Furniture on wheels introduces a very practical characteristic on elements such as the portable kitchen island which becomes much easier to relocate according to the user’s immediate needs.
This freedom and versatility is very important in the kitchen. Such designs allow you to simply move the island wherever you need it. Of course, you can also find a permanent spot for it the rest of the time.
Should You Get A Portable Kitchen Island Or Not?
First things first. Before you start looking at design and price options for portable kitchen islands take some time to decide whether or not you should actually add an island to your kitchen. Sure, kitchens with islands are very popular right now but that doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. Here’s a few things to consider:
Space – this can be a real deal-breaker for small kitchens. As a general idea, you should be able to leave at least 42’’ of space on each side of the island. This way you can comfortably use it as a work area and walk around it with ease.
Cost – nothing is cost-free. With that in mind, if you want to put an island in your kitchen make sure you can afford it. Account for any appliances and fixture that you want to include in your kitchen island as well as the cabinetry and the counter in case you’re opting for a custom island.
The added benefits – A kitchen island offers a lot of advantages. It gives you more counter space for prepping and cooking, more storage for all kitchen-related items and you can also have built-in appliances in it.
You can also use the kitchen island as a bar or as an eating area. At the same time, the island can act as a divider between an open concept kitchen and a dining room or a living area.
The tricky parts – like with everything else, kitchen island have both advantages and disadvantages. In this case the pros tend to outweigh the cons but there’s still a few tricky things to keep in mind.
For example, an island might disrupt the flow in your kitchen making it more difficult and time consuming to move between your sink, oven and fridge or to access storage. There’s also the added cost to consider and the fact that most kitchen islands are rectangular which doesn’t work for everyone.
Kitchen island alternatives – if a regular kitchen island doesn’t suit your style or doesn’t fit in your kitchen, there’s a few alternatives that you can opt for instead.
One of them is just a plain old table, something that you can use as an island but also as a regular dining table at the same time.
Another alternative is a cart on wheels which would be smaller than an island as well as portable. There’s always the option to have a portable kitchen island on wheels if you want portability and size isn’t an issue.
Something to consider is also that you could repurpose a different piece of furniture and use it as a kitchen island. A cabinet could work really well if you put a countertop of it.
Do kitchen islands add value to our homes?
Another question you might be asking yourself at this point is “are kitchen islands worth it?”. The short answer is “yes”. A kitchen island can add value to a home but in order for this to be true it has to be done right. So what does “right” mean in this context?
In order for the island to add real value to a home it should meet your personal needs as well as anticipate those or potential future buyers. Getting it right is a matter of finding the right balance between these two things. Here’s a few tips that can help:
- Pick a type – Not all kitchen islands are the same. In fact, some are not really islands at all. Here’s a few major types that you can choose from:
- Tabletop islands – these don’t contain a sink and that means an uninterrupted tabletop that you can work on.
- Full-service islands – islands with include various fixtures and appliances like an oven, a sink, a dishwasher, a cooktop and so on.
- Double tier islands – they have two surfaces, one of which is elevated and can be used as a bar or as a surface to eat on while the other one can be used as a regular prepping space. The opposite of this are single tier islands which only have one surface.
- Islands on wheels and carts – if you want some flexibility consider either a portable kitchen island on wheels or a rolling cart. Carts are smaller than kitchen islands and can be easily moved when not in use or for easy cleaning.
- Settle on a shape and a style -Different styles of islands satisfy different needs and each has its own way of adding value to the space around it. One of common ways to differentiate between styles is through shape.
- L-shaped – these islands take up quite a bit of space but that means lots of extra storage and more room for appliances and accessories.
- U-shaped – similarly, although they have a large footprint, U-shaped islands provide lots of space for appliances, storage, seating and everything else.
- Galley-style – these islands are very versatile and can suit a variety different types of kitchens. They’re a good mix of functionality and style and they’re also space-conscious which is always important.
- Circular – they’re not as common as other styles but circular islands have a unique charm. They also always stand out and they really make a statement.
- Rolling islands – a great option if you want flexibility in your design. These islands are practical, versatile and they’re easy to roll away or push against a wall when they’re not needed.
What’s the average size of a kitchen island?
The size of a kitchen island is very important not just because it has to actually fit in the kitchen but because it influences the overall look and feel of the space surrounding it as well. So how big is an average-sized kitchen island anyway?
An average-sized island measures somewhere around 80’’ x 40’’ but don’t forget to add to that at least 40’’ of clearance space on all sides.
The average height of a kitchen island is 36’’ but 42’’ high islands are quite common as well. These are often used as a breakfast bars and paired with bar stools.
The size of the island should match the proportions of the kitchen as a whole. If you have a small kitchen, a large island would most likely look overwhelming and out of place in there. Similarly, a small island in a big kitchen is insufficient.
Also keep in mind that if you want your kitchen island to have an overhanging countertop that adds up as well. If you’re planning on including an overhang in order to also use the island as a dining table or a bar, the minimum size for it is 8’’ and it shouldn’t be bigger than 12’’.
If the island also functions as a bar or table, you should also account for the seating space required for each person. You should allow around 24’’ of space per person so everyone can sit comfortably.
Portable kitchen island Ideas for those who wants a clean floor
Portable island in an open concept kitchen
Portable kitchen islands are very practical when you have an open plan design. This way you can use them for a variety of purposes.
Kitchen island on wheels with open storage
A spacious kitchen can also greatly benefit from such a piece of furniture. This way you can always have a prep or counter space exactly where you need it.
A tiny island that you can use as a cart
Small kitchen islands like this one are easier to relocate and move around. They can also serve multiple purposes. For example, this one could be a very nice side table or serving cart.
Portable island on wheels with bar stools
If your kitchen island has a design that allows it to also be used as a table then putting wheels on it is that much more practical. You can easily move it around and sue as a dining table whenever you have guests coming over.
Why stop at just one kitchen island?
Small kitchen islands give you the possibility of having more than one. In other words, instead of having one big island you can have two or three smaller ones and also use them individually whenever needed.
Versatility in an open concept kitchen and living area
Mobile or portable kitchen islands are very great to have in homes with an open floor plan where the kitchen shares the same zone with the living space and maybe even some other areas. This means that the kitchen island can become part of any of the other spaces’ design as well.
Portable island on wheels used as a small bar
You can also use the kitchen island as a bar or an extension to the dining table. A kitchen island on wheels increases the versatility of the piece and gives you more freedom when using it.
Island on wheels with a lightweight and versatile design
This island has a very intriguing design. It has a sleek metal frame with tall and thin legs with wheels and this simple design makes it lightweight and easy to relocate. Take out in the living room, in the dining room and even on the terrace.
Portable island for added everyday flexibility
The wheels on a kitchen island don’t necessarily mean that you have to also use it in other rooms as well. They’re just as useful for moving the island around just a few inches, to make it easier for you when prepping or cooking.
Corner kitchen with a portable island on wheels
When you have a small kitchen like this one placed in the corner of the living room, a portable kitchen island can be of great use. Take wherever you need it or push it away if you want to move more freely in the kitchen. Also, it can allow you to extend the kitchen into the living room.
Easy reconfiguration with a portable kitchen island
The most wonderful thing about mobile kitchen islands on wheels is that they allow to easily reconfigure the space. Your kitchen can get a whole new look in just seconds. Here, for example, the island were intentionally moved closer to the stove for the picture.
Kitchen islands on wheels make cleaning a lot easier
There’s also another practical detail about kitchen islands on wheels. Although it’s a small thing, it can prove to be very useful: cleaning becomes easier when you can move the furniture around.
Two-in-one portable island and serving bar
This kitchen island has just the right dimensions to allow it to also be used as a serving cart. It has wheels so it would be perfect for the job.The shelf underneath is also a very nice feature.
Small kitchen cabinet as a portable island
Not all kitchen islands are long and big. Some can be quite small. Take this one for example. It just like a cabinet with a counter top so it can be a nice prep space, a serving cart or a good place to keep tableware in and take it with you in the dining room.
Multi-functional island on wheels in a large kitchen
In the case of a kitchen as big and spacious as this one, it’s easy to figure out how a portable kitchen island would be useful.
Kitchen island with versatile storage
Kitchen islands are always multipurpose pieces of furniture. They’re good prep spaces but they’re also used for storage. Some have compact designs with built-in drawers and compartments while others are simpler, like this one.
A large kitchen island with a portable extension
Some kitchen islands can have very elaborate designs. This one is not only very big but it also has a multitude of different storage spaces, including drawers and shelves. It can very well serve as a dining table or as a work space.
Portable kitchen island as a bar breakfast table
You don’t need a breakfast table or any other kind of table in the kitchen if you have a kitchen island with a versatile design and wheels. Just move it where you need it. It’s a good idea if you want to save space.
A fixed kitchen island and a portable one on wheels
If you have the space then you can have not one but two kitchen islands. In this case, one appears to be fixated in place while the other is on wheels and can either becomes an extension of the first one or be used independently.
Small mobile extension for your regular kitchen island
Similarly, this kitchen also has an island but it also has a mobile extension. This one can serve a number of different purposes. It can be a smaller island, an extension of the bigger piece or it can be used as a separate table.
Industrial-style portable island made of metal
In general, kitchen islands are made of wood but other materials can also be used. This one, for example, has a metal construction. It’s a nice addition to the contemporary kitchen where it adds an industrial touch to the décor.
A simple portable island with a sculptural twist
Just like in the case of any type of table, the kitchen island can feature unusually-shaped legs or framework that makes it stand out. The counter top is usually very simple in order to be functional.
Rustic kitchen island built on wheels
This eclectic kitchen combines several different styles. The chairs are definitely very interesting but so is the kitchen island. It has a very nice rustic look and it makes this part of the kitchen contrast with the rest, which is a little more modern.
Expandable portable island on wheels
This is a very interesting kitchen island. It sits on wheels and it appears to be able to expand and become bigger somehow. It’s a custom-made piece, very practical in small kitchens in particular.
Small drop-leaf island on wheels
This island can also expand but in a very different way. It has a traditional design and it’s made of wood. This is a drop-leaf kitchen island which can also be used as a dining table and it can become bigger if needed.