15 Kitchen Island Ideas to Inspire Your Remodel

Welcome to island life.

Related To:

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

White Transitional Kitchen

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.

From: sKout

Photo by: Skout


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 Kitchen With Gold 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.

Photo by: Kara Thomas

Kara Thomas

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 and 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!

Photo by: Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales, The Hamptons, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

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

Kitchen With Industrial Shelving

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.

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

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

Green Kitchen Cabinets With White Tile Backsplash and Gold Accents

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.

Photo by: Caitlin Murray

Caitlin Murray

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

Transitional White Kitchen

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.

Photo by: Jackson Design and Remodeling

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 Kitchen With Wood Paneled Refrigerator

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.

Photo by: Melissa Brandman

Melissa Brandman

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

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.

Photo by: Kimberly Gavin

Kimberly Gavin

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

Open Kitchen Design With Island Leading to Dining Room

Connected Spaces

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.

Photo by: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

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

White Kitchen With Exposed Beam Vaulted Ceilings and Blue Details

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.

From: Fixer Upper

Photo by: Jennifer Boomer/Getty Images

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

Lots of Space for Food Prep in Modern Kitchen

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.

Photo by: Andrew Pogue Photography

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

Transitional, White Kitchen With Large Island

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.

Photo by: David Livingston

David Livingston

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

Kitchen With Marble-Topped Island, White Cabinets and Brick Walls

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.

Photo by: Julie Dodson

Julie Dodson

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 Transitional Eat-In Kitchen

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.

Photo by: Tessa Neustadt

Tessa Neustadt

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

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.

Photo by: Mirador Group

Mirador Group

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.

45 Splashy Kitchen Backsplashes

See All Photos

Kitchen backsplashes no longer simply protect walls from spills and splatters; a wide array of eye-catching materials like glass, wood, metals and stone make the backsplash a focal point of today's kitchens.

Shop This Look

Next Up

Don't Forget the Fifth Wall! Ceiling Design Ideas to Inspire

Every room has one, so why not dress it up?

15 Gorgeous Galley Kitchens to Inspire You

If you thought you couldn't get creative in a tiny kitchen, think again.

How to Infuse Your Home With Beautiful, Natural Light

Austin-based architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph shares creative ways to bring more natural light into your home, no matter the architectural challenges.

The Easiest Way to Update Your Kitchen Without Remodeling

Breathe new life into dated cabinets with a fresh coat of paint.

15 Mantels That Do It Right

These mantels make year-round decorating look easy.

15 Red Spaces Inspired by Red-Hot Grammys' Fashion

Red: A color so classic that carpet, gowns and rooms can all wear it.

15 Gallery Walls From HGTV Fans You'll Want to Copy Immediately

Take a glimpse inside the homes of HGTV fans who shared photos of their gallery wall designs on Instagram.

Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Design the perfect kitchen island with the help of HGTV.com expert advice.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.