10 Ways to Customize Your Kitchen Island

Take a store-bought, ready-made kitchen island to the next level with our list of must-have designer upgrades.
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August 25, 2015

Your Dream (Kitchen) Island is Within Reach

Learn how to turn a ready-made island into a designer-worthy piece with a clever use of lumber, marble remnants and stylish hardware. Explore this bold, chef-worthy kitchen >>

Countertop Remnants

Solid-surface countertops are intimidating because they usually come with a large price tag. A trick for getting a custom and budget stone countertop is to search stone yards for remnants. Remnants are smaller pieces cut from slabs, and they're often sold for a fraction of the cost since they're considered waste from more elaborate installations. We'll take it!

Rounded Edges

Looking to use your kitchen island as a breakfast bar but too short on space to make it work? Consider having your countertop material rounded at the edge. This still offers enough overhang for use as an eat-in area, but won't protrude into the kitchen as much as a full square or rectangle.

Shiplap Details

Give your kitchen island an architectural look with a shiplap update. Made from horizontal boards fastened with a 1/8-inch gap, shiplap adds a classic and casual cottage vibe.

Coordinating Hues

To make a new kitchen island feel original and authentic, tie it together with your kitchen's color. For a seamless effect, this island was painted the same shade of cranberry red as its surrounding cabinets.

Satin-Finish Pulls

Stainless steel, chrome and brushed nickel are the most readily available metals for kitchen hardware. Put a fresh but classic spin on your kitchen island with satin brass. While polished- and lacquered- brass styles come across as dated, the understated look of satin brass is more transitional and up to date.

Drawer Organization

To efficiently maximize the drawer space, add stylish dividers to house utensils, napkins and barware.

Open Storage

Open storage can be both decorative and functional. The trick to doing this with style is to only keep utensils with simple shapes and lines visible. This adds a lived-in look to your kitchen island that also avoids coming across as cluttered.

Coat Hooks

Coat hooks are the perfect scale for keeping everyday baking and cooking utensils organized and within arm's reach. Here, an antique brass hook is attached to the side of the kitchen island to keep mixing spoons easily accessible.

Antique Brass Knobs

When it comes to hardware, get creative by using drawer pulls and knobs in clever, cost-effective ways, like this antique brass knob to hold simple cooking tools.

Upholstered Stools

When searching for the best seats to place at your kitchen island, there are two popular heights: counter height and bar height. If your kitchen island sits between 34 and 36 inches high, it's fit for counter-height seating. Islands standing between 40 and 42 inches tall will need seats that are categorized as bar height.

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