My own private island

Island hopping has taken on a different meaning here, as I’m jumping for joy over the newest addition to the kitchen.

Kitchen island painted white with wood countertop

Our new island was the subject of Friday’s “guess what” post. Last week, Meghan guessed that we got a new kitchen, and we might as well have for all the difference this island has made.

It is fabulous and exactly what our kitchen needed. Oh, and so much better than the metal patio table “island” we’ve been living with for the past year.

Metal patio table with appliances stacked underneath

Small appliances, cookbooks, dishes and mixing bowls spent last year all tucked under the table, most of them still in their moving boxes. It was neither convenient nor tidy. For someone who loves cookbooks and will happily spend an afternoon reading recipes, the new island offers a much more accessible and attractive solution.

Cookbook shelf in island

In addition to the cookbook shelves, the island includes another section of open shelving for cutting boards, cookie sheets, cooling racks and trays. I don’t know about you, but I find these items incredibly awkward to store. But not anymore.

Narrow cookie sheet shelves in island

In our whole kitchen, we have only three drawers, and very narrow ones at that. I would have happily made the island all drawers, as I think they’re more useable than cabinets. However, in consideration of the budget, I only included one drawer. The good news is, it’s large and, while it may look cluttered, it is in fact very functional.

Utensil drawer in kitchen cabinets

The biggest benefit of the island is its size. At 80 inches long by 42 inches wide and 34 inches high, it adds about 23 square feet of surface space and about 55 cubic feet of storage space. I think my mixer, food processor, slow cookers, blender and coffee maker are as happy as I am that they finally have a home.

Small appliances kitchen cupboard

The island is made of four cabinets, and so far I’ve only filled one, so there’s lots of room to grow.

Someday, we will redo the whole kitchen. At that point, we may expand it or tweak the layout. However, I knew that the kitchen would drive me crazy if I didn’t do something to fix the storage and counter space issues in the meantime. The island solves all of my problems and exponentially increases the functionality and the beauty of the kitchen.

White painted kitchen island with wood top

How do you handle storage and prep space in your kitchen? This is my first time having an island, and I’m actually a bit surprised how incredibly functional it is. Do you have an island? How would you improve your kitchen if you could? New appliances? More counter space? More drawers? Who else out there loves their cookbooks? Do you have any favourites to recommend?


11 thoughts on “My own private island

  1. Your new island looks great! I like the contrast of having the darker cupboards and the white island. The top of the island blends in so nicely with the cupboards.Very nice!

  2. I LOVE it! Our kitchen is tiny…..barely enough room for everything (I can’t keep all my cookbooks etc.). A bigger and more functional kitchen is on my must have list when we buy a new house. LOVE your island – the colour, the counter, the space and storage!

  3. I love the island, and it’s a gorgeous colour! It really lightens up the kitchen. I have a really small, teeny-tiny kitchen here in my new place. We bought an old maple chest of drawers (six drawers, in two stacks of three each) at a garage sale ($20!) and put it just around the corner from the kitchen. We also bought an armoire for that same wall and use it as a pantry. I’m going to paint and dirty cowboy both pieces of furniture (my aim is something like Ashley’s bathroom vanity, on Domestic Imperfection), and the plan is to replace the top of the dresser with butcher block, and raise it to counter height with some big industrial casters. Then I can roll it so it butts up against the end of the counter when I need more space for food prep. That is how I handle storage in our newly-tiny kitchen.

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