DIY Kitchen Island Concepts and Designs

As the popular phrase goes, “island living is good living”, we know that nowhere is that truer than in the kitchen! Your kitchen island makes it easy to keep organized, prep meals, and provide additional seating all at once. However, the cost of a professional custom job or pre-made island can be pretty steep.

If you’re looking to save on your next kitchen renovation but don’t want to compromise on versatility, these DIY kitchen island ideas may be just what you’re looking for!

Sink or No Sink

One of the biggest questions kitchen island DIYers face is whether or not to include a sink. While we can’t answer that for you, we can provide a list of pros and cons to consider when beginning your renovation!


Easier Food Prep – If you’re looking to use your kitchen island for prepping food, a sink will likely improve the functionality of your island during meal times. Because kitchen islands are typically located in the center of the kitchen, you won’t have to transfer ingredients from the sink to your island if it’s all in one place.

Socializing – If your sink is installed on your kitchen island, you’ll be able to prepare food and continue conversation with your friends or family members without having your back turned towards the wall!

Less Opportunities for Island Clutter – While a sink does take up counter space on your kitchen island, that just means there’s less room for clutter. If you or your family is prone to pilling bags, phones, and more in the kitchen, installing a sink is a great way to keep your island clutter-free.


Washing up is Visible – If the dirty dishes are starting to pile up, it’s easy to notice. Having stacks of unwashed plates and bowls on your kitchen island is a quick way to compromise the aesthetic of your whole kitchen.

Limits when Entertaining – A sink in the middle of your kitchen island may limit your ability to eat meals and entertain in the area. While this depends on the size and layout of your kitchen, it is important to consider whether your ability to host guests will be affected by your sink.

Mobile or On Casters

The ability to simply roll away your kitchen island can do so much for your space- especially if you’re dealing with a smaller kitchen. A kitchen island on casters gives you the ability to move the island to compensate or fully clean a space. With lockable casters to keep it in place, a mobile island gives you the chance to customize your space to fit your needs for every meal of the day, every day of the week.

Open-Wire Racks and Drawers

Open-wire racks have made a big impact on kitchen organization and it’s easy to see why! When looking for an easy DIY solution, try using your leftover closet racks as cabinet organizers. Simply trim the racks to length and mount the screws to the backside of a face frame to hold the tacks in place as they rest against the back of the cabinet.

Open-wire racks and drawers allow you to check your inventory at a glance with this customizable pantry storage solution.

Appliance Hideaways

One of the biggest obstacles in the kitchen is preserving precious counter space. However, hiding small appliances in your kitchen island may be the answer you’re looking for.

Space-saving shelving and cabinet options can help clear the clutter that’s overwhelming the rest of your current kitchen set-up.

Top-Load Microwave Drawer

One of our favorite options in terms of appliance hideaways, a top-load microwave drawer may be the answer to one of kitchen remodeling’s most popular questions: where should I put the microwave?

The cabinet you build to house your microwave drawer must be equipped with a dedicated 120-volt, breaker-protect, grounded electric line that includes a 3-prong receptacle. Consider having a professional to do the electrical work and keep in mind that many microwave drawers come preassembled with ventilation systems built in if you’re not looking to completely DIY this project!

Magnet Holder for Keys

Losing your car keys is one of the simplest yet most frustrating parts of a busy day. This simple project only takes a few hours and around $20 to make but will solve the problem of losing your keys for a lifetime.

Purchase your desired wood and magnets from your favorite Home Depot® store. You may get lucky and find a nice piece of wood in their scrap pile!
Measure your desired spacing on the back of the wood to decide where you’d like to place the magnets. Drill holes into the back of the wood where the magnets will be glued in place. Notch out the wood near the top of the wood for a picture hanger clip. Glue the magnets and picture holder clip into place with wood glue. Let dry for at least 2 hours. Stain the key holder with your wood stain of choice by giving it multiple coats and letting it dry in between. Hang onto your kitchen island for convenient access!

Let us know your favorite DIY kitchen island ideas!

Have you built your own butcher block topped island? We want to see it! Upload pictures and tag us or go here: Hardwood Reflections on Facebook


Gel Stains for Butcher Block Customization

With six colors to choose from you can easily customize your Butcher Block Countertop with your favorite stain color. Hardwood Reflections Gel Stains are designed specifically for butcher block or other interior wood products that require a very high-end finish for an area of heavy use.

Build an Acacia LIVE EDGE Butcher Block Kitchen Island

Learn how to add a unique look to your kitchen countertop or island with Hardwood Reflections Acacia LIVE EDGE Butcher Block. Live Edge means the characteristics of the outside of the tree are on the edge of the butcher block and will go in and out up to a half of an inch. In this video, you will learn how to turn our Acacia Island Top Butcher Block into a DIY table by utilizing pre-drilled holes for legs, and finish with mineral oil to make a food safe DIY Table Top. These also work great in the kitchen and can be made into beautiful Food Safe Grade Butcher Block Counter Tops!

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