Whether you already have a dream culinary station or you're dealing with a rental kitchenette, storage is always a major factor. From pots and pans to cookbooks, savory spices, and your extensive wine collection, there are a lot of essentials that need to fit into a kitchen, especially if you love to cook. While there are many solutions to your storage conundrum, one of the most commonly forgotten is the kitchen island.
Sure, it's your midnight hangout for late-night snacks and scrolling through your Insta feed. But it can also be a bonus kitchen storage destination. Whether you're building an island from scratch or looking for ways to hack your current hub, there are lots of clever ideas — incorporating shelving, cubbies, drawers, cabinets, and more. An island is also an ideal location to stash a microwave, waste bin, wine fridge, and even Fido's food and water bowls.
So if you're searching for kitchen island storage ideas, you've come to the right place. Scroll on for seven unique designs that are begging to be considered, then shop baskets, bins, and other organization accessories from some of our fave brands.
1. Get clever with cubbies.
For a built-in option, look no further than a cubby (or two, or three). Kitchen island storage doesn't need to be fussy — a few simple cubes could be just what the doctor ordered. In this blue and white cook space crafted by the team at Kate Marker Interiors, the kitchen island features a marble waterfall countertop that frames blue cabinetry complete with drawers and a small cubby to hold books and other small objects.
2. Cabinets, cabinets, and more cabinets.
Your kitchen island can be a wonderland of storage if you outfit it with tons of cabinets. Follow the lead of Amber Lewis from Amber Interiors and place them all the way around as seen in this airy cook space. Paint them a dreamy shade of gray and top with a white countertop to complete the look.
3. Create nooks and crannies for your kitchen essentials.
If you frequently work in your cook space, it makes sense to keep your go-to essentials within reach. You can do just that with your kitchen island storage by adding an open shelf or two for easy access. In this farmhouse kitchen belonging to Rachel of Shades of Blue Interiors, mixing bowls, cutting boards, and ingredients can be grabbed at a moment's notice.
4. Use every square inch.
When you're working in a small kitchen, storage becomes oh-so-very-important, meaning it's key to make the most of every bit of real estate. This means installing small cubbies, shelves, cabinets, and drawers, too, in your island. Which is exactly what the team over at Laura Burton Interiors did in this open concept design that's practical as well as visually interesting.
5. Make room for wine storage.
Your beloved vino collection shouldn't be hidden away in a dark cabinet or pantry. Instead, display it proudly in the kitchen island or bar. Follow the lead of this beach house designed by Charlie and Melissa of Wickenden Hutley, where wine bottles stand at the ready, complemented by a bonus shelf that sits overhead.
6. Install a bookshelf.
Despite having high-speed digital devices, any chef worth their salt wouldn't dare part with their favorite cookbooks. In this cook space created by Sustainable Kitchens, a bookshelf sits recessed in the kitchen island, showcasing a large collection of culinary tomes.
7. Utilize the entire length of the island.
An extra-long kitchen island can provide even more storage if you take a creative stance. In this cook space by R. Cartwright Design, a lengthy cubby is a sleek way to stash and beautifully display those ceramic plates and bowls. It fits snugly among the cabinets, maximizing the unusual, yet available space.
Where to Shop for Kitchen Island Storage:
We've given you plenty of ideas for creating additional storage in your kitchen. Now it's time to equip those shelves and cubbies with some organizing must-haves.
This is, of course, the holy grail when it comes to organization remedies. For your kitchen island storage, look to clear bins, organizers, and baskets and watch your cache of clutter disappear.
For classic kitchen island storage solutions, Pottery Barn is always a home run. Check out the crocks, canisters, and caddies for a chic farmhouse vibe.
Few retailers do baskets better than World Market. They have a multitude of options that will fit in nearly any kitchen island nook or cranny.