Kitchen island. A key word which triggers the dreams of comfort, beauty, and shared culinary and social activities. Dreams about a friendly, accessible, and functional space. Kitchen island can perform a lot of functions – from enlarging the working area through storage, cooking, eating meals, arranging parties or running a home office. Today, we will show 7 inspiring ideas on how to use this extremely functional element in the design of separate and open kitchens for the living room.


The kitchen island is usually the centre around which all the key activities related to the preparation of meals are underway. This applies to both islands placed in the kitchen, as well as in the open living room with kitchen.

The island in the kitchen open to the living room invites you to common culinary and social activities. You do not have to part with your family or guests for a minute to prepare and serve small things. The conversation can go smoothly.

The kitchen island is usually a distinctive block that draws attention and gives character to the whole kitchen. It is not indifferent to the arrangement for the living room open to the kitchen – that is why its front must be carefully designed to emphasise the style of the living room.



1. An almost self-sufficient island

If you like minimalism and have a lot of space, you can afford a rather unusual application of the island, which will be the only top in the kitchen. The appropriate size of this piece of furniture will allow you to place a heating plate and sink on it, and the rest of the countertop will provide enough space for preparing meals. The place under the table, of course, remains to be developed – you can easily place a waste sorting system, a dishwasher and cabinets for everything which needs to be at hand.

The rest of the space under the walls can then be a large storage for cooking and serving dishes, as well as a pantry for food supplies. There will also be space for an oven and built-in fridge with a freezer. The simpler the form furniture will have, the lighter the visual effect you will achieve.

If you want to give this kitchen a special expression, think about an effective decorative accent which will not disturb the clean, ascetic character of the interior. Consider ceramic tiles in the same shade as furniture. If you effectively finish them with one kitchen wall and side of the island, the effect will be electrifying.

Unobvious idea for the island – the only top in the kitchen, and the rest is a built-in storage space.

2. Island in the kitchen with dining room

We stay in clear and spacious climates. Consider the kitchen with the island and the dining room, where the fridge, sink, dishwasher, waste cupboard and hanging, glass shelves will be placed against the wall. On the island, on the other hand, you will conveniently place a hob, oven and a mass of roomy drawers. In this way, you will gain an additional storage space. In everyday life you will appreciate the closeness of plates, cutlery, napkins, candles, vases, glasses, and other things which make conversation at the table even more pleasant. You can have it all at your fingertips and at the same time cleverly hidden.

When it comes to the use of colours, textures, and patterns, in such a kitchen with a dining room and an island you have a lot of room for manoeuvre – just remember to make the whole harmonise with each other.

The following arrangement uses neutral, large format porcelain tiles in the shape of squares and rectangles. Light grey ceramics can be a good base for furniture and countertops of various types.

Drawers under the top save space and smart storage.

3. A classic island in an industrial apartment

A classic island with a cooking function will do well not only in traditional kitchens, but also in fashionable, industrial spaces. Let’s have a look at the open kitchen in the loft. In addition to one high cabinet with an oven and coffee maker, all lockers are placed under the countertops – under the wall and under the top of the island. An open wall of open shelves closes the arrangement from the top.

Simple table-console on a metal structure, with a wooden top, directly touches the island. The difference in the height of the kitchen and table top determines the boundary between cooking and eating. Such an interesting solution enables instant serving of food.

The raw wood of furniture fronts fits well with the white brick on the wall and large, raw grey tiles on the floor. The same grey colours also close the sides of the island and high cabinets. The hood above the heating plate in a high industrial interior does not overwhelm the interior. The whole is simple, light and extremely functional.

You can set the dining table just behind the island. You will get the impression of lightness and you will appreciate the convenience of such a solution

4. A narrow island with the function of cooking and … separating

Although the design standards for kitchen islands with the function of cooking or washing say that they should be long enough (at least 200 cm) and wide at around 100 cm, you can try for your own solutions. If we use a two-panel plate mounted along the island, we can radically reduce the width of the island. In the presented kitchen combined with the dining room and the living room, this narrow island gently establishes the functional division of space.

This solution is ideal for soft loft arrangements. The whole interior has a spacious, open character, and at the same time all its functions are precisely defined.

The narrow kitchen island will subtly mark the functional division of the interior and give it lightness.


5. A wood island with the function of a sink

Washing up on the island is a good idea. It is the island which usually gets dirty plates from the dining room. You can easily rinse them and place them in a dishwasher under an island top (or wash it immediately). In the sink on the island you will also quickly clean up fruits, vegetables and other victuals, not only for a salad. The worktop will allow efficient preparation of all preparatory operations and effective serving of dishes.

Wooden countertops bring warmth and cosiness into the interior. It is worth combining them with wooden window frames, shelves, block for knives and light, non-intrusive white tiles and furniture fronts – this way we will gain invaluable stylistic cohesion. Part of the island’s top, the one without the cabinets underneath, ideally suited as a breakfast table and instant snacks during the day. It can also act as a home mini-office.

The wooden top of the island perfectly harmonises with the whole interior of the bright kitchen.


The island countertop is a piece of furniture which combines the space of the kitchen and the living room like any other, yet at the same time neatly exudes both functions. Unambiguously separates the working kitchen part, without tightening the entire interior.

For sure, the kitchen island is best presented and functions in a large space – however, while maintaining the right proportions and switching off the heating plate and sink, you can also make an attempt to apply it in rooms with slightly more modest dimensions. The island should be entrusted with additional functions. Apart from being the traditional work table, it can be also a dining table, a bar, and a desk – adapting to the current needs of residents and guests.

6. Island countertop as a link between the kitchen and the living room

Nothing prevents even a sofa or couch to adjoin the kitchen island. This is quite an eccentric solution, which, however, may have its supporters in smaller apartments. The island countertop can be used as a table in such interiors. If you lean towards such a solution, make sure that the island’s shape and its colour do not overwhelm the room. The pure white of the island and the furniture fronts and the bright walls with a clear and light geometric motive at the same time can do wonders. Like the sparingly used dark accents of the decor. Such arrangement arrangements effectively create the illusion of enlarging space.

Deprived of other functions, the island countertop equally belongs to the kitchen and living room, on a regular basis acting as a function dependent.

7. Island countertop – three in one

As in the above-discussed example, also here the wooden kitchen counter has several functions at the same time. When it is cooking time – it is an ordinary, handy worktop. When it is time to sit down to a meal – it becomes a comfortable table. And when there is a need to make a lesson, read a newspaper or reply to emails – imperceptibly transforms into a comfortable desk, equipped with shelves. One piece of furniture, and how many possibilities!

Of course, it is important that the appearance of such an island coherently connects with the decor of the whole space. Ceramic parquet on the floor and one of the walls will perfectly match the raw wood of the island countertop without arguing with tiles in the form of grey bricks between the kitchen cabinets.

Kolekcja Aveiro, Ceramika Paradyż.
The multifunctionality of the island table top is invaluable in small apartments. The wooden table top and ceramic boards on the floor underline the aesthetic consistency of the decor.


  1. Kitchen island is a very plastic element of the kitchen decor, both separate and open to the living room.
  2. Depending on the place we have and our needs, the island can perform functions such as storing, cooking, washing up, a worktop, a dining table, and a desk.
  3. The island in the kitchen open to the living room neatly combines the entire space, while emphasising the functional division.
  4. The kitchen island is a very expressive element of the interior design, therefore its shape and colours must be thoroughly thought out.
  5. The design must be consistent.

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Katarzyna Ciesielska-Szymczak
Marketingowiec i PR-owiec, z pasji i z wykształcenia. Miłośniczka treści – tych słownych, ale również wizualnych. Wiedza produktowa pomaga jej w codziennej współpracy z architektami i pisaniu świetnych artykułów.