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Five popular kitchen island features

Why are kitchen islands so popular? Because they’re one of the most useful design pieces you can integrate into a kitchen. And features like waterfall countertops, under-counter appliances and hidden charging stations are taking the trend to a whole new level.

So if you can work a kitchen island into your home without compromising on style or space, do so. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without one!

A kitchen island can function in many ways, serving you where you need it most. Do you want to update your kitchen aesthetic? Are you in need of extra storage? Do you need more space for food preparation or cooking in general? Consider these five popular kitchen island features:

1. Waterfall countertops

Homeowners are falling for waterfall countertops. In this design, the countertop material doesn’t stop at the edge of the island; it flows down along the sides, showcasing the beauty of your chosen countertop material from multiple angles. With this look, your island becomes a true statement piece. Popular materials include natural stone, engineered quartz, wood and concrete.

2. New takes on old classics

Kitchen islands that imitate classic furniture are on the rise. And as their popularity grows, this look is becoming more easily accessible. Now, instead of needing to have a piece custom-built, homeowners can find pre-crafted kitchen islands that fit this look in a variety of styles and colors. In keeping with the modern farmhouse trend, dining room tables and armoires are popular sources of inspiration.

3. High contrast

The mix-and-match trend is making its way into the kitchen, and the island offers the perfect opportunity to present some contrast and add dimension. You can use the same material in two complementary colors (navy blue or black and white, for example). Or, you can use two different materials, like mixing metal with wood.

4. Built-in storage

Storage is the key to a tidy kitchen. People want their blenders, crock pots and counter clutter out of sight, and the kitchen island offers many opportunities to incorporate storage for these items. With cabinets, pull-out shelves, drawers, hidden charging stations and even open display cases for mugs and cookbooks, you can make use of every available inch.

You may also consider under-counter appliances to maximize on limited kitchen space. Your microwave can come off of the counter and fit snugly in the end of the island. You can build in a recycling and trash unit. Or you can swap your dishwasher for a drawer-style option.

5. First-rate functionality

Incorporating a cooktop, oven or sink into your island can increase the functionality of your kitchen. A dedicated island cooking space will free up space in the rest of the kitchen, allowing for freer movement, better efficiency and easier food prep. Further, and particularly when you add seating to the island, it makes the kitchen a more open and social space—one in which you can spend time with your family while you cook or entertain guests.

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