With space, functionality and aesthetics all rolled into one, our team have put together this go-to list of kitchen island bench ideas to help with your kitchen planning and design.

A kitchen island bench can be so much more than just a place to prepare food. A well-executed island bench design can offer work, entertainment and storage solutions to create the perfect kitchen all-rounder. And they come in all shapes and sizes too, with fixed and portable options to choose from.

Anyone with a kitchen can include some clever kitchen island bench ideas into their new or renovated cooking and entertainment quarters, no matter the size or shape of the area. Following is a list of some basic kitchen island bench idea examples to help get you started.

Make a Statement

A kitchen island bench can hold together the aesthetics of an entire kitchen, especially with some showcase, statement pieces. See how easily you can capitalise on this.

Tapware and Sink

If your kitchen island bench idea includes a sink at the bench, make a statement by choosing fittings that will complement the style of your kitchen. With a massive array of tapware options available, this can take your kitchen island bench ideas to another level of styling.

Choose from faucets in finishes such as matte black, shiny chrome, glazed and matte ceramics, bronze, or brushed metals. And if you are planning a home with smart wiring and all its conveniences, consider smart-wired tapware that can switch on and off with voice command.

* Tip: for a crisp, streamlined look, and for multi-use functionality, think about incorporating an undermount sink with a removable drainer as a kitchen island bench idea. Drainers can take up valuable space and this will allow a little more flexibility.


An easy way to ensure that your kitchen island bench idea is going to create a statement is to select a complimentary contrast colour for the benchtop, different to the main kitchen bench or cabinetry.


While planning your kitchen island bench ideas, plan the lighting that coincides with the additional bench space too. What type of lighting will you need based on what you’re planning as the main functionality of the space?

For working or food preparation, you would generally need more direct lighting such as pendants or LED downlights above.

As an entertainment area, you could consider adding ambient lighting and impressive feature lights, such as under-bench LED’s or strip lighting, to the space. And there are options to cover all aspects of function and aesthetics with the use of dimmer switches and smart lighting too.

Storage Wars

We can’t stress this one enough – all kitchen island bench ideas must champion storage! No matter how small or large an island bench, think about what storage options can be included to maximise functionality.

A smaller butcher’s block island bench can incorporate storage rails or hooks hung on its sides and shelving underneath, for example.

An expansive kitchen island bench could include storage on both sides under bench, as well as some open shelving at the ends.

A Functional Friend

No matter what size or shape, plan kitchen island bench ideas that make the most use of space, and are designed for its intended uses and household demographic.

Following are a few basic kitchen island bench idea examples for intended use.

#1 Entertainer’s Kitchen Island Bench Idea

An entertainer will often need more space for seating when guests visit. To mix it up a little (and space permitting), you could look into a kitchen island that is built in with an additional bench or seating area to use as a breakfast bar or entertainment precinct, which creates a highly functional space. This provides additional seating and working room, all within close convenience, and creates a real hub of the home.

Alternatively, add a dedicated seating area to one section of the island bench for guests to gather around, keeping it separate from the main preparation area.

#2 Home Cook’s Kitchen Island Bench Ideas

A home cook often has gadgets and gizmos for cooking all sorts. You might consider building an oven and sink into the kitchen island and reserve the room on the kitchen bench as working and storage space. This also provides the opportunity to have two sinks, if necessary (one smaller, bar-sized sink for a corner coffee nook perhaps), and provides ample working and storage area. You may even like to include other appliances such as a dishwasher, microwave or wine fridge as well.

How about adding some warming drawers for catering into your home cook’s kitchen island bench idea?

#3 Family Friendly Kitchen Island Bench Ideas

If you have a family that has all sorts of wants and needs (food preparation, homework and study, breakfast area, entertaining space, etc), think about kitchen island bench ideas that can cater for all.

Make sure there is plenty of room for seating, with a benchtop overhang for a breakfast bar. The area can double as extra space for food preparation too.

A boutique-sized kitchen island bench with no sink is a great option to increase the working area and storage space.

* Tip: no matter what the intended use, it is recommended by kitchen designers and experts, that you keep a minimum of one metre of floor space between counters in a kitchen (for example, between the kitchen island bench and the main benchtop).

Kitchen Island Benchtop Materials

Material is an important consideration for a kitchen island bench. Again, this is greatly influenced by the intended main uses of the space.

For food preparation, select a hard-wearing material that is scratch and heat-resistant for better longevity, like stone, concrete, or a high-quality laminate for example. Kitchen island bench ideas that are designed more for entertaining purposes, could include other options like timber or marble as they won’t be exposed to the number of bumps and bruises that come with cooking.

Finishing Touches

In order to truly make the most of your kitchen island bench, we highly recommend adding a power outlet under, or integrated on top of, the island benchtop. This provides an additional outlet for small appliances such as blenders, toasters, electric frypans, air-fryers, as well as phone chargers and smart speakers, etc.

You can mix up a kitchen island bench to create contrasting colour and texture compared to other elements in the kitchen. However, do opt for kitchen island bench idea colours that flow, not work against the rest of the space. You could mix up the cabinetry colours, add some texture to the face (such as woodgrain or coloured glass), or change the benchtop material or colour.

However you choose to design and style your kitchen island bench, there are plenty of options to suit every style and function, and to help you ensure that you make the most of your new kitchen space and this popular kitchen component.

There are plenty of amazing kitchen island bench ideas that you can incorporate as part of your kitchen space. For professional advice and guidance when it comes to planning your kitchen, contact our Harrington Kitchens team on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry to book a consultation or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms to discuss your dream kitchen with us today.