Different Ways to Maximize Your Kitchen Island For Your Small Apartment

15 Jan, 2021

Aside from providing extra counter and storage space, a kitchen island also offers a cosy spot for breakfast, a morning coffee, or even some paperwork. But with the average size of private flats in Singapore being just 70 to 85 sqm, many people decide to live without a kitchen island, fearing that it will make their space even smaller. Does this sound like you? Hold on—don’t give up hope. With these savvy kitchen design ideas in Singapore straight from the experts, you can incorporate a kitchen island in your small apartment and enjoy its many benefits without making the space look too tight.

Embrace the ‘chicutilitarian’ look

If you have a narrow kitchen, you might be able to fit a slim profile stainless steel table that you can use as a kitchen counter. Such tables are usually sold by restaurant supply stores and can be modified to have a butcher block top to achieve that chic and warm industrial look.

Choose a ‘storage’ island

One of the best ways to make the most of a kitchen island in a small apartment is to choose or build one that has shelves, drawers, or cabinets within the base. If you want to minimize visual clutter, go for hidden storage. There are plenty of ideas online on how to incorporate sneaky storage spaces and discreet cabinets with “hidden” door handles.

Will the kitchen island be a permanent and stationary addition to your home? Then here’s another tip: Consider adding pot racks above it so you can utilize that space to show off your nice pots and pans and  free up your other cabinets for unsightly but necessities.

Try a small butcher block table

Are you an avid home cook who always seems to be slicing and chopping. Use a high butcher block table as your island. You will find a lot of inspiration for this look from websites dedicated to small kitchen interior design in Singapore. Butcher block tables come in varying sizes and configurations, and the compact square versions in particular are handy for squeezing into tight spaces. And if you already have a kitchen island but would like to make it more functional and stylish, try to switch out the existing countertop for a surface that can double as a chopping board.

Choose waterfall marble

This will deceive the eye and make the kitchen look bigger. A waterfall countertop uses the stone of the countertop to vertically extend down to the floor(it doesn’t stop at the counter’s edge). This creates a seamless transition from the horizontal countertop down to vertical waterfall, drawing the eyes to a focal point and connecting the countertop to the kitchen flooring. The design is also functional because it protects your cabinetry while hiding your appliances. Stone countertops are known for their natural beauty and are much more luxurious compared to standard cabinet siding. It’s really worth the splurge!

Ditch the dining table

When you have very limited room that can only accommodate either a kitchen table or a dining table, don’t worry—you can always add a piece that serves as both. Add a drop leaf kitchen island is a versatile option that can seat a crowd when it’s dinner time. Just lower the sides when not in use to free up some space.

Go perpendicular

Don’t have enough room for a kitchen island that goes right smack in the centre of the space? Put it perpendicular to the wall or cabinetry. Doing this creates an ‘extension’ that not only provides extra counter space but can also have bar seating.

Make a colourful impact

Dress up your small kitchen island and make it a centrepiece by adding colourful splashes and unexpected accents, such as barstools that perfectly match your bright cabinetry.

Build out a seating booth

Do your friends and family love to hang out in your kitchen? Incorporating some stylish booth seating on the island’s far side can make gatherings so much more comfortable. It doesn’t have to be super elaborate. In many cases, a simple bench-style booth is perfect—it’s not too heavy on the eyes, so it won’t make the space feel crowded.

Put your kitchen island on wheels

This is one of the most popular small kitchen design ideas in Singapore because it’s sheer genius. After all, a kitchen island can be super practical when you’re cooking—but it also takes up a lot of floor space when you’re not using it. A version with wheels can be quickly rolled into a corner to make more space. You may also be able to add wheels to your existing island. Don’t forget to choose lockable wheels for stability.

Add a sink to it

Do you want to add some interest and function to an otherwise generic kitchen island? Add a sink and use a bright, attention-grabbing faucet. Choose a colour that goes well with the accents in your space to achieve a cohesive look.

Turn a console table into an island

Best for narrow kitchens, this trick is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to squeeze an island in a small space and add that much-needed extra surface for meal preps. Choose a console table that is high enough to work double duty as a slim kitchen island. There are lots of choices, from traditional marble-topped consoles to modern Parsons-style tables. Whatever you choose, make sure that piece complements your overall interior design.

Sizing is everything

Every square foot counts when your space is small, so it’s important to make sure that your kitchen island is sized correctly so that it doesn’t interrupt the flow of your kitchen—and your flat as a whole. The best sizing really depends on the characteristics of your space, but as a guide, the minimum recommended fixed island size is 40 by 40 inches. This allows for a practical and functional working island and offers the option of integrating appliances. The minimal clearance zone recommended is 31½ inches for unobstructed and safe passage for one person working in the space. Anything less may be hazardous—not to mention cramped.

As you can see, you don’t have to give up on having a kitchen island even in a small apartment. There are lots of options and tiny kitchen design ideas in Singapore that you can use to maximize the space. Adding an island is not only a functional thing to do—it can also make a huge design impact in small areas, so it’s certainly worth doing. If you need expert help in designing and building one for your flat, don’t hesitate to contact us here at SHE Interiors.

Our experts in kitchen interior design in Singapore believe in merging functionality with intelligent design. We will work with you to come up with the best layout for your kitchen and recommend the best materials, storage, lighting, and even appliances to make your day-to-day life easier—and a lot more stylish. Our portfolio speaks for itself. Check out some of the best kitchen renovation projects we have done in Singapore. We work on different housing units, including condominiums and BTO HDBs. Call us today at +65 9484 1863.

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+65 9484 1863



+65 9484 1863


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