A kitchen island can be a great way to add extra storage, seating, and work surface to your kitchen. But a basic kitchen island on its own may look a bit bare. The right accessories are key for making your kitchen island both functional and stylish. From baskets to bar stools, there are all sorts of kitchen island accessories to consider incorporating into your design. This guide will explore everything you need to know about choosing the best accessories for your kitchen island.

Choosing Kitchen Island Accessories

When selecting kitchen island accessories, there are a few key factors to consider:


First and foremost, choose kitchen island accessories that serve a practical purpose. Islands often become a gathering place in the kitchen. Accessories like stools or shelves can enhance the usefulness of the island. Consider what functions you need your island to serve and choose accessories accordingly.

Available Space

Take into account the dimensions of your island. Measure the length, depth, and height. This will determine what size accessories the island can accommodate. Oversized accessories will make the island feel cluttered. Carefully measuring available space will ensure you choose scaled accessories.

Style Cohesion

Any accessories you choose should coordinate with the existing style of the kitchen. Elements like finish, color scheme, and materials should feel cohesive. You spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so the aesthetics do matter when selecting accessories that appeal to your taste.


Island accessories span a wide range of prices. Evaluate what you can spend before you start shopping around. Setting a reasonable budget will prevent you from overspending. Explore retailers of various price points to maximize your options.

By keeping functionality, available space, style, and budget in mind, you can thoughtfully choose island accessories that check every box. Some of the most popular categories of kitchen island accessories include storage, seating, and surfaces.

Storage Accessories

One of the biggest benefits of a kitchen island is the opportunity for extra storage. While the island itself typically offers some storage with cabinets and drawers, you can supplement with additional storage accessories:


Baskets provide convenient storage for fruits and vegetables. Woven baskets made from natural materials like rattan complement most styles. Baskets come in a range of sizes, so you can find options to perfectly fit the space available.


Spice racks, utensil racks, pot racks, and towel racks all help keep essentials organized yet easily accessible. Mount racks to the side or top of the island to take advantage of the vertical storage space.


Hooks on the bottom of upper cabinets or sides of the island provide spots to conveniently hang utensils, towels, and more. Some islands even incorporate hooks into the legs.


Open shelves give you a place to display pretty cookbooks, accent pieces, or ingredients you use often while cooking. Just be sure the items won’t get damaged by steam or grease.


Extra drawersbuilt into the base of the island are perfect for storing kitchen tools, linens, and other items you want out of sight. Drawers should be deep enough to fit bulkier items.


For major storage needs, look for islands that allow you to incorporate cabinets. Cabinets keep everything tidy while also concealing mess. Opt for cabinets with doors you can close when company comes over.

With the right storage accessories, your kitchen island can house items conveniently without appearing cluttered.

Seating Accessories

One of the handiest uses for a kitchen island is as a casual dining spot or drink station. Transforming your island into a gathering place requires the right seating accessories:


Bar stools or counter stools around the perimeter of the island allow family and friends to comfortably sit. There should be enough space for seating without blocking walkways.


For a more bucolic style, an island bench provides seating. Benches can be more space efficient than individual stools.


In larger islands, incorporate built-in banquette seating. Banquettes make the island feel like more of an extension of the dining room.


Stool pads provide cushioning and protect the island countertop from scratches. Look for water-resistant pads that can stand up to spills.


Leather or rubber placemats give the island a finished look while also protecting the surface. They’re easy to wipe clean after meals.

Seating accessories encourage guests to gather at the island. Opt for pieces that complement your existing kitchen furniture in style and size.

Surface Accessories

While you likely use the countertop surface for food prep work, extra accessories can maximize the island’s functionality:

Cutting boards

A built-in or movable cutting board provides an ideal surface for chopping fruits, vegetables, and meats. Look for boards made of bacteria-resistant materials.


Keep portable items like spices and sauces together in trays that can easily slide along the counter as needed. Opt for rimmed trays to prevent spills.

Paper towel holder

A paper towel holder mounted to the side or front of the island makes for easy cleanup while cooking. Choose a weighted holder that won’t shift around.

Utensil crock

Keep essential cooking utensils right on the counter in a stylish crock. Select one wide enough to hold all your most-used tools.

Pan racks

Let hot pans rest safely on their own rack rather than directly on the counter. Opt for a sturdy rack that secures pans in place.

The right accessories allow you to make the most of every square inch of surface space your island has to offer.

Kitchen Island Accessories to Avoid

While the sky’s the limit when accessorizing your kitchen island, there are a few types of accessories you may want to shy away from:

  • Oversized accessories that make the island feel cluttered.
  • Materials that could easily stain, fade, or degrade from kitchen grease and moisture.
  • Sharp or unstable accessories if you have small children.
  • Valuable decor items that could get damaged during food prep.
  • Anything placed near the stove that could melt or catch fire.
  • Items that overlap or obstruct walkways and traffic areas.

Prioritizing function over flair helps keep your island organized. Carefully measure the footprint of your island and visualize how you move through the kitchen to choose the most practical accessories.

The right accessories can take your kitchen island from basic to beautiful! Maximize both form and function by selecting storage, seating, and surface accessories tailored to your cooking needs and design style. With so many options to explore, you can create a customized island that helps streamline meal prep and brings joy to your kitchen.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Island Accessories

What are some must-have kitchen island accessories?

Some of the most useful kitchen island accessories include barstools or chairs, shelves, racks, baskets, cutting boards, appliance garages, and drawers for storage. Lighting fixtures and pendant lamps above the island are also very popular.

What should I store in my kitchen island?

Kitchen islands are great for storing cooking tools, baking supplies, table linens, cookbooks, small appliances, dishware, and pantry items. Deep drawers can hold utensils and tall items like stand mixers.

What should I hang on my kitchen island?

Common items to hang on a kitchen island include pots and pans, utensils, dishtowels, and spices. Mount hooks on the legs or sides to hang items. You can also install a pot rack above the island to hang pots and pans.

What should I avoid putting on my kitchen island?

Avoid storing refrigerated items like fruit or decor items that could get damaged from heat or moisture. Also avoid overstuffing the island to prevent clutter. Do not block walkways around the island perimeter.

What is the best seating for a kitchen island?

Barstools are the classic choice, but benches, banquettes, and padded seats can also work. Choose seating sized proportionate to your island height. Allow for at least 3 feet of clearance from the island edge.

Should I put a sink in my kitchen island?

Having a sink in an island is a popular choice for creating an efficient kitchen workflow. Determine if you have adequate plumbing and space for the sink plus piping and a dishwasher if desired.

What is the standard size for a kitchen island?

The standard size is 35-40 square feet which allows for proper clearance. Island shape can vary from rectangular to round. Height is usually counter height or bar height.

How much overhang should kitchen island seating have?

The proper overhang for kitchen island seating is 10-12 inches. This allows for comfortable leg room. The standard total island depth including overhang is 25-30 inches.

What kitchen island accessories increase functionality?

Some highly functional accessories include storage solutions like shelves or racks, appliances like microwaves or wine fridges, built-in charging stations, sliding cutting boards, lighting, touch-activated faucets, and cabinet inserts to organize items.

What are some unique kitchen island accessory ideas?

Some unique island accessory ideas include spice herb gardens, touch-screen devices, warming drawers, hideaway outlets, drink dispensers, interchangeable tabletops, and hideaway cutting boards.

The right accessories can take your kitchen island from basic to spectacular. By keeping your needs and style in mind, you’re sure to find accessories that maximize both the form and function of your island. Outfit your island with handy and beautiful accents that make it a highlight of your kitchen.