Before I moved into my house, I lived with tiny kitchens. The kind where you open the oven door and hit the countertops. When I moved into my house, I immediately fell in love with my intensely spacious kitchen.

Apparently, that was new house puppy love because I soon discovered that my big kitchen layout was an even bigger nuisance. Just making morning coffee was an exhausting challenge. Walking a million steps to the sink for water, to the fridge for creamer, to the pantry for sugar – I still get tired just thinking about it.

Then my mom picked up a garage sale treasure that became the savior of my culinary woes – a movable kitchen island. Suddenly my kitchen was totally functional plus I could just roll the island out of the way whenever I wanted to utilize all my space or to clean the floors. I had always dismissed them before – I never grew up with a kitchen island and thought they were nice, but not exactly a necessity. Now I can’t imagine how I ever lived without one.

I think I love how many options there are with kitchen islands the most. You can find skinny ones to keep narrow walking aisles open or islands with laptop plugs built right in for the whole family. They can have extra sinks, ovens and even mini fridges. I’ve even seen islands that are a combination of movable and permanent – just roll away the second half when you don’t need it. My favorite was an antique buffet repurposed as a kitchen island – it makes for a truly original focal point. Check out some of the fabulous kitchen islands Kitchen Design Concepts has created and get inspired for your own island addition!

Our intern is Desiree Johnson, a recent journalism graduate and Texas native. The 26-year-old loves painting, her dachshund Munchie and using what she calls her “real, adult-sized kitchen.”