hardwood kitchen cart with drop-leaf table
credit: Amazon

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes. And while some of us have built-in kitchen islands to utilize, others have to be creative about scoring extra surface space. Luckily, we did a little digging and uncovered a slew of inexpensive ways to maximize your kitchen island—whether you actually have one or not. From multifunctional prep tables to pendant lighting and more, here are 10 affordable kitchen island ideas for under $200.

1. Employ a linear pendant light.

glass pendant kitchen island lighting
credit: Wayfair

Nothing upgrades a kitchen island faster than an eye-catching pendant light. A sculptural light fixture with clear glass shades brings a dash of drama to a kitchen island while supplying overhead lighting.

2. Buy a prep table with storage shelving.

prep table kitchen island ideas
credit: Walmart

If you don't actually have a kitchen island, don't worry. A freestanding prep table with built-in storage shelving moonlights as a makeshift kitchen island in any size of kitchen.

3. Find a rolling kitchen island that pulls double duty.

kitchen storage cart with hardwood top
credit: Wayfair

It's a rolling cart! It's a wine rack! It's a kitchen island! A rolling cart with a hardwood surface provides extra storage opportunity and countertop space in lieu of a kitchen island.

4. Try a drop-leaf cart.

hardwood kitchen cart with drop-leaf table
credit: Amazon

If you aren't working with a ton of square footage in your kitchen, then we have the solution for you. A compact kitchen cart with a drop-leaf tabletop doubles as a kitchen island in even the most cramped of spaces.

5. Put a rack on it.

kitchen island storage rack
credit: IKEA

Searching for an affordable way to create more kitchen storage? A kitchen island rack with a built-in shelf and hanging hooks allows you to store pots, pans, oversized mixing bowls, and more without wasting any valuable cabinet space.

Get the look: VADHOLMA, $99

6. Show off a statement light fixture.

farmhouse kitchen island pendant lighting ideas
credit: Joss & Main

A stylish statement light can go a long way above a kitchen island. Convert a small kitchen island into a chic dining area with nothing more than a sleek metal pendant light.

7. Find a petite prep table with seating.

modular kitchen island table with stools
credit: Staples

No kitchen island or dining room at home? No problem. A compact table with built-in stools transforms from kitchen island to dining room set to prep table in a matter of minutes.

8. Get your hands on a portable kitchen island with lots of storage.

rolling kitchen island server with hardwood top
credit: Overstock

If you like to entertain but don't have a lot of kitchen or dining room space, consider a multifunctional rolling cart. Along with offering up extra storage and food prep space, it can move around from room to room with ease.

9. Consider a pub table that moonlights as a prep surface.

small kitchen island ideas
credit: Amazon

When all else fails, you can always count on a petite table set to pull kitchen island duty at home. A swanky pub table set with a faux marble top and stools transitions from a food prep zone to a bonafide breakfast bar in no time.

10. Pull up a bar stool (or two).

affordable kitchen island bar stool ideas
credit: IKEA

A petite bar stool can be a game changer in your kitchen. Pull up a pair of counter-height stools to turn your kitchen island into a proper breakfast bar for cheap.

Get the look: NORDVIKEN, $55


Caroline Biggs

Caroline Biggs

Caroline Biggs is a writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Apartment Therapy, Refinery 29, and more.