kitchen island is the focal point. It’s a central gathering place that is casual enough for study sessions and formal enough for dinner party appetizers.
Kitchen island trends are constantly evolving to meet changing demands from homeowners. The kitchen islands we see today have bar stools, sinks, cooktops, and charging stations. They are multipurpose elements that bridge kitchens and living rooms. But this wasn’t always the case. In the 1950s, you were more likely to see a peninsula with floating upper cabinets than the islands we’re accustomed to today.
Any great kitchen island has ample storage, usually in the form of cabinets. One of the kitchen island trends I’ve seen this year is incorporating open shelving as well. This creates a perfect space for displaying beautiful dishware, cookbooks, or knickknacks and heirlooms.
Incorporating a sink into your island isn’t new, but it’s becoming more common now than ever before. This trend is about function and multi-tasking. With a sink in your kitchen island, you can prep and clean—bookending a dinner party, for example—all without turning your back on your guests. This practical trend is echoed in another kitchen island trend I’ve seen this year: cooktops.
Downdraft cooktops are a great way to add function to your kitchen island without the visual barrier of a vent hood hovering above. Although vent hoods are becoming more attractive, a downdraft cooktop preserves the openness of an open concept floor plan.
Statement lighting over your kitchen island is definitely trending. As the focal point of the kitchen (and often the home), the kitchen island should have attractive, adjustable lighting. Pendant lights are a beautiful way to add charm and elegance to your kitchen island.
Hot on this year’s kitchen island trends list is the under counter wine cooler, like this one from Zephyr. Thanks to colorful LED lighting inside the cooler, this appliance contributes as much to the design of your island as it adds to the functionality. It’s also very convenient for entertaining!
The all-white kitchen has been the envy of many homeowners for years. Now, the trend is going the opposite way. I see more dark-colored cabinets than ever before, especially on the kitchen island. Sometimes, two different colors are used: one color for the island and another for the rest of the cabinetry. Colorful kitchen islands make a bold, modern statement.
The Future of Kitchen Islands
Looking ahead, it’s tough to know which way kitchen island trends will go. Some believe that we’ll see more form over function; kitchen islands will become more about socializing than about cooking or cleaning. Others believe the opposite. Personally, I look forward to seeing how kitchen islands continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of home and family life.