A kitchen island cart is a great way to add storage, prep space, and style to your kitchen. Island carts are freestanding units that can provide many of the functions of a traditional built-in island while still being movable and taking up less space. With the right island cart, you can gain extra counter area, storage, and seating without a permanent kitchen remodel.
Benefits of a Kitchen Island Cart
Kitchen island carts offer numerous benefits for homeowners looking to enhance their kitchen’s form and function:
Extra Prepping Space
One of the biggest perks of a kitchen island cart is the extra prepping space it provides. Having ample room to chop veggies, mix batters, and stage ingredients is essential for cooking meals efficiently. Island carts provide usable square footage to spread out and get cooking.
Kitchen island carts maximize your storage possibilities with shelves, drawers, and cubbies built into the base. Having everything you need within arm’s reach helps make cooking less of a scavenger hunt. Keep pots, pans, utensils, spices, and pantry items organized yet accessible.
Seating and Eating Space
Many kitchen carts double as breakfast bars or casual dining spots with built-in seating on one side. Stools tucked under the overhang create space to sip coffee, do homework, or enjoy a meal without having to set up the dining table.
Flexibility and Mobility
One of the best aspects of a kitchen cart rather than an immovable island is that it can be shifted around as needed. Easily move it out of the way for cleaning or reposition it to alter the room’s flow. Take it outdoors for patio entertaining or to another room as a bar cart or serving station.
Kitchen island carts provide excellent value for money. Rather than investing in a full kitchen remodel, simply bring in a cart for immediate improvements. Quality carts are available at reasonable price points to fit most budgets.
Style and Personality
From sleek stainless steel to rustic wood, kitchen island carts come in many styles to match your home’s aesthetic. Choose a finish and design that reflects your taste and complements your existing decor. The cart adds personality and becomes a focal point.
Types of Kitchen Carts
Kitchen island carts come in a variety of configurations to best suit your space and needs. Consider what type of cart works best for your cooking requirements and design vision.
For maximum storage, choose an island cart with closed cabinets and drawers in the base. Enclosed storage keeps items neatly tucked away but still easily accessible.
Open Shelving Carts
Prefer to have everything in sight? Opt for open shelving carts to prominently display cookbooks, dishes, or barware while keeping them at hand.
Prep Table Carts
Prep table carts focus on providing ample counter space for chopping, rolling dough, and meal assembly. Look for solid butcher block or stainless steel tops.
Hybrid carts combine storage and prep space with a cabinet base topped by a spacious countertop work area. The split design optimizes functionality.
Entertaining-oriented carts often have wine glass racks, stemware holders, and room for ice buckets. Easily wheel these carts wherever the party is.
Carts with built-in seating, typically stools tucked under one side, allow for casual dining or drinking at the island.
Design Elements to Consider
Kitchen island carts allow you to customize your storage, prep space, and style. Keep these design factors in mind when selecting your cart:
Measure your kitchen to determine the appropriate cart proportions for your space. Island carts typically range from 2 – 5 feet long and 2 – 4 feet wide. Think about traffic flow and room to open drawers and doors.
Butcher block, stainless steel, granite, and other solid surface materials are best for durability and cleaning. Laminate tops offer an affordable option.
Maximize storage with enclosed cabinets outfitted with shelves, racks, and cubbies. For bar carts, look for wine glass holders and stemware storage.
Drawers vs. Doors
Both drawers and doors offer enclosed storage, but drawers make contents easily visible and accessible. Include at least one large drawer for cookware.
Locking caster wheels allow you to move the cart then stabilize it in place when needed. Wheels that slide out of sight maintain a clean look.
If using your cart for seating, make sure the overhang is deep enough to accommodate comfortable stools. Typically 25-30 inches of overhang is ideal.
Select a style – modern, farmhouse, industrial, etc. – to match your kitchen’s existing aesthetic. Neutral finishes fit easily into any decor.
Look for a cart that can transition from kitchen prep to serving drinks and meals. Hybrid designs maximize versatility.
Top Places to Put an Island Cart
One of the best aspects of a kitchen cart is flexibility – it can be moved anywhere it’s needed most! Here are great spots to position your cart:
Kitchen Work Triangle
Place the cart along the perimeter of your kitchen’s work triangle for an extra prepping point while cooking. Situate it between the fridge, stove, and sink.
Make use of an awkward angled corner by tucking a cart into the space. The cart transforms it into prime storage real estate.
Put the cart near the kitchen doorway where it greets you. Stash cookbooks, mail, keys or use as a mobile bar for guests.
An island cart perfectly fills the void along an empty wall. It becomes a handy landing zone for setting down grocery bags too.
Position the cart across from your cabinets, refrigerator or stove for a place to temporarily set items when unloading groceries or cooking.
Near Dining Table
Spot the cart next to the eating area to use as a discreet serving station when entertaining. It keeps food warm and dishes nearby.
Styles and Materials
Kitchen carts are available in an array of materials, finishes and designs. Consider which style best fits your decor and storage needs.
Rustic Wood Carts
Warm wooden carts lend a homey farmhouse feel with distressed wood grains and metal accents. The natural material is perfect for cottage decor.
Metal and Wire Carts
Sleek stainless steel or iron wire carts have an airy, industrial modern vibe. Metal is easy to clean and integrate into contemporary kitchens.
Charming retro-inspired carts feature details like scalloped edges, raised panels and dainty casters for a touch of nostalgia.
Modern and Minimal Carts
Clean lines, smooth surfaces, and minimal adornments define these contemporary carts. Go for glossy lacquers in on-trend gray and white.
Rattan and Wicker Carts
For a breezy, beachy look, choose island carts made of woven wicker, rattan, seagrass or bamboo. The organic texture adds visual interest.
Granite and Marble Carts
Luxe carts feature gorgeous slabs of granite, marble or other natural stone on the countertop and shelves. The veining patterns stand out.
Make a bold statement by selecting an island cart in a vibrant tone like aqua, sunny yellow or fire engine red. The color energizes the kitchen.
Popular Kitchen Island Cart Brands
Quality carts designed for convenient kitchen storage and prep space are produced by various reputable brands, including:
- Origami Folding Furniture: Features a range of wood, metal and plastic folding kitchen carts with unique origami-inspired designs.
- Catskill Craftsmen: Specializes in sturdy carts and islands constructed from Solid American Wood like pine, maple and oak.
- Winsome: Offers an extensive selection of kitchen, bar and storage carts in wood, metal and rattan at reasonable price points.
- Crosley: Known for retro-inspired kitchen carts and matching sets with options like butcher block, granite or stainless tops.
- Home Styles: Provides traditional all-wood carts alongside more modern metal and laminate options with storage-maximizing interiors.
- Linon: Manufactures affordable, versatile kitchen carts with wood, metal and granite options and seating for breakfast bars.
- Origami: Makes a line of contemporary metal carts with innovative features like drop-down leaves, hideaway shelves and customizable exteriors.
- Sauder: Produces ready-to-assemble laminate kitchen carts with enclosed storage and butcher block work surfaces at budget-friendly prices.
- Seville Classics: Constructs commercial-grade stainless steel carts prized for durability, easy cleaning and sleek profiles.
- Winsome Ancona: An all-wood line with spacious single-drawer prep carts topped by roomy cutting boards ideal for small kitchens.
Common Questions About Kitchen Island Carts
What are the standard dimensions of a kitchen island cart?
Kitchen carts are commonly available in the following size ranges:
- Width: 20 to 48 inches
- Depth: 20 to 30 inches
- Height: 30 to 42 inches
- Countertop Overhang for Seating: 25 to 30 inches
Measure the area where you plan to place your cart before purchasing to ensure an ideal fit. Optimal dimensions allow walk-around clearance.
How much weight can a kitchen island cart hold?
Quality carts built of hardwoods like oak or maple generally can handle 300+ pounds of weight. Those with granite or butcher block tops are also very sturdy. Avoid overloading with excess bottles, cookware, etc. Distribute weight evenly between top and lower shelves.
Should I get an island cart with wheels or without?
Wheels allow you to easily reposition the cart as needed for cleaning or creating space. Locking casters keep it stable when in use. However, non-wheeled carts may provide slightly more storage capacity within the base. Choose based on your floor type and mobility needs.
What is the best island cart material: wood, metal, or other?
Wood carts offer attractive natural grain patterns but may show scratches over time. Durable metal resists damage but provides less warmth. Other materials like laminate and granite are very functional. Ultimately choose what fits your kitchen design and daily use.
How much do kitchen island carts cost?
Basic carts start around $100, while high-end designer styles can run $1,000+. Expect to spend $200 to $500 for a quality cart with versatile storage from a reputable brand. Compare materials, sizes, features and construction.
Choosing the Best Kitchen Island Cart
The right kitchen cart creates a functional focal point for your space. Keep these tips in mind when selecting an island cart for your home:
- Take measurements to find a cart size that fits without cramping the room.
- Decide if you want enclosed or open storage based on visual preference and storage needs.
- Opt for locking wheels to keep the cart stable yet allow you to reposition it as needed.
- Look for quality joinery like dove tail drawers, sturdy hardware, and finished interiors.
- Choose a style, finish and material that enhances your existing decor.
- Seek functional features like wine racks, butcher block tops, stemware storage, and seating.
- Buy from reputable brands known for cart quality and durability.
- Set a budget but know quality materials and construction often cost a little more.
The right island cart becomes a cherished kitchen addition that provides extra storage, workspace and style for years to come. Choose wisely based on your needs, taste and budget. With helpful features and a design you love, a kitchen cart can make meal prep truly enjoyable.