How to Buy a Kitchen Island with Shelves

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How to Buy a Kitchen Island with Shelves

Shelving in a kitchen island adds storage to the room in a potentially cost-effective way. It also adds work surfaces while preparing dinner or baked goods, and it adds an alternative space for either a kitchen sink or a breakfast nook. Although most people associate kitchen islands which have shelving with designer built-in kitchens, these handy islands are also free standing or mobile, and they are available in a range of designs and materials to suit nearly all buyers and kitchens.

Prior to buying a kitchen island a number of considerations should be taken into account. The purpose of the island affects its design, as does the amount of space available for installation. Choosing a kitchen island which has shelving space with the right features and level of mobility, and carefully selecting the best materials and style elevates the look and feel of the room. The kitchen island chosen should complement the area in which it is to be used while being as functional as possible. Kitchen islands with shelves are available from kitchen and interior design shops, kitchen installers, and online from sites such as eBay.

The Purpose of a Kitchen Island with Shelves

A kitchen island fulfils several roles by offering additional worktop space, extra shelving, cabinets or drawers, a convenient place to store pots and utensils, and it is sometimes is used as a bar or breakfast table. An advanced island features an integrate sink, stovetop, wine refrigerator, or even a fryolator. Identify the kitchen island's main purpose and make a list of extra features that would be nice to have, but may not be essential.

Remember to factor installation expenses within the final price for a built-in kitchen island. If the unit has features which require the homeowner to plumb for water or reroute gas, costs increase since a professional needs to perform the installation.. A mobile or free-standing unit sometimes requires assembly, but incurs no installation cost. A larger unit with intricate instructions should be assembled by a professional to be sure it is put together properly.

Size and Space for a Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands are not only for large kitchens with open plans. They come in all shapes and sizes, and smaller shelved kitchen island units are used to add any needed space to small kitchens. It is important to remember that cabinets and drawers need space to open. If there are additional cabinets or drawers throughout room, take into account the amount of space required to open those drawers.

Shapes of kitchen islands include long, narrow designs or curves and rounded corners. Alternatively, small square butcher's block units with shelving below the cutting board are also handy. If space is at a premium, consider buying a trolley-style kitchen island on wheels which can be moved around the kitchen. Also, choose a worktop which is low enough to allow the unit to be stored under an existing work surface and wheeled out to extend the workspace available, if it is not to be used often.

The kitchen island should be positioned in such a way that the work triangle, or the area between the cooker, sink, and refrigerator, is kept clear so as not to interfere with the access to appliances. Choosing a well-lit area or a space where additional lighting can be installed is practical for cooking, preparing, and eating purposes. Remember to keep the island near a power outlet if a hand mixer or other small appliance are needed. A kitchen island is the perfect place to store small appliances and the ability to simply place an appliance on the worktop, plug it in, and use it, makes the unit convenient.

In addition, consider the height of the worktop required. A kitchen island that is lower than standard worktops doubles as a table. Alternatively, an island with a worktop height identical to surrounding worktops allows people to work while standing. A higher kitchen island is sometimes used for bar-style seating and it acts as a room divider in an open-plan home. Keep in mind, however, that if the shelving portion of the kitchen island wraps around the whole unit, there may not be much room to store benches or stools. Also, those who sit around the island may have to sit kitty-corner.

Once the desired dimensions and perfect space for the kitchen island are established, take rough measurements to use as a guide while shopping. Knowing the maximum size of the unit eliminates the possibility of buying an item which is impractical.

Features of a Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands come with drawers, shelves, and cabinets in a variety of combinations. If the unit is used to store cutlery, ensure that it has adequate drawer space. If some items are to be displayed in the storage area, consider opting for an island with some open shelves or choose cabinets with glass doors. Larger units with recessed cabinets allow enough space for the kitchen island to double as a seating area.

Towel racks and bread boards add further functionality, and hooks along the edges are used to hang pots. Additional features include integrated wine racks and knife holders. For more space, consider a kitchen island with an extendable worktop or a separate, storable butcher's block. Households with young children ought to remember that some kitchen island designs are not child friendly. Glass doors, access to sharp utensils, and kitchen islands on wheels which can be pulled or pushed should be avoided when there are young children in the house.

Portable Kitchen Islands

Portable kitchen islands with shelves can be moved to suit spatial needs. Further, they can be removed from kitchens easily when owners relocate. Some islands are simply free standing and can be picked up and moved, while others are on wheels to make relocating them easier. The latter option is especially popular in smaller kitchens and for people who prefer to sit down while preparing food. If owners prepare meals on portable kitchen islands with shelves, they should remember to lock the wheels while working, so that they have a steady surface to work on.

Materials for Kitchen Islands

The material chosen for the kitchen island should complement the kitchen's current design and materials, or it should be identical to cabinets and worktops. Consider buying a unit made from a different material to accent the island and a specific part of the kitchen, or choose a unit in the same colour so that it blends in with its surroundings.

Materials available for worktops include wood, laminate, stainless steel, tile, and granite. Stainless steel is durable and hygienic and is cleaned with bleach without harming the surface. Tile allows for decorative freedom and is easy to keep clean with bleach or other detergents. Wood gives the kitchen a cosy feel, but if used as a cutting board, it should be sealed every few years. Laminate is available in a wide range of colours and is easy to match with existing cabinetry, while granite is a firm favourite which does not go out of style. The worktop chosen should be a good fit for the unit's intended purpose. For example, choose a durable, heat-resistant material if the unit is going to be used next to the cooker, or choose something decorative if it is to act as an extra eating surface.

Styles for Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands come in a variety of styles, including traditional, retro, and contemporary. Square or rectangular wood and granite designs are more traditional, while colourful laminate or tiles create a retro or contemporary look. Consider solid wood for a farmhouse look or a veneer which matches the cabinets already installed. Kitchen islands should complement their surroundings and the tastes and personalities of their owners.

Buying a Kitchen Island with Shelves on eBay

Finding the perfect kitchen island with shelves on eBay is easy. Simply type a phrase, for example "pine kitchen island" or "kitchen island with shelves" within the search bar conveniently located on every eBay web page, then you will see the listings available. Choose the most appropriate category and decide which features you want in order to narrow your selection.

Before you commit to buying a kitchen island with shelves on eBay, evaluate the item and the seller. Click on an individual listing to see details such as the item description and payment options. To see feedback information on the seller simply click on the number next to the seller's username. eBay's seller feedback feature allows buyers to leave feedback for sellers regarding their products and customer service. Additionally, it lets buyers know what to expect from specific sellers. If you purchase from a local seller you can reduce any shipping costs by picking it up yourself. Should you have any questions throughout the buying process, you can contact the seller using the "Ask a question" feature.


A kitchen island with shelves offers the perfect solution for adding storage and workspace, fully utilising the space available in a kitchen. A number of factors should be considered when buying a kitchen island with shelves. The units vary from basic designs which are similar to small trolleys, to built-in islands with integrated sinks, refrigerators, cooktops, or electrical outlets. Installation costs add an expense to the overall price. Consider the kitchen island's ideal placement, taking into account factors such as existing lighting and power supplies.

Kitchen islands chosen should have worktops and storage spaces which suit the requirements of the buyers. Some islands have knife holders and towel racks for added convenience. Portable kitchen islands are ideal for smaller spaces while units on wheels are moved easily. Kitchen islands with extendable worktops provide even more workspace, while those with storable butcher's blocks have similar benefits.

Kitchen islands are available in a range of styles and materials, from traditional solid wood units to contemporary laminated chipboard. This makes it easy to find the right type of worktop and a look which matches or complements the rest of the kitchen. Those who are limited in their technical abilities should opt for units which do not require assembly. eBay sellers offer a wide selection of kitchen islands, and local sellers may allow buyers to collect the units themselves to save on delivery costs.

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