The Kitchen Island and How it Transforms Your Kitchen 

Modern gray kitchen features dark gray flat front cabinetsThe all-functional, equally stylish, fashionably hip, space-maximizing kitchen island continues to be the darling of the modern kitchen in 2021. Not only is it highly customizable—adaptable to any style kitchen from industrial to modern, to vintage or rustic— it is space-saving and practical. The kitchen island has, of course, changed over the course of several decades, but it has only adapted better to contemporary lifestyles and modes of living of the 21st-century family. Let’s revisit this ever-popular kitchen feature and find out how it can enhance your kitchen and make the most of your space. 

How Kitchen Islands Have Come to Be the Centerpiece of a Stylish Kitchen 

In the late 19th century, the kitchen was located in the back of the house or far away from where any respectable guests would wander. God forbid the guests stumbled upon the stew cooking in the pot, and the vegetables and meat out on the cutting board. Most kitchens were dark, clammy, and considered just a utility room of sorts. Victorian-era homes, for example, would often house the kitchen far from the main entrance and have the help be the main workforce behind the stove. In larger homes and upper-class areas, the early versions of the kitchen island served a very practical purpose. It was there for the help to prepare the meals and get things straightened out. 

As the open-floor plan architectural movement kicked in, Francis Lloyd Wright revolutionized the way that the everyday person would have their home arranged. This means opening up the kitchen to the rest of the house. Suddenly, the preparation of dinner, snacks, and feasts were placed at the center. This meant that families began to hover around, engage, and even participate differently in the rituals of the kitchen. For kitchen plans that had a kitchen island, this meant that space would naturally shift to one of the congregation and not just an organizing work station. 

After World War II, suburbia would go through a phase of mass consumption and consumer interest in new house appliances. A spike in home ownerships and renowned interest in gadgets and technology led to the expansion of the kitchen to begin sporting large appliances, extensive counter space, and to transform itself into a bold statement of family life and Norman Rockwell-esque portrait kitchens. Then came a television cooking show in the 60s that utilized the kitchen island in a way not quite fully adopted. It sealed the fate of the kitchen island as more than just a functional space.

Since then, the kitchen island has seen resurgence, transformation, makeovers, and more, as homeowners experiment with the many great possibilities. 

The Modern-Day Kitchen Island Styles 

Not every kitchen island is made for every kitchen. You can find the style that fits you best and even modify the style you have now to fit your space more effectively. 

The L-Shaped 

First on the list is a classic L-Shaped kitchen island. This works great for large open floor plan kitchens that bleed into the dining area and can make use of the space without crowding the kitchen too much. This is a plus for homes with foodies, pseudo-chefs, real chefs, part-time food experimenters, and moms that love to cook with the kiddos. It also adds the benefits of bar-style eating and tons of storage space. 

The U-Shaped

It’s not so much a curvy u, but more of a boxy u. It naturally creates a prep space that surrounds the chef with cabinet space and functional drawers, compartments, you name it. These are the largest and most accommodating types of islands. People can almost prepare the food entirely from the island— depending on what’s cooking. This could be a great plus for people that like to spread out as they prepare their feat but keep things organized and easily reached. 


This might be a little more of a niche preference but is great if you’re looking for an easier-install kitchen island that is customizable and hand-crafted. These islands are a little smaller and blend with the style of the cabinets or the kitchen. This adds an aesthetic appeal, style, and performance. 

Circular or In the Round 

Kitchen islands in the round can complement some spaces, make a bold statement, and provide all the space you need. Whether you finalize with a fully round design or a half-moon, there is so much to explore with this great design. They offer an entirely different dining experience like you’re in a high-end restaurant being tended to by a British-accented person reading off the wine list.  In other words, it works great for intimate dinner parties, dates, and casual family nights.

Embrace the Island, Get Hand-Crafted Functional Beauty in Your Kitchen 

Kitchen islands are only part of what we do, but homeowners sure do love them. It is because they offer the functionality and the style that they have become a remodeling favorite. With custom kitchen islands, you can also match the style of your current kitchen, or do a complete makeover with matching custom cabinets!

Ready to transform your kitchen? Call us at Dominguez and Sons Custom Cabinets and learn more about how we transform kitchens! 

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