Multi-purpose kitchen islands | homify

Multi-purpose kitchen islands

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Modern meets Edwardian. Rencraft Classic style kitchen
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The humble kitchen has come a very long way. Before the 18th century, the kitchen was a very modest space with an open fire and very little else. Following the invention of the range, kitchens suddenly became more important to the efficient running of a home: they demanded a specific place within the dwelling, and because of this, became the centre of one’s abode. Technological advances in plumbing and heating further created a need for a designated cooking area, and this brought about larger more well-equipped rooms. Generally, the wealthier you were, the larger your kitchen was. A separate kitchen was a symbol of success: if you were able to afford the luxury of a separate room, you were generally doing fairly well in life. 

These days the kitchen is a hub of action within a house. The walls have been removed, and we see large open plan spaces that embrace the essence of cooking and food preparation. With this, the invention of the kitchen island. The island began as a simple necessity to provide more preparation space for the chef, but since that time, has become a stylish design element encompassing all manner of kitchen accoutrements. Kitchen islands are multi-purpose and multi-functional accessories. From islands that hold wine and provide storage, to those that are used for cooking and eating, there is an island to suit any cooking space. 

Take a gander over the following six attractive examples below, and ensure your next island is sophisticated and stylish.

The all-in-one kitchen island

Brilliance in Simplicity: How to Evoke Old World Charm with Reclaimed Oak The Wood Galleries Country style kitchen
The Wood Galleries

Brilliance in Simplicity: How to Evoke Old World Charm with Reclaimed Oak

The Wood Galleries

To kick things off we have chosen this beautiful example from The Wood Galleries that perfectly illustrates how an island can function independently as its own kitchen space. This island is the kitchen, and comes replete with all the necessary bits-and-bobs that any normal kitchen might encompass. One benefit of this design, the walls are completely bare, and free from imposing joinery, which could make the space feel cloistered and closed in. Although this design might not suit everyone, it certainly is beautiful. Crockery, tableware and drinkware is all stored within the island space and in cupboards that have glass doors. The statement fluorescent lighting works wonderfully to enhance the almost futuristic vibe of this space, and the sink and cooker are well illumined within the worktop. This long and linear island also manages to incorporate a breakfast bar at its end, with several timber chairs for gathering and chatting.

Wine cellar and storage space

Talk about multi-purpose, this island encompasses most of the important pieces of the kitchen. The cooktop, breakfast bar, and storage are all within this spacious island. The added benefit of this island is the plentiful wine storage which brings a sense of practicality and style to the space. This kitchen is definitely a standout, it utilises bright hues to inject a spring vibe, and the kitchen island ensures the space is cohesive and contained.

On display: the island cooktop

De Beauvoir Rear Kitchen Extension Gullaksen Architects Modern kitchen
Gullaksen Architects

De Beauvoir Rear Kitchen Extension

Gullaksen Architects

Now this is something a little different, a smaller island that provides a stylish space to cook as opposed to prepare food. This kitchen island is not large, its linear form ensures that although there is space to chop, organise and slice, the area is primarily for cooking. The breakfast bar is another cute addition, and although there is only one seat, it is the perfect place to get everyone to gather and watch the food being made.

The modular kitchen island

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a kitchen island, it is attached to the other part of the kitchen joinery by a floating piece of marble, but it does function as a multi-purpose space. Within this ‘island’ there are drinks fridges for wine, and chilled beverages, as well as plenty of storage. The floating marble signifies and segregates the eating space for visitors and family, and provides a space for everyone to congregate while food is being cooked.

A place to gather

Modern meets Edwardian. Rencraft Classic style kitchen

Modern meets Edwardian.


Kitchens are the central burners of our domestic spaces, so it makes sense to ensure they can be enjoyed by everybody and not just the cook. This kitchen island is definitely a multi-purpose treat. Utilising two different sides it works as a brilliant place to assemble to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, and is constructed in s way that individuals will be able to converse with each other as well as the cook. In addition to the smart seating, this island also encapsulates plenty of storage space, to hold dinnerware and other necessary appurtenances.

Kitchen island, or dining space?

Kitchens made in Harrogate by Inglish Design INGLISH DESIGN KitchenCabinets & shelves

Kitchens made in Harrogate by Inglish Design


This kitchen island has blended the practicality of a central space to prepare food with an actual dining table. Not a breakfast bar, this central eating place has normal height chairs and a great way to get everyone into the centre of the home. Eating in the kitchen allows a practicality, and ensures the occupants are close to all the essential kitchen necessities.

For some more kitchen island inspiration check out our other ideabook: 10 modern kitchen islands

What’s the favourite design aspect in your kitchen? Let us know below.

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