You may think that your dream of incorporating an island into a small kitchen design is impractical but fear not, as everything is possible.

While islands are perfect as room dividers in large open-plan designs, they can also be an ideal addition to compact kitchens.

It is always worth chatting with your kitchen designer at the outset to share your desire for an island so they can look at creative ways to make it work.

Including an island in a small kitchen does not just involve compromise. Indeed a well-chosen one can provide an ideal solution for storage and dining issues.

This guide will explore ideas for including an island in a small kitchen.

Why should you consider an island in a small kitchen?

Almost everyone yearns for a luxury kitchen like those seen on Instagram posts. But what if your kitchen is more compact than airy? Ideal Home Magazine suggests that even the most bijou kitchen can be improved with an island.

You just need a clearance of at least one metre around an island to provide enough room for moving about.

An island can make your kitchen look more contemporary and provide a practical working area for food preparation and cooking and a hub for socialising. You may even be able to create a space to eat where a dining area is lacking.

Ideas for an Island In a Small Kitchen

Include a sink

Putting your sink on an island rather than a traditional run of cabinets means creating a food preparation area with a walkway. It can make access through a small kitchen much more manageable.

Long and narrow

If you have a galley kitchen, opt for a slimline island that will provide extra workspace but free up the wall from cabinets to create more room.

Match your cabinets

Small kitchens can look bigger if the décor is less busy so go for matching woodwork on an island to create a visually blended look and create the illusion of space.

Create a dining space

A breakfast bar makes a space-saving alternative if you don’t have room for a dining table. Choose a narrow island with a generous overhang for stools to sit underneath. You can always place the overhang on the narrow end for a couple of seats where space is tight.


In a tiny kitchen, you can go for an island to optimise storage with cupboards and drawers but no overhanging worktop. This will maximise the space around the island and improve the flow of the kitchen.

Open shelves

Incorporating shelving rather than cupboards can give your kitchen a more open feel and create a sense of more space. Keep your things looking tidy by choosing contrasting baskets to complete the look.

Include the hob

Channel James Martin and place your hob on an island so you can entertain your guests and cook up a storm in the heart of your small kitchen. Some excellent extractor fan solutions for hobs either suspend from the ceiling as a feature or pop up from below the worktop.

Types of Island for Small Kitchens


While most islands are rectangular, you can think outside the box to choose an island shape that will work in a small kitchen.

Often a small square will fit better in a small kitchen, especially if you include an appliance in the centre, such as a hob.

A slimline rectangle may fit better into a narrow kitchen or one with an L-shaped layout.


For the best circulation around an island, you require a minimum of 1200mm of space all around. It is important not to impede the flow of a kitchen by leaving too small a gap.

You should also ensure you have enough space left to open doors on fridges, cupboards, dishwashers and ovens.

Magnet kitchens recommend that the smallest island be 1000mm x 1000mm.

Rules govern the size of an island that houses a hob. For a gas hob, there must be a minimum of 300mm from the hob to the end of the island; for an induction hob, there must be 150mm.


Traditionally an island is a worktop placed on top of a standalone cabinet that matches the rest of the kitchen.

Many people choose contrasting colours for an island or a different worktop to make it more of a feature.

While you can have laminate worktops, choosing quartz or granite often looks more luxurious. The smaller number of worktops in a small kitchen might mean that a high-end worktop is more affordable.

Quartz and granite work well where you want an under-mount sink on your island to create a sleek finish.

If you want to splash out, you can choose a waterfall island design where the worktop is carried over the sides to the floor. This creates an elegant contemporary finish.

If you want to know more about the worktops we have for your kitchen or island, get in touch with us at Mr Worktop Fitter today for a quote.


What we can do for you:

  • Draining grooves
  • Undermounted sinks

  • Radius corners
  • Any shape

Not everyone can deliver the list above, we’re the experts and specialists in fitting kitchen worktops so call us today for any enquiries.

+44 7967 488019