Kitchen Island Cabinets

Try these configurations and storage options for your kitchen island cabinets.


Kitchen island cabinets can do a whole lot of work for you. In fact, they can do everything from storing ingredients to stashing baking sheets and even offer a spot for family meals. Here are 22 kitchen island cabinet configurations and storage suggestions.

Kitchen Island Cabinet Configurations

  • Storage/appliances on all four sides. For kitchen islands that are very deep, there might be enough room to have regular-size cabinets on opposite sides, with open shelves at either end. This option works particularly well if the island faces a living or dining area; the cabinets on the living side can be perfect storage spots for linens, special serving pieces, or arts and crafts supplies.
  • Storage/appliances on one side. Kitchen islands that are narrower might be better suited to storage on just one side (typically facing the rest of the kitchen work area). In this option, a hanging countertop on the opposite side can provide extra elbow room for seating.
  • Separate areas for storage and seating. For a roomy kitchen or a family-oriented kitchen, an island with one end designated as working and the other as seating might be a good option. As long as it doesn't interfere with traffic patterns, chairs can be included on three sides of the seating end of the island.

Kitchen Island Cabinet Storage

Kitchen island cabinets can be created from a diverse selection of drawers and cupboards; based on what you're planning on using your island for, those cabinets can be either standard or custom. Shelving can be open or closed; doors offer a way to hide contents, while glass-front doors or open shelves are attractive ways to display cookbooks or treasured serving items. Keep in mind the countertop, too: An overhang with seating encourages hanging out, which might mean one side of the island is less hardworking than another. Here are 19 creative island storage ideas to try:

  • A narrow shelf (either horizontal or vertical) for serving trays or cookie sheets.
  • Open cubbies in place of cabinets to hold cookbooks or pretty dishware.
  • Refrigerator drawers for kids' snacks.
  • Kitchen island cabinet cubbies for wine bottles and shelves for wine glasses.
  • An open shelf for baking supplies, including a mixer, mixing bowls, and utensils (and don't forget an outlet, too).
  • A roll-out cart to boost work surface area.  
  • A roll-out recycling bin.
  • Shallow kitchen island cabinet drawers for jars of spices (label the lids for upright jars or the sides for flat or tilted jars).
  • A tilt-out bin under a prep sink to hold sponges and soaps.
  • Pullout bins with pet food, or pet bowls inserted in a narrow, floor-height drawer.
  • Pullout laptop shelves and outlets.
  • Appliances including microwave, icemaker, and warming drawer (include outlets and door opening in your kitchen island configuration planning).
  • Drawers, hooks, and bars for specialized accessory storage, including knives and towels.
  • Bulletin and magnet boards on the inside of kitchen island cabinet doors (even in spaces that are extremely narrow).
  • Standard shelves or pullout shelves, especially for frequently used pots and pans.
  • Slim drawers for linens.
  • Kitchen island cabinets with a slot for a cutting board.
  • A hanging organizer in an open space for rolling pins and paper towels.
  • Wire baskets for pantry staples such as onions and potatoes.


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