Review of Kitchen Island Trends: 2019 Mid-Year Edition

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What’s Staying and What’s Going for the Rest of 2019

By Ryan Horvath

A kitchen island is your kitchen’s Swiss Army knife. It can be elegant and functional at the same time. This week’s blog is a review of kitchen island trends for 2019. It also wraps up our series of the mid-year review of trends. To read the past two reviews, click on the links below:

Back in March, I wrote a blog about the emerging kitchen island trends. You can read that blog by clicking here. This mid-year review of kitchen island trends is covering what’s staying and going. I’ll also provide some insights from one of the Choice Cabinet retail designers.

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Storage Solutions

A kitchen island provides the homeowner with extra storage opportunities. Homeowners are preferring to go with deep drawers for pots and pans. They also make organizing mixing bowls and other kitchen items easier. You’re able to find what you’re looking for quickly with deep drawers. If you’re concerned about the weight of your items damaging the cabinets, you shouldn’t be. Our under-mount, soft close glides can handle up to 100 pounds. These are on our Choice Premier® and Choice Select® lines. Our epoxy-coated, under-mount glides handle up to 75 pounds. These are on our Choice Essentials® line.  Below are examples of islands using our Choice Select® and Choice Essentials® lines.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Homeowners are also using more open shelving on their kitchen islands. Open shelving is typically installed at the end of an island. The trend, however, is installing open shelving within the island. Open shelving is great for storing mixing bowls or regularly used small appliances. They also make the perfect spot for your favorite cookbooks.

Expand Your Appliances

Another continuing kitchen island trend is adding extra appliances. Your island can house an extra dishwasher for those large holiday meals. Consider adding a mini wine cooler to showcase your collection while entertaining guests. Homeowners are moving their microwave from above their ranges to under the counter. A kitchen island is a perfect home for the microwave and is safer too. Since you’re not reaching up, you reduce the risk of burning yourself from spills.

You can also expand the usage of your small appliances by adding one or two pop-up outlets. These outlets extend your prep surface and can hide when not in use. Consider adding them to make your kitchen island more functional.

Make Your Island Sink a Workhorse

If you’re looking to have a sink in your island, consider making it a covered sink. These covered sinks are perfect for the cook/entertainer. They add more prep, counter space, and are highly functional. In some versions I’ve seen, your strainer, cutting board, and containers are all in one spot. They also make cleanup quick and easy.


Back in March, I wrote that 2019 was all about the single-level island. In talking with Choice Cabinet retail designer, Tina Figueroa, it’s not the case. According to Figueroa, there’s a 50/50 mix of homeowners who choose a single-level island. The other 50% like having a dual-level island for prepping while entertaining.

Homeowners are also pulling away from mixer stands. According to Figueroa, homeowners are realizing that mixer stands are wasting storage. If you’re someone who bakes a lot, it makes sense to have one. If you only bake a few times a year, a mixer stand eats up a lot of room.

Waterfall countertops are also starting to trend down. This trend was huge not too long ago. Since then, homeowners are choosing functionality and storage over design. Waterfall countertops can be pricey too. This could be another reason for the change in direction.


Your kitchen island can be as unique as you are. It should also provide as much storage as you need. Functionality is key when it comes to a kitchen island. If you’re considering adding an island, think about storage and seating needs. Some homeowners are combining the two for a stunning, family-oriented island. Pet owners are also turning their kitchen island into their pets’ feeding station. This isn’t a bad idea if you enjoy having your pet around while you cook.

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