22 Kitchen Island Storage Ideas

modern white kitchen with blue island
Photo: Stacey Brandford

Carve out space for utensils, baking essentials, pots and pans, cookbooks, appliances, and so much more with our collection of kitchen island storage ideas. With solutions for cabinets, drawers, and other storage add-ons, these ideas will help you to organize home's hub so nothing gets lost or in the way.

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Kitchen Island Design Ideas

white kitchen island lighting plates
Jean Allsopp

A kitchen island contributes a lot: it anchors the space, serves as an extra work surface and eating area, and can be packed with storage. To maximize your kitchen island, consider what it needs to do. Look at what you would want to store in the island, and whether you need to make room for other functions, such as a sink or a breakfast bar. If you want your island to be storage central as well as an eating zone, be sure to leave enough of a counter overhang so that stools can easily tuck under when not in use. The shelves on this island don't extend all the way to the edge of the countertop, leaving plenty of space for the stools. Open shelves underneath make it easy to grab serving pieces for casual meals.

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Open Kitchen Island Storage

red kitchen island white cabinets
Werner Straube

Create a lighter look with an open island. Drawers are ideal for storing utensils, while open shelves can be used for dishes, produce, or cooking supplies. Wire baskets hold similar items, while keeping the look bright and airy.

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Incorporate Appliances

white kitchen island
Edmund Barr

Save counter space with a built-in microwave or dishwasher within the island. Keep in mind that it will need to be outfitted with the proper electrical components. Also, consider how the doors will open; make sure the appliances are in a place where the doors won't collide with anything.

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Kitchen Island Drawers

drawer storage for plates
Kritsada Panichgul

Think beyond cabinets for kitchen island storage. Deep, wide drawers work well for storing dishes, linens, and pots and pans. If you plan to store heavy items, make sure the drawers and the hardware are designed to bear the weight.

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Shallow Open Shelves

kitchen island open shelving dishware storage
Nathan Schroder

If you have a large island, limiting the depths of shelves and cabinets will make it easier to access items. For example, if your island is 3 feet wide, building the shelves so they are only 12-15 inches deep will mean easier access to items like serving bowls and cake stands. Always consider what you want to store in your island when laying out a plan. Small appliances and large pots might require extended depths and greater shelf clearances.

06 of 22

Kitchen Island Display Shelves

Kitchen with black island and stools
Kritsada Panichgul

Use your kitchen island for the best of both storage and display. Utilize open storage for pretty items, like heirloom serving pieces, colorful cookbooks, or interesting baking tins. Pair that with closed storage, such as drawers, for more utilitarian items, like flatware.

07 of 22

Incorporate a Rolling Cart

yellow kitchen island
Ed Gohlich

Extend your workspace and storage by tucking a roll-out cart beneath the kitchen island, where it's out of sight, yet easily accessible. Match the surface to your island countertop material or consider butcher block or stainless steel for a practical food prep surface. On this kitchen island, extra-deep drawers below the cart accommodate dry goods, cookware, and other baking essentials.

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Kitchen Island Storage Additions

Kitchen with white décor and island
Adam Albright

Even prefab kitchen islands can be upgraded with storage solutions. Look for add-ons like wine racks, baskets, and trays to organize drawers and cabinets. Hooks are an inexpensive DIY solution for hanging baking supplies, pots, or pans.

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Kitchen Island Spice Rack

black kitchen island cabinets range stove sink
Edward Gohlich

Utilize pullout shelves and cabinets to increase visibility in kitchen island cabinets. Pullouts work well for storing smaller items, such as jars of spices or bottles of vinegar and oils, so they're less likely to get lost in the recesses of a cavernous cabinet.

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Kitchen Island Baking Storage

modern white kitchen with blue island
Stacey Brandford

If you like to use your kitchen island for mixing cookie dough and cake batter, keep cumbersome baking pans and cookie sheets where you need them, in vertical storage space below the island top (and behind closed doors). Utilize an adjustable wire pantry rack to keep sheet trays upright and handy. If your island is in a fixed position (rather than on wheels), include electrical outlets behind tilt-down drawer fronts. They're perfect for plugging in a mixer.

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Hidden Kitchen Island Storage

kitchen island kids magnetic
Jean Allsopp

Create seamless storage with door fronts that look like decorative panels. A push latch opens these panels to reveal a magnet board on one side and an icemaker on the other. The cabinets behind the magnet board left only a sliver of space on the end of the island, but it was just enough room to include the play station, which keeps kids occupied while Mom and Dad cook. The panel on the left conceals a deeper nook that houses an icemaker.

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Kitchen Island Wine Storage

medium blue island in white kitchen
Brie Williams

Organize your wine collection with storage designed for bottles. An expanse of cubbies, sized right for wine bottles, tucks into this kitchen island for storage that's easy to access. Open shelves provide a home for frequently used cookbooks and a basket for small-appliance product manuals.

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Functional Kitchen Island Design

kitchen island storage green wood chair
Paul Dyer

A cabinet that's positioned deeper into a kitchen island prevents doors from impeding the traffic flow. Utilize deep cabinets for infrequently used dishes, kitchen gadgets, and items reserved for entertaining.

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Custom Plate Racks

island storage pottery display racks
Laura Moss

Turn the front of your kitchen island into a focal point with a custom plate rack. Beadboard painted a contrasting color provides an eye-catching backdrop, while wood dowels keep serving dishes in place. When planning island storage, always measure your items to make sure you have clearance.

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Kitchen Island Storage for Produce

kitchen island vegetable storage wood
John Reed Forsman

Onions, potatoes, and squash do best when stored in a cool, dry place. Give them what they need by storing them out of the way in a pullout wire basket beneath standard drawers.

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Kitchen Island Cabinetry

wood Kitchen Island bar stools basket light
Richard Leo Johnson

Each side of this island is packed with storage, even under the dining counter. The side where the barstools are stationed houses roomy cabinets. While accessing this storage requires moving the stools, the spot is ideal for stashing infrequently used items, such as roasting pans, large serving platters, and small appliances, leaving space in easier-to-access cabinets for everyday items.

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Small Kitchen Island Ideas

white kitchen butcher board island counter
Edward Gohlich

An island can work in a smaller kitchen if it's scaled to suit the size of the room. Although it's only 2 feet wide (to allow plenty of clearance on all sides), this island offers a prep sink, a chef-friendly butcher-block top, and storage below and on the ends. Classic columns on the corners of the island emphasize its furniture-style design.

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Overhead Organization

green kitchen island fruit tray hood vent
Edmund Barr

Take island storage to new heights by including storage above the counter. In this kitchen, wood columns extending from the countertop add architectural interest, while creating storage for wine glasses. Overhead storage is ideal for daily items like spices or coffee mugs.

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Hidden Appliances

blue kitchen island dark wood
Werner Straube

This 10x6-foot kitchen island anchors the space, providing a sink and room for food prep and serving. A microwave, warming drawer, built-in trash receptacles, and cookware storage reside below. Shelving on one end provides convenient space to display and store dishes.

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Kitchen Island Banquette

three-in-one kitchen island glass cabinet
Philip Harvey

This three-in-one island combines a prep station with a banquette for seating and a glass-front display cabinet. The working side of the island forms a prep station opposite the sink. On the other side, the raised banquette takes full advantage of the woodsy view and provides ample seating. Meanwhile, the back of the bench houses a glass-door cabinet facing the dining room. A drawer under the bench furthers the island's storage capacity.

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Integrated Column Storage

white kitchen column book storage
Edward Gohlich

Column-style corners on this kitchen island are more than just decorative. Opening the recessed panel with a push latch reveals hidden cookbook storage. Consider concealed storage for pet food and bowls that you can easily access for mealtime.

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Pullout Storage

kitchen island pullout shelves pots
Kim Cornelison

Keep frequently used pots and pans on hand with pullout shelves. In this kitchen island, stainless-steel shelving offers a modern look, as well as a sturdy material for bearing the weight of heavy cast-iron cookware. The durable material makes it easy to wipe away cooking spills and splatters.

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