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Workhorse Islands for Your Kitchen

“Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” — the Shaker Rule of Thumb

This simple statement sums up how we feel about design and building at Meadowlark, and it perfectly describes workhorse islands. Adding an island to the kitchen design has a long-standing tradition. The functionality of more counter space coupled with the social aspect of gathering people together makes the island both necessary and useful. Adding in design components that appeal to the owner’s aesthetic makes them endearing and beautiful.

Workhorse Islands

Multitasking is at the heart of every home. As a designer, I look at how we can make a kitchen island not only functional but also personalized enough to make toggling between family life, social gathering, and meal prep a seamless transition.


These days, we ask the simple kitchen island to do even more work by providing additional storage and space for homework and family time, a mobile office, and casual dining. Workhorse islands are much larger and more customized to the homeowner’s family and lifestyle.

meadowlark custom kitchen

A larger island is both a substantial mass in the kitchen and a focal point, which makes it a natural place for people to gather. Carving out space for casual seating breaks up the large mass architecturally. Placing the workhorse island adjacent to the kitchen work triangle—that triangle between the sink, refrigerator, and stove—also allows for loads of interaction while defining the working space.


With cabinets on all sides of the island, a hallmark of the workhorse island, storage is condensed and maximized, making it possible for you to use fewer upper cabinets and providing more visual lightness and an open feel to the space. Low storage in the island makes storing dishes, even glasses, easier. The single movement of opening up a drawer instead of reaching to upper cabinets saves space and strain on your already overworked back. Plus, kiddos can get a glass of water themselves.

Are you dreaming about the ultimate workhorse island for your kitchen that is functional and beautiful? Contact us, and we’ll talk.

By Jen Hinesman

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