Bigger might not *always* be better.
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Retractable Glass Wall
Let the Outdoors InWith the tap of a touch screen, glass doors open up 12 feet of wall connecting the kitchen to the screened kitchen porch. The second island sitting just inside the doors is outfitted with an ice-maker and small refrigerator. On the back side it also features a pop-up leaf to double the counterspace for better service on the deck.
| Credit: Photography Van Chaplin, Charles Walton IV / Styling Buffy Hargett

Double islands: frivolous or functional? We've seen them all over Instagram, often as a way to gain more storage or seating, or even break up what would be one larger island. This trend isn't for everyone though—it depends on how you use your kitchen and its surrounding areas. To help determine if double islands are right for your home, we enlisted the help of a few interior design experts to share the pros and cons.

Pros

Easier Entertaining

Have you ever been stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is laughing and chatting? This is one way to cure your FOMO. "One of the great things about a double island is that friends and family can still be in your space without actually being in your space. They can gather around one while you still have room to prep at another," explains Bailey Pitts of Bailey at Home in Louisville, Kentucky.

Fluid Layouts

Open concept is popular for a reason. In the case of this Kiawah Island project, the kitchen lived right between the dining room and family room. "The island with the raised waterfall quartzite counter creates a visual barrier between the family room and kitchen, while the other island serves as the perfect serving area for the dining room, thereby eliminating the need for a sideboard," Jennifer Ferrell of Riverside Designers in Charleston, South Carolina shares.

Increased Storage and Counter Space

For aspiring chefs or those who treat their island like a dining table, the idea of having extra space to spread out and keep different activities separate may be compelling. Instead of shoving a stand mixer into a random cabinet or cleaning up before every meal, they could instead take advantage of a second island.

Cons

Utility

For Suzanne Duin of Maison Maison Design in Houston, Texas, double islands can actually make life harder. "I like a warm working kitchen without a lot of space in the kitchen triangle," she remarks. "Too many steps can make preparing a dinner too much effort." When a pot is bubbling over or you're on the hunt for an obscure gadget or ingredient, you may wish you didn't have so much square footage.

Lost Space

Even the biggest kitchens have a finite amount of space, and a second island takes up quite a bit of it. That said, there is a potential solution: Knowing this, Pitt got creative when designing the one above. "In this case, I had them leave it unattached to the floor and added a butcher block top so that it could be easily moved if necessary," she says.

No Separation

"I love to cook and entertain often but prefer to 'close the door' between prep and serving areas so the messy dishes can wait—for someone else, of course," Duin shares. Out of sight, out of mind, right?