Remodeling your kitchen can be a massive undertaking. While you want your space to look its best and reflect the latest, greatest trends—it also needs to be functional and avoid passing fads that will make your kitchen feel outdated quickly.
Luckily, these four kitchen island trends make smart, subtle tweaks to timeless design practices, ensuring that your kitchen island—the centerpiece of your new design—will look gorgeous and relevant for years to come.
Over the years, marble and granite have been two of the most sought-after countertop materials. They have their differences, but both are solid stone surfaces—a “trend” that has never gone out of fashion.
Now, quartz is vying to be the most popular choice for solid surface countertops. Unlike marble and granite, quartz is a man-made composite, allowing you to create an extraordinary custom surface that looks and feels like natural stone.
Since quartz is man-made, it offers surprising benefits: it’s nonporous, meaning it doesn’t have to be waxed or sealed. That also means it’s resistant to staining, and won’t harbor bacteria. And because it’s more difficult to crack or chip than other stone surfaces, it requires almost no maintenance.
In traditional kitchens, appliances like microwaves are often built into your upper cabinets to keep them off the counter. But while this helps to minimize clutter, it can take up valuable cupboard space in smaller kitchens, and those appliances can be difficult and even hazardous to reach.
Today’s kitchens are beginning to embrace a “universal design” that makes the space functional for whoever needs to use it—whether you’re 6-feet tall or 4-feet tall, 18 or 80. One way to make your kitchen more user-friendly (and space efficient) is to move appliances like the microwave to the cabinets below your kitchen island. Since drawer microwaves are below eye-level, they allow you to keep your main cabinetry at the center of attention, giving you more room to add interesting features like glass-paned cabinets to house fine china and stemware.
(Looking for more ways to make your cabinetry stand out? Read our blog on cabinet accents and add-ons.)
A cascading waterfall counter (learn more about them here) is a sleek, luxurious addition to any kitchen island, and the perfect way to show off your stunning stone countertop. The durability of stone helps prevent your island from getting scuffed by children and pets, and the emphasis on straight lines creates a strong focal point that will quickly catch your visitor’s eye.
As kitchens get bigger and bigger, formal dining rooms, breakfast nooks and other dining spaces have gotten smaller. But depending on the size and shape of your kitchen island, you can easily use your island in lieu of a traditional dining room table, where the family can gather, even while they’re not eating. Bar seating is a simple, practical way to better utilize available space, and a comfortable bar stool or high-top chair can make your kitchen feel cozy and inviting.