What Cabinets Do You Use for an Island?

Your Kitchen Island Questions Answered

One of the easiest ways to give your kitchen a boost, both functionally and design-wise, is to add an island. Use cabinets as your island’s base and you’ll add storage, useful workspace, and solutions that make the kitchen one of the best rooms of the house. 

The only question you need to ask yourself is what cabinets do you use for an island. The options are broad and rely mostly on your design and tastes along with a few specs. Here are a few things to consider as you plan your new kitchen island.

Blue shaker style cabinets on the kitchen island.
Midnight Blue Cabinets

Can You Use Base Cabinets for a Kitchen Island?

Yes! You can use base cabinets for a kitchen island. Base cabinets come in several different heights and many types and styles so you can create a custom island at a fraction of the price. Take the time to think through your island design and don’t let traditions keep you from all the amazing things do. More on that later. 

You will have to put your thinking cap on to ensure you get the right measurements and materials to support your kitchen island plans. For instance, if you are planning on stone countertops, take into account how that will affect the footprint of your island . Heavy stone countertops also require a proper foundation. Make sure you select a sturdy cabinet construction that can support the weight of your stone countertops.

Square kitchen island with wine rack on one side.
Maddox Lace White Cabinets

Be Creative

The sky’s the limit on what cabinets you can use for an island. Everything from open shelves to a cooktop can be added to an island. Appliances are a welcome asset to an island because they increase the functional space in your kitchen. Many choose to make the island the functional center of the kitchen with the sink and dishwasher located in the middle of the action. 

Creating a prep station on the island is another popular idea. Include an under the counter garbage can and a hole in the top of the counter for fast disposal. Small prep sinks are another great addition to the prep island. 

Design an island for in-kitchen entertaining. Include bar-style seating or different heights for seating and work space so you can attend to guests and cooking at the same time.

The island may be the obvious place for more under-counter storage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit creative. Put in glass doors to break up the boxiness of the island. Leave doors off and opt for bookcase-like shelving.

Kitchen with wood island and white countertop.
White Shaker Cabinets

Should Your Kitchen Island Match Your Cabinets?

The question of should your kitchen island match your cabinets is really up to you and your design. If you have a Scandinavian, hygge style or a minimalist design, matching your island to the rest of your kitchen cabinets is a must. Otherwise, go for it. 

An island of a different color–even contrasting–is a great choice for many designs. It sets the island apart and draws the eye. With the kitchen as the heart of the home and the island the heart of the kitchen, it makes sense to let the island draw that attention to itself. A beautiful navy blue cabinet for the island is a classy option. A rich walnut island against white shaker kitchen cabinets is a stunning choice.

Stock cabinets in gray shaker for the kitchen island.
Navy Blue Shaker Cabinets

Create a Kitchen Island Plan Using Stock Cabinets

It’s entirely possible to create a kitchen island plan using stock cabinets. In fact, you can use stock cabinets to create a custom island at a fraction of the price of a custom design. Go with taller cabinets to achieve a bistro-height island for kitchen seating. Or stay with time-tested standard height cabinets and customize with all kinds of fun elements like open shelving, wine racks, and spice organizers.

Stock cabinets come in all the sizes you need. Start by measuring and marking out the footprint of your island with some masking tape on your kitchen floor. Then determine the stock cabinets you need to complete your island. Try the RTA Cabinet Store Layout Tool, which will help you build your kitchen island layout.

Get Started

Whether you’re ready to start shopping or still looking for more inspiration, you can do it right here with the help of RTA Cabinet Store.

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