Kitchen Islands - New Home Trends and Ideas

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Kitchen Island Styles

New Home Trends and Ideas for the Kitchen

Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NC


A kitchen island can be an integral part of your new home kitchen design.  When designed correctly, a kitchen island can work well in an extra large or extra small kitchen.

Islands can be accessed from all sides, which makes them ideal for both workspaces and storage.

A kitchen island can feature display shelves, drawers, and cabinetry. 









Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NC


Kitchen islands can be a beautiful feature in luxury homes or affordable custom homes

The style, size, and design depend on both taste and budget. 

Looking to keep your kitchen costs down?  Consider an island with one bank of full cabinets, with a great seating area.

Add some pendant lighting to emphasize this focal point of the kitchen.








Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NCIn some kitchens, the island can provide the majority of the counter space.

Guests and family can be seated around the kitchen island while meals are prepared.

Homework routines can even revolve around the kitchen island - it's easy to answer those math questions while chopping vegetables!




Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NCThinking of moving the kitchen sink to your kitchen island? 

Here's some thoughts to consider:

- Is there enough room for the dishwasher next to the sink (both depth and width)?

- Can the dishwasher open comfortably, with room to walk around?

- Is there room to include a pull out garbage bin/recycle center?

- Can the silverware be stored near the dishwasher?

- Is it possible to use dual height counters to better hide those dirty dishes?




Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NC

Want to use the kitchen island mainly for food prep?

Keep these thoughts in mind:

- Are there outlets for small appliances?

- Is the refrigerator and cooktop conveniently close?

- Do you want a prep sink?

- Should you consider a butcher block counter?


Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NCLooking to cook at the kitchen island?

You'll want to talk to your builder about:

- Countertop materials: should it be heat resistant for ease of cooking with hot pans?

- Is there at least 18 inches of counterspace on either side of the range or cooktop?

- Can an overdraft hood be added, or is a downdraft cooktop required?  What is the additional cost versus a typical range or cooktop?

- Should a raised eating area be included?

Kitchen Islands - New Home Ideas - Kitchen Trends - New Home Raleigh NCWill you dine frequently at the kitchen island?

Discuss your options for informal dining at the kitchen island.

- How many can you seat comfortably at the island?

- Should stools be tucked away when not in use?

- How much will seating limit your storage options?

- What height should the island be?  Do you want two heights?


Your new kitchen island design should reflect your taste, be fully functional, and be ready for multiple uses and plenty of storage.

Talk to your builder about your ideas for your kitchen island design.  Bring pictures of what you have in mind.  Your builder will help you decide what's right for you, based on budget, size of kitchen, traffic flow, and much more!


The Raleigh area offers many great places to live, including Angier, Apex, Bear CreekCaryChapel Hill, Coats, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Harnett County, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Morrisville, Pittsboro, Siler City, Silk Hope, Rolesville, Wake Forest, and Wendell.


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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Diane Williams 12/22/2009 01:34 AM
  2. D B 12/22/2009 10:37 AM
  3. Chris Minion 02/04/2010 07:36 AM
  4. Lori Cain 02/07/2010 12:31 AM
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Al Wright
Affordable Canadian Home Inspections - Hamilton, ON
Have your inspections performed the Wright Way

Here is a picture of my kitchen when I first bought my house, the kitchen was a small boxed in room. Notice ALL the agents cards on the Kitchen counter who had shown it previously and didn't have the insight into what it could look like :-)

Kitchen Before

Here it the finished kitchen, we took down the wall, made it open concept and added the island. We added a corner cabinet in the island facing out to maximize the storage space in the island

Dec 21, 2009 11:09 PM #5
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

I love to look at kitchens, guilty passtime.

I have an island with a cook-top Jenn Aire. my mom's had a sink.

Not sure what I will do when I remodel but I love my island and use it more than any other part of the kitchen.

Dec 21, 2009 11:25 PM #6
Dawn Nuzzi
'Til Dawn Real Estate - Raleigh, NC

Excellent post Penny! As you mentioned, it's really important for buyers and builders to communicate as to where exactly the island is going, and the space between the island and the other counters and appliances. How much room will there be when you open the dishwasher, oven, etc.

I have an island in my kitchen....LOVE it and can't imagine now having one now!

Dec 21, 2009 11:49 PM #7
Ann-Marie Clements
Candidate for an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership - Saint John, NB
Ed.D. candidate, Innovative Proactive Principa

Hi Penny,


We live in the granite & slate city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  Granite countertops have been in for a few decades here due to the local resources within the community.

We currently have a small island in the middle of our 1970's kitchen w/formica countertop (yeah, I know, the "Grass looks greener on the other side" that has a sink and small area for dishes or cutting.  The rest of the kitchen are surrounding the island.  We also have "Z-bricks" that were originally brick & black colors. that we painted yellow and has an Italian archway that leads into the washer & dryer room.  When we bought this home 5 years ago, we thought "what were these people smoking?" when they divided both rooms.  So we plan on dimolishing the "Z-brick" wall and extending our kitchen out into the small table section that leads into living room, since our formal dining area is on the internal balcony upstairs.

Our ceilings are 28 feet high with a large 52" square diameter skylight with 4 steel posts holding the roof up and an internal balcony overlooking our 2nd floor.   So we already have an open concept, but our kitchen is in dire need of updating with the rest of the house.  Again, "what were these people thinking or smoking" when they built this kitchen???

Thanks for the reinforcement and the push to modernize my kitchen this year...


Dec 22, 2009 12:21 AM #9
Joyce Thomas
The Thomas Group Brokered by eXp Realty - San Tan Valley, AZ
Your Home Sold Guaranteed!

Great post.  Islands are awesome, especially when entertaining.  They always seem to be the center of the party, where the food is, where the drinks are, and where the people are having fun.  Love islands!!

Dec 22, 2009 12:45 AM #10
Diane Williams
Pell City, AL

An Island in the kitchen is a great selling point. I have a lot of buyers request this.  You did an excellent job on this post. Thanks for sharing.

Dec 22, 2009 12:54 AM #11
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Lenn - forgot to add, a pot rack over the island can be a nice touch too!

Fernando - So many ideas, so little time....

Tony - glad you enjoyed the article.

Dec 22, 2009 12:55 AM #12
David Monsour
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA

Very good post.  I won't have another kitchen without a large functional island.  People gather in the kitchen no matter what you're doing.  The island pull it all together.  Great for cooking.  Nice place to put a laptop while you work and cool.  Well written and nice pictures.

Dec 22, 2009 01:10 AM #13
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Jeanne - My husband and I are starting construction on OUR new home in about 30 days.  We've designed to include a very functional dual height island with room to seat six.  I'm excited!

Al - I love the before and after pics!  Great design for a somewhat smaller kitchen.  Bright and open with tons of storage.

Dec 22, 2009 01:17 AM #14
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I wish my island had two tiers like my last house, so part can be used for decoration and part used for actual kitchen stuff... but my new house is a single level island and it's always messy no matter how many times I clean it off.

Dec 22, 2009 01:51 AM #15
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407


Thanks for this post and for the nice photos and ideas.

I love kitchen islands and really like how they are becoming more than just islands!!

Dec 22, 2009 02:45 AM #16
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Your post makes me want to knock down the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room, and add one of those gorgeous islands!

Dec 22, 2009 03:20 AM #17
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Missy - I think the island cooktop is one of the most popular requests!  It depends on the size of the island....

Dawn - One way to truly visualize the kitchen is to finalize the layout at framing stage.  The builder can mark the locations of the countertops, appliances, and island on the floor.  You can then actually walk through "the kitchen" before the cabinets are ordered, and make any final changes to the layout.  Works great!

Dec 22, 2009 03:54 AM #18
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease

Penny,  Neat.  An island is an awesome kitchen feature, no matter what you are cooking up:-)  We had a fun huge island in a Sapphire Valley mountain house with a 14' island.  This came in very handy for the girl scout overnights.  Fun place to gather in the home!  All the best, Michelle

Dec 22, 2009 04:40 AM #19
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Lenn's Kitchen

Lenn's Kitchen

Dec 22, 2009 04:51 AM #20
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Penny -- Wow, tons of things to consider for an island.  I see on occasion where the island is way too big for the space and one can barely get around things, let alone get by if some appliance is open.  I've always liked seating in kitchens, comfy seating, so Lenn's kitchen looks very cool.  You can really converse with the cook and still be there right and relaxed at the same time.

Dec 22, 2009 09:11 AM #21
Nathan Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Davenport, FL
Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert

I love kitchen islands if they are functional. I saw a listing a few weeks ago that said their was an island in the kitchen. When I showed the house we found that the island was in the middle of the dining room. HAHA. What are you supposed to do with that? LOL

Dec 22, 2009 02:14 PM #22
Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor Strategize, Stage, Sell
Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor - San Pedro, CA
Owner of @ the WRichTeam

Kitchens are so personal!  It is for many the most important room in the house!  Kitchen's if remodeled are custom to their owner.  I love islands...and I know they come in many shapes and sizes.  :-)

Dec 22, 2009 05:47 PM #23
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Ann-Marie - sounds like a very contemporary home!  Hard to find 28' ceilings... Best of luck with the remodel. 

Joyce - at my house, we're always in the kitchen!  Islands are a great place for serving food too.

Diane - "an island" is our number one request for the kitchen.  But in some cases a very well planned wrap around eating bar can be just as functional, while offering a little more "privacy" for a kitchen that needs a little clean up.

Dec 22, 2009 10:13 PM #24
Chris Minion
O'Brien Realty - Lexington Park, MD


I am really enjoying your posts!  This one is excellent!  Great photos and ideas.  Thank you for sharing.


Feb 04, 2010 07:33 AM #27
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