There are lots of ways to transform your kitchen island: you can paint it a new color, you can switch out your countertops, or, you can upgrade your entire kitchen by outfitting your island with a sink.
This last option doesn’t get much action, and we understand why. Building a sink into your island isn’t all that quick or easy—and it definitely isn’t cheap. But, it can change the way your kitchen looks and feels, making it a more functional place to cook, clean, and entertain.
The beautiful thing about this upgrade? It works in kitchens of all sizes, shapes, and styles. As long as there’s enough room in your kitchen for an island—and enough room on your island for a sink—you have everything you need to make the addition work.
As you consider how to craft the perfect sink-adorned kitchen island, you’ll have plenty of kitchen island sink ideas to take cues from.
Divide Your Island Into Segments
Not sure how to lay out your island? Think about the jobs you need to do in your kitchen and make space for each of them. By segmenting your island into different “activity zones,” you can ensure you have enough room to comfortably prep, cook, and clean.
Pick a Statement-Making Faucet
Your sink will probably sit inside your island, but your faucet will peek out over it—making it one of the most visible accents in your kitchen. Skip the classic statement sink, and snag a showstopping faucet, instead. Since faucets come in a range of styles, shapes, and finishes, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one worth springing for.
Treat Yourself to Two Different Sinks
Why limit yourself to just one sink? If your kitchen is packed with counter space, having two sinks can make cooking a whole lot easier. Stick one sink on your kitchen countertop and another on your kitchen island. You’ll thank yourself the next time you need a pot of water or you’re cooking with a friend.
Choose an Island With Lots of Storage Space
Under-sink storage space is key, so be sure to snag an island with plenty of drawers and cabinets. This is especially important if your island sink is the only sink in your kitchen. After all, you need a handy place to store cleaning supplies and dish detergent—and you don’t want to keep them next to your food.
Pick a Sink That Suits Your Palette
A great sink adds function and form to your kitchen, so don’t just grab the first sink you find. Take a good hard look at your palette, and snag a sink that complements it—whether that means taking a chance on an unusual material, like copper or stone, or sticking with something classic, like stainless steel or porcelain.
Keep Your Sink Near Your Stove
When you have two different islands, it may be tough to figure out which one deserves the sink. One pro tip? Build the sink on the island closest to your stove. The proximity will make it easy to fill your pots with water any time you’re making pasta or hard-boiling eggs.
Have Fun With Your Countertops
Who said your island has to match the rest of your kitchen? Paint your island cabinets a decidedly fun color, or invest in a waterfall countertop made of a striking material.
Make Your Faucet the Darkest Fixture in the Room
One unusual way to score a standout faucet? Pick one that’s darker than the rest of your hardware. Pair your stainless steel appliances and warm brass drawer pulls with a faucet made of black matte metal.
If you really want to make a statement, keep other accents—like your cabinets, countertops, and backsplash—on the light side, too.
Maximize Space With a Double Sink
If you have an unusually long island, pair it with an extra-large sink. The sink will give you plenty of room to rinse dishes and prep ingredients, and it will look more at home on your island than a smaller sink would.
Turn Your Island Into a Cooking Hub
Why stop at building a sink on your island? If you have the space for it, turn your island into a full-blown cooking hub. Outfit your island with a sink and a stove—and dedicate the rest of your counters to prep work and clean-up.
Snag a Pull-Down Faucet
The best faucets add function and form to your kitchen, and if function is what you’re after, pull-down faucets are hard to beat. Pull-down faucets flexibly stretch and move around, targeting every corner of your sink. This makes it easier to wash dishes, rinse ingredients, and keep your sink squeaky clean.
Build Your Sink on the End of Your Island
When designing a kitchen island with a sink, it’s tempting to stick your sink in the middle of your island. But other places are sensible, too. By sticking your sink on the end of your island, you can free up half your island for seating, compartmentalizing your eat-in space and your cooking space.
Stick a Dishwasher Under Your Sink
Building a dishwasher into your island may sound like an involved project. But once you’ve installed an island sink, most of your work is already done. You can use the same plumbing stack for both your sink and your dishwasher. The choice isn’t just simple—it’s straight-up sensible, especially if your island sink is the only sink you have.
Paint Your Island to Match Your Cabinets
Create cohesion in your kitchen by painting your island to match your cabinets. The choice will tie your kitchen together, and if you really want to streamline your space, you can color-coordinate countertops and match your island faucet to the other hardware in your kitchen.
Turn Sink Accessories Into Décor
While many kitchen sinks are tucked away, an island sink is out in the open—and that means all your sink necessities are, too. So bid adieu to grungy sponges and ratty dish brushes, and upgrade your sink with cleaning supplies that are sleek enough to double as décor.
Place Your Sink Off-Center
Putting your sink in the center of your island is a classic choice—but it’s not your only option. Take a good look at your kitchen, and see where it makes sense to put your sink. Lining up your sink and your stove may be the most user-friendly choice, even if it means placing your sink off-center.
Invest in an Ornate Faucet
Make a statement in your kitchen by snagging an ornate faucet. The classic accent will earn compliments in any kitchen, and if you pair it with an equally ornate dish soap dispenser, you’ll have one of the prettiest sink set-ups in town.
Color-Coordinate Your Hardware
One surefire way to make your kitchen feel special? Streamline your hardware. Color-coordinate your door handles and your drawer pulls. Match them to your island faucet. And if your light fixtures are metal, let them in on the fun, too.
Stick Seats at the End of Your Island
Worried your island isn’t big enough for eat-in space and a sink? Get creative. By sliding bar stools on the end of your island, you can sneak in a dining nook that’s perfect for two.
Spring for a Classic Farmhouse Sink
Your sink doesn’t have to live inside your kitchen island. So if you want a classic farmhouse sink, simply slide the back of the sink inside your island—and leave the front exposed. This approach will give you the best of both worlds: letting you show off your pretty farmhouse sink, while getting the custom feel of a built-in.
Pair Warm Wood With Warmer Hardware
Not sure what finish to pick for your faucet? Take cues from the rest of your kitchen. If your island is lined with warm wood, pair it with even warmer gold hardware. The two accents will play off each other, making your space feel ultra-homey and welcoming.
Choose an Unusually Wide Island
Many kitchen islands are narrow and long. So once you install a sink, you have limited counter space to work with. But if you score an unusually wide island—one so deep it’s almost square—you can get the island sink you’re dreaming of without cutting off all your counter space.
Splurge on a Commercial-Style Faucet
One great way to finish off your kitchen island sink? Snag a commercial-style faucet. Commercial-style faucets mimic the fancy features you’d find in restaurant kitchen sinks. (Think: best-in-class materials, massive faucet heads, and extra-long pull-down necks.) But since they’re designed for residential use, you won’t have to overhaul your entire plumbing stack to install one.
Mix and Match Different Sinks
If you have two kitchen sinks, matching them is an obvious choice. But leaving them mismatched is often a more interesting one. Score a couple of matching faucets, and pair them with sinks made from different materials.
Keep Décor Out of the Way
It’s natural to want to decorate your kitchen island, but don’t sacrifice too much counter space to décor. Keep the space around your sink clean and easy to navigate, and slide your biggest décor pieces to one end of your island, where they won’t get in your way as you cook and clean.