Need some extra functionality to help prepare and serve meals - in plain terms, you just need more room to work and store things? Then a freestanding kitchen island unit may be just what the doctor ordered.
If you have sufficient floor space then one of the five models featured in this post will give you an extra working area and the use of neatly arranged spare storage.
You might be surprised that you can fit one in as their footprint is not excessive. The largest shown here takes up around 50 inches by 36 inches and we've included a couple of more compact choices that will suit smaller rooms.
Not only is each one of our selection a solid piece of utility furniture in itself, its good looks will also enhance the appearance of any kitchen. If your room is looking a bit tired then one of these units might just perk things up!
We chose these patterns for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which was that they all have high approval ratings. That's a comfort when you're thinking of spending a lot of cash - you want to make sure that you're getting the best bang for your buck.
On that last point, many reviewers thought that these well-made and durable pieces were excellent value for the money paid out.
We made sure to include for a selection of carcass sizes to cover from smaller kitchenettes up to larger rooms.
Choice of body color was also a priority for us and we think we've brought together a good selection of finishes that will complement most decor styles.
Another important point for us was that we must offer a choice of functionality. Each unit selected has something a little different to offer that might just suit your particular needs for work area and general usefulness.
Take a peek at each of the designs below to see what we mean.
All models are fitted with a chunky and warm-looking 2" thick solid oak timber top that comes as one piece. We reckon these tops are more for serving than for using as a butcher's block or chopping board.
For that sort of work it's probably best to use a separate board to protect the surface of the worktop.
The unit stands at just over 36" high with a width of nearly 50" and a depth over 36". The carcass is made from a combination of engineered and solid wood and is finished all round including the rear panels.
There's a drop-leaf attached to increase the working area from 26" to 36" wide. Useful for extra working room or use as a breakfast bar - the makers advise the 24" would be an ideal height for any bar stool or high seat.
There's a ton of storage for all your knickknacks that you use daily in the kitchen.
Three adjustable open shelves are fitted at each end. There are two drawers running on smooth slides - useful for small items. There's an integral cupboard with two hinged doors opening to a split interior capacity, each space measuring 12" wide x 17" deep x 25" high - lots of room for the bigger items.
May come in three or four boxes for home build. Buyers report that it could take up to an hour and more to put it all together but it can be done by one person.
Please note that the maker warns that if you use a battery screwdriver it should not exceed 8 volts. A more powerful machine would certainly over torque the fixing bolts and probably damage the timber in the process.
One prudent customer played safe by gluing as well as bolting the part together to create a really solid piece that was rock steady - might be worth considering if you're a bit of a DIY person.
This pattern has proved popular over time with the majority more than 700 satisfied buyers giving it a really respectable rating.
There is also an open-ended warranty available from the manufacturers.
It's made from solid hardwoods with veneers with tough worktops for a long and hard working life in the busiest room in the house.
If you so choose it can serve a double function of being used either as an island unit or a sideboard - the plain flat back will snuggle easily against a wall . Optionally, you can use it for both options if you pick the wheeled alternative.
Another appealing factor about this pattern is that you can choose any combination of any carcass with any top.
There are three body finishes to choose from - Vintage Grey, Vintage Black and Classic Cherry. Any one of these bodies can be ordered with with any one of three tops - Grey Granite, Black Granite and Stainless Steel.
Also, you can nominate any one of three conventional foot styles. Alternatively, it can be supplied with a set of castors to make the unit movable.
The units are supplied with hardware matched to the chosen finish.
We've elected to show the grey painted finish with the matching 3/4" thick grey granite worktop to give you a contrast with the other carts featured in this post.
If you're tight for space this model may help solve that problem. It measures a slim 18" in depth and is 52" long including the attached fittings. If you don't fit the two pieces then overall it's just over 42" - might be important if you're trying to squeeze it into a narrow gap. It is 34" high including the feet.
There's acres of space in the cupboards - there are three in all - a larger middle one and two smaller ones at each side. Each one has a fitted shelf that is adjustable.
The drawers are a good size at 16" wide by 11.5" deep and nearly 4" high - plenty of space for cutlery or any small utensils.
A spice rack with a rail underneath and a towel rail are supplied as standard, They can be fixed at either end of the unit.
It's delivered for you to build. It might take the efforts of two people to handle as it's a chunky piece - the delivery package is listed at 160 pounds. The granite top is delivered in a wooden frame for protection in transit.
It's a popular choice for many people who have given it a high average score for performance and quality.
Seriously, it has an old-fashioned aspect that will appeal to those that like their furniture sturdy. Yet at the same time, we guess it would fit nicely into even a modern kitchenette. That seems to work as suggested in the image above this script.
As well as being an extra work place, it's also a complete eating station with it's two high-backed chairs (the makers claim stools but we think that isn't the right description).
They are made from a combination of solid and composite wood and you can choose any finish from Antique White, Black and, lastly, the Oak that we feature in this article. The high chairs supplied are finished to match your chosen unit color.
The hardware is supplied in an antique finish to tone in with the unit shades.
There's also an alternative body shape on offer that comes in white only. This table-like piece is smaller with more open storage and does not have a drop leaf.
The unit we illustrate stands over 36" high and the body length is nearly 50" with a depth of just over 26". That increases to 36" when the leaf is raised giving ample room for meals or food preparation.
That and with the chairs being pub-height makes for a regular and comfortable eating place.
There's plenty of space for storing things in the model we show here.
There are three open shelves at both end and all are adjustable. They're about 20" wide by 7.5" deep - the clear height is only around 6", so not great for your cookbooks.
Two cabinet doors open on to a space with a middle shelf. Each space in the cupboards measure out roughly 20"square.
There are two small utility drawers fitted with easy-sliders for a smooth motion.
The package is delivered for building by yourself - but another person's would be sensible. Reviewers say that putting it all together wasn't difficult but it did take a little time and was easier if there were at least two people working together.
This range has been favored by folks who award almost the full 5 stars - but at 4.7 that's a resounding score in anyone's book.
Like other Home Styles products featured in this review they offer a limited parts replacement warranty. Which, in our reckoning, means that if you have an issue you will need to contact their service desk to discuss it.
For those who like the shape but don't like the color, consider one customers idea. It looked great by contrast alongside her shiny white kitchen fitments. It's really down to individual taste
The carcass is made from hardwood solids with engineered timber and the top is rubber wood with soft shaped edges. It weighs in around 134 pounds. That makes for a really solid bulk that's sure to stay where it's put.
It's slimmer than some models we feature at 36" high with a top area of 53.5" long by 18" wide. The width stretches to over 29" once the drop leaf is fully extended to become a useful working/dining area.
The extension is achieved by cleverly designed concealed mechanisms that allow the two rear posts to independently slide out to become the support for the hinged drop-leaf. Great idea especially as one person can easily manage this operation on their own.
There is adequate storage capacity including three drawers. They are a good size for many smaller utensils and cutlery items.
It's main storage is a two-door cupboard that has two adjustable shelves within. The inside space is 28" wide by 14" deep by 29" tall.
Brushed nickel hardware complements the frame style and finish.
Like some other units discussed in this post, it's delivered for self-assembly. Reviewers generally say it's not too difficult to put together if managed right. They advise that as it is heavy to handle and does take time, it's best done by at least two people.
Quite a few folk endorse this item giving it a good overall score. Many felt that this model has the look and quality of a high-end product but comes at a much more acceptable price.
It's a fitting comparison as it's almost as capacious as a locker. If storage is a priority for you, then this model will delight you. It has lots of compartments in the roomy drawers and spacious cupboard.
Made from solid mahogany with veneers, it has a warm cherry finish that gives it a superior look that belies its modest cost. The timber top is solid wood with the edges profiled to enhance the design appeal. It's decorated with relief molding details.
It's a decent size at 48"wide x 26. 75" deep with a height of 36". Once the leaf is raised the depth increases to an impressive 39 " - lots of room to prep and eat.
The drop-leaf is easily raised by using the hidden sliding mechanism that one person can operate easily - one customer claimed their two-year-old did by themselves!
The ample storage consists of four drawers and one large cupboard with a single recessed door.
There are two depths of drawers. The shallow ones measure 14" wide by 17" deep with a height of 2.5" and are ideal for small utensils and such. The deeper ones are 7.5" high for keeping bulkier items.
The cupboard is 18" wide by 19" deep with a height of 20.5" - useful size for smaller electrical appliances and tools. It has a 3/4" thick adjustable shelf that can be left in or out.
It's shipped to you for assembly at home. Like other islands it can take some hours to put together - usually by two people. No tools should be needed as an Allen key is provided but you'll probably need a screwdriver at least.
It has earned a respectable score from the majority of buyers who think its appearance and classy look make it well worth every penny spent.
The Home Styles limited guarantee applies to this model as well.