From the Floor Up

Trend Alert: A Multi-Functional Island for a Kitchen Made in Heaven

Posted by Daltile Team on May 31, 2016 11:20:37 AM

Ayers Rock in Solar Summit 20 x 20 on the floor with 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 on the backsplash

If you’re rethinking your kitchen, don’t forget to consider the multi-functional island as the star of your design. The kitchen island can do a lot of things. And in the open floor plan it becomes the workhorse of the space. Well-thought out and customized islands are the hottest trend in kitchen design right now.

Here are a few ideas for a multi-functional island that'll turn your kitchen into a dreamy heaven.

Prep Area

The kitchen island is a great place to do your cooking prep work. Dedicate a portion of it to this by planning for a sink where you can wash veggies. A hole placed in the countertop over the garbage makes it easy to clean up. A butcher block in part of the island is a thoughtful addition for your prep space.

Breakfast Bar

Maybe your home didn’t come with a breakfast nook like you wanted it to, but the island is a capable alternative. A small island has just enough space for two to eat at a time and larger islands can take up to five or six. If you find your family congregating around the island to eat, the island can become an alternative dining area for more than just breakfast.

In-Kitchen Entertaining

Getting stuck in the kitchen while all your guests mingle defeats the purpose of entertaining. Many people are turning to in-kitchen entertaining and the island can be a big part of that. An island designed for entertaining places you at the center of the action while still being able to put the finishing touches on the main course.

Extendable Island

A new thought in island design in the collapsible island. It’s kind of like putting a leaf in your kitchen table. You have the extra space when you need it but can stow it away for a simpler everyday layout. There are collapsible versions and rolling or sliding versions.

Workspace Island

Even if you have an office and craft room, the island still becomes the place where homework and your latest project gets done. The kitchen is the center of the home and where your family gathers so it’s natural that they congregate there to work. A little storage under the island lets you have a workspace that is easily accessible and easily cleaned up.

Bee Hive in Taupe on the floor

Hybrid Dining Table/Island

The extra-large island is making an appearance in eat-in kitchens in place of the dining table. These huge islands multiply your prep and work space and eliminate the need for a dining area. They are great additions to the open floor plan because they streamline the space in an intelligent way.

Storage Center

Under the island is prime storage real estate. Whether you have open shelving or cabinets, the island is centrally located and a great access point for all activities in the kitchen. Think through your storage design carefully to make the most of this space.


Multi-Level Island Design

If organization and formality is important to you, consider a tiered island. It separates the prep space from the entertaining or work space for more of a bar feel. It conceals some of your work from your guests and maintains an always tidy and put-together look in the multi-functional kitchen.

Shaped Islands

On a similar note, the shape of your island can help you separate it into different work spaces. An L-shaped island puts dining on one side and prep on the other. A semi-circular is the in-kitchen entertainer’s dream. It encircles you with guests. An angled island is great for a corner of the kitchen or one with a diagonal orientation.


One difficulty with multi-functional islands is the lack of legroom. If you’ve maximized the storage, sometimes the seats at the bar don’t have much room and you’re always bumping your knees or sitting sideways at the bar. New island designs extend the countertop well past the cabinets to give more legroom. Other designs have the countertop functioning more as a table supported by spindle legs so you can stretch out comfortably.


A multi-functional kitchen island can become the center of functionality in your home. It’s where the family can gather and guests can schmooze. The right design can let you make this space your favorite place in the house.

Check out your options for countertop at Daltile.


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Topics: Kitchen Tile Ideas, Trends, Countertop

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