Published on December 30, 2020

Is it just us or do kitchen islands seem to keep getting bigger? The structures have become a status symbol of sorts, a sea of countertops, but we can’t forget what they’re actually there for: function. Drawers, open shelves, wine cubbies, trash pull-outs—these are just some of the elements your island could have. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far for a kitchen island with storage—and you definitely don’t have to spend as much as you would on a custom-built one (around $10,000). We scoured the Internet for the best options you can buy off the shelf, whether you have 50 square feet of space to spare or 500. These ready-made structures will swoop in and save the day. 

Ones for Tiny Spaces

Your small city apartment kitchen just got a bit brighter. This under-$200 find comes with wheels so you can push it out of the way when friends come over. The top tier features an extendable leaf and a handle for towels, while the middle part pops out and turns into a tray. 

Pots, pans, scissors, spatulas—this IKEA option is decked out with hooks so you can hang all your essential tools. Don’t worry about anything dropping: The thick oak veneer countertop is pretreated with hard wax oil, so it’s extra-durable.

Measuring 33 inches tall and 42 inches wide, you can squeeze this cart—which comes with a towel bar, one drawer, three hooks, and four shelves—into any awkwardly shaped space. 

Within this budget-friendly option’s four doors you’ll find adjustable shelves, so you can customize them to fit your mixing bowls and small appliances. 

Ones That Look Like Furniture

Designed to look like something out of a traditional French pastry shop, this black cast-steel and aluminum island is a total workhorse. It features three drawers, six shelves, a towel rack, and space for three counter stools beneath its Carrara marble counter. 

This one’s lacquered wood sides almost blend in with the white marble countertop, so you’d think the edges were a waterfall design. The stone surface also hangs over one side so you can easily pull up stools. 

This modern black acacia-wood find has a secret: The small ledge you see on the right actually extends out into a dining table. 

Show off your prized dishware behind this one’s tempered-glass cabinet fronts. The brass hardware adds to the illusion that it was made for storing china all along.

Ones for Serious Chefs

This 36-inch-high pick looks consistent from all angles, thanks to the false fronts and pulls that are on the back sides of the two drawers (they only open in one direction). 

Henrybuilt’s island is the priciest of the group by a long shot, but it’s the clever interior you’re paying for. There are niches built into the top for cutting boards, knives, and spices, and the drawers are made of stainless steel. You can even add outlets to this souped-up, splurge-worthy find.

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