Everybody dreams of the extra counter space a kitchen island gives you, but if you're just wheeling one into the center of your room, you're seriously underutilizing it. These cool ideas update the trend, making it more than just another tabletop to chop veggies or stack your mail (we're all guilty of that one).
If you're cramped for space, forgo a traditional island altogether and use a small table. It'll give you workspace and dining space all in one.
See more at Sugar & Cloth.
BUY NOW White Lacquer Table, $270, wayfair.com
Back up a couch or chairs to your island for a separate dining area that's in the kitchen without actually being in the kitchen, if you catch our drift.
See more at Amber Interiors.
BUY NOW Upholstered Banquette Bench, $253, wayfair.com
If you don't have the space for a proper breakfast nook, let your island serve double duty. All you need is a row of bar stools.
See more at Young House Love.
BUY NOW Modern Farmhouse Bar Stools, $250, wayfair.com
If you've got a bold backsplash or lots of color in your kitchen, paint your island a dark neutral, like this medium grey, to even things out.
A pair of architect's drafting tables, found at a thrift store and modified with a glass top, now serve as an island in this New York kitchen. Genius? We think so.
This butchers-block-and-marble island is the kitchen MVP: It's loaded with lots of cabinets, a sink, and dishwasher, so you can get ish done.
This hack turns three IKEA standing shelves into a rustic, modern farmhouse-inspired island.
Get the tutorial at Golden Boys and Me.
This island kitchen used scalloped trim to give it a vintage, laid-back-beach-house vibe.
If you want a brand new piece to look vintage, scratch and sand your island's top, then stain it.
Get the tutorial at The Inspired Room.
If your kitchen is all white, you can afford to play around with color a bit.
This easy add-on gives you room to hang kitchen towels and other necessities.
Let everyone know what the weekend brunch menu is — and don't worry about your kids drawing on the walls.
Now you finally have a place to store all those cookbooks.
No space? No problem. In this 400-square-foot apartment, s console-style wood table acts as both a kitchen island, breakfast bar, and work space.
A built-in microwave makes the appliance less of an eyesore in the kitchen — and gives you more room to get your Barefoot Contessa on.