A kitchen island can be a necessary addition to your home, allowing for more space and storage. Make the most of that addition by ensuring it has these five essentials.

1. There’s storage space. This open-concept kitchen (featured above), which was renovated a few years prior to the home’s expansion, has a large island with open shelving to store and display cookbooks and decorative items.

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

2. It’s capable of being the central gathering space. For this Polynesian-inspired farmhouse kitchen, a custom-made island serves as a place to cook and prep food, while also entertaining guests who can be seated on the other side.

Photo: Olivier Koning

3. Find ample room for friends and family. Always be sure to have enough space for family dinners. The family that lives in this multigenerational abode gathers around the large kitchen island often, sharing meals and stories with their loved ones.

Photo: Olivier Koning

4. It allows for a lot of surface area. The island in this kitchen is the main focal point, spanning nearly the entire length of the kitchen and housing some important features, such as an induction cooktop and storage space for spices, utensils, pots, pans and more.

Photo: Olivier Koning

5. The anchor to your entire kitchen. This well-designed home has an open-concept kitchen with two-tone cabinetry, open shelving, a gas cooktop and a large island at the center; the same woods and countertop material are used throughout, blending together each of the elements.

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