15 Kitchen Island Ideas to Inspire Your Remodel
Welcome to island life.
I have an ever-changing dream kitchen design always floating around in my head. Let me qualify this: I am in no way actually planning to remodel my kitchen or buy a new house with a dream kitchen. But, I feel pretty confident that as long as I live, I will always be planning a kitchen remodel in my head. I'm actually 100 percent OK with this. Call it a hobby, if you will.
A few things are certain in the dream kitchen. One of those is an oversized, totally tricked-out island. The island's exact details are still up in the air; so today I'm sharing a few of my favorite ideas. Take a look, and get inspired for your own remodel (in your head or IRL, no judgement either way).
1: Choose a Bold Color
Spacious Transitional Kitchen With Blue Island, Globe Pendant Lights Between Exposed Beams and
A pair of globe pendant lights positioned between exposed wood beams hang above the large blue kitchen island. Four chairs line one side of the island facing built in white cabinets topped with a trio of windows. A black stove section with matching black range is surrounded with a white subway tile frame.
Consider contrasting the color of your island with your perimeter cabinets, like designer Ashley Clark of sKout did here. Bold blue and green hues are totally on-trend and pair well with neutrals.
2: Accent With Metallic Pendants
White Contemporary Open Plan Kitchen With Gold Pendants
Hovering over the island, this kitchen's golden pendants are like sculptures with their cords and color in crisp contrast to the white cabinets.
Don’t forget lighting when designing your island, as it’s a key part of the overall look. If you’re leaning toward neutral tones for cabinetry and countertops, try a shiny, metallic finish for your pendant lights.
3: Add an Eating Bar
Gourmet Kitchen With Eating Bar
A wooden eating bar tucks up nicely behind the marble island in this luxury kitchen, a perfect spot for a casual bite or a cheering section for the chef!
Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales, The Hamptons, a member of Luxury Portfolio International
Do you desperately need an island for prep space but love the thought of casual dining? This idea is for you. An eating bar will provide a spot for quick meals while keeping your actual island countertop open for food prep.
4: Hang Shelves Above
Remodeled Kitchen With Concrete Island
Distinctive features in the new kitchen include a large island with waterfall concrete countertops, suspended industrial shelving and extra tall cabinets.
Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images
Struggling with storage space? Purchase shelving proportionate to the size of your island to hang directly above.
5: Tuck Your Barstools Under
Bold Kitchen With Forest Green Cabinets and Gold Metal Accents
This contemporary kitchen features sleek forest green cabinets paired with gold accents, like the cone shaped pendant lights. Two teal leather stools with gold metal legs are positioned at the black marble kitchen island, while the gray floor tiles are arranged in a stylish herringbone pattern.
If storage isn’t an issue, design an island with a countertop overhang to house your barstools. This will help keep your kitchen neat and walkways open.
6: Integrate Appliances
Timeless Style Transitional Kitchen Featuring Large Island, White Cabinets and a Mix of White and Gray Marble Countertop
Sharp lines and a sleek transitional style decorate this spacious, white kitchen. A large island with built in stainless steel ovens is topped with marble gray countertop for a decorative change from the white countertop over the wall cabinets. A pair of globe pendant lights, a decorative backsplash panel and a colorful rug add finishing touches to complete the design.
Jackson Design and Remodeling
If you have the option to install a large island, take full advantage by housing appliances within it. Often, the island provides a central location, perfect for everyday appliances like a microwave.
7: Warm It Up With Wood
White Contemporary Kitchen With Wood Paneled Refrigerator
A wood paneled refrigerator matches the surprise paneling on the back of the island. It's a fun way to add life and unique personality to this stylish kitchen.
The kitchen is typically one of the most neutral spaces in a home. If yours feels a bit dull or lifeless, consider wood for your new island. As you can see in this stunning kitchen designed by Serendipite, nothing warms a room quite like a dose of natural wood.
8: Blend It In
Blue and White Transitional Kitchen With Gold Pendants
This charming kitchen sparkles with pretty color pairings (love the pinks and reds of the rug and the blue-gray cabinets) pulled together by a trio of gold pendants above the island. Clean-lined barstools are the perfect friendly and so-stylish finishing touch.
Make your island blend seamlessly with the rest of your space by choosing the same cabinets, countertops and hardware used on the perimeter walls. To further this idea, opt for the same metal for your lighting and barstools, just as Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design did here.
9: Include a Prep Sink
The open kitchen flows into the adjacent dining room, with a coordinating color scheme and design details that help the two spaces blend together seamlessly.
Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography
If you plan to use your island as a workspace, consider installing a prep sink. The addition is definitely worth it for avid chefs.
10: Match Your Hood's Hue
Light and Bright Kitchen With Exposed Beam Vaulted Ceilings
This renovated kitchen features exposed beam vaulted ceilings paired with white cabinets and blue details, like the kitchen island. Two wood stools are positioned next to the island for casual dining, while a metallic pendant light and hardwood floors add finishing touches.
Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images
If you like the idea of a colorful island but want to make sure it ties into your design, paint your range hood the same color. This will give your space an effortless flow.
11: Half It
Plenty of Space for Food Prep and Consumption in Large Modern Kitchen
This modern kitchen provides plenty of space for food prep as well as food consumption. Countertops line two sides of the kitchen, and a large kitchen island provides even more space for preparation. Once preparation is finished and the meal has been prepared, the large kitchen island seats seven-perfect for a night of casual dining.
Andrew Pogue Photography
Who said an island can’t multitask? If you need yours to do double duty, consider one that has two distinct halves — one for dining and one for storage and prep.
12: Waterfall One Side
Family-Friendly Kitchen is Sophisticated, Transitional
In the center of the kitchen is a waterfall island with classic marble countertop, oversized brass geometric pendants and blue faux leather stools with brass frames. The tile backsplash behind the oven is a geometric marble with metallic inlay, which creates a glamorous focal point.
Waterfall countertops are the it-girl accessory for kitchen islands, but have you ever considered a countertop that only spills over on one side? I love the asymetrical edge it gives this kitchen by Coddington Design.
13: Waterfall Both Sides
Marble Waterfall Island Wows in Charming Brick Kitchen
Two glass pendant lights hang above a spacious island with a marble waterfall countertop, creating a stunning focal point in this charming kitchen. Exposed brick walls lend character to the space, and white cabinetry keeps the room feeling fresh and bright.
BUT — you can’t go wrong by going all out. The marble waterfall countertop in this kitchen designed by Julie Dodson is simply stunning.
14: Consider an L Shape
White Open Kitchen With Modern Wooden Bar Stools
Although the cabinets don't meet the ceiling, white walls and transom windows close the gap to prevent the kitchen from looking disjointed and blocky. A large kitchen island anchors the room, providing additional counter space, storage and an eat-in breakfast bar area. Modern wooden barstools bring in warmth and a natural element to offset all the white surfaces.
An L-shaped island can bring immense functionality to your space, especially if your kitchen is tucked in a corner.
15: Double Up
Gray Modern Chef's Kitchen With Cowhide Stools
Gray cabinets and counters and white walls set off quirky details in this chef kitchen like the cowhide stools and artwork. Golden pendants bring a note of elegance.
Maybe you’re working with a blank slate and wide, open spaces. By all means, then, don’t stop at one! Install two separate islands, one for working and one for dining.