Whether you’re looking for more storage, counter space or extra seating, a kitchen island is always a good solution, even in a small space. For inspiration, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite kitchen islands ideas for you to check out.
1. Island Storage
A custom-made cupboard and plate rack offer original storage strategies, as does the open shelving below the island. With lots of white subway tile, soapstone countertops, and a bold yellow stove, the space feels old and new at the same time.
2. Double the Fun
Designed for a serious cook, this kitchen features two smaller islands instead of the single island it had before. “I always had to walk around the island to get from the sink to the refrigerator,” recalls homeowner Linda Waks. Now, the path between the two islands allows for easier movement and more efficient work zones. The island closest to the range handles food prep, while the one closest to the breakfast room is used primarily for meals and snacking. Both islands are topped with a gorgeous blue-green quartzite stone with rich veining. They also feature X-motif trim on the end panels—a look that was inspired by the traditional home’s period styling.
3. A Black-and-Gold Island
In this Adirondack-style home, gold-flecked granite tops black cabinetry on the island and rest of the kitchen; the draftsman stools are from Wisteria Home. Open white windows keep the room from feeling too dark.
4. Try a Few Clever Tricks
A repurposed cast-off hardware-store counter serves as an island. Exposed shelves offer a convenient display opportunity and keep the room from feeling confined. Spray paint transformed a black fixture into a gleaming pendant.
5. Fresh Angles
Designed by avid hosts Cam and Kathy Hagen, this kitchen accommodates crowds with panache. Part of its appeal? An L-shape island with dramatic waterfall edges—serving as a high-function focal point. The stylish surface—Fantasy Brown Quartzite—lends extra drama to the scene with color and texture variations that could almost double as art. The island’s angled shape puts a prep sink, cookware, storage, and a trash center within easy reach of the chef. A circular prep sink doubles as a bar sink for weekend gatherings. And on the side opposite the sink, a beverage refrigerator lets guests stay hydrated while steering clear of the main work zone.
6. A Bright Spot
A custom island, topped with sheet metal, echoes this Georgia home’s barnwood beams. Why stop at the usual overheads? Additional sconces make any countertop an enlightened place for prep work.
7. Modern Influences
This kitchen’s architectural roots are in the Roaring Twenties. But today the renovated room’s look includes a modern mix of materials—everything from steel-frame French doors to classic white subway tiles. Inspired by French farm tables, the white oak island (made by Custom Wood Craft) features turned legs and a honed Carrara marble top. Rattan baskets, rather than cabinets and drawers, help keep kitchen items organized. The herringbone floor is crafted from 100-year-old reclaimed, unfinished oak—adding a weathered texture to the neutral palette.
8. A Flash of White
The owner of this California home designed her kitchen island to match the kitchen’s custom alder-wood cabinetry. The island top is Carrara marble; the counters are soapstone.
9. Furniture-Style Finesse
Designer Joan Nemirow wanted to give her new kitchen more of a period feel. That’s why she designed this vintage-look island, a nearly 5×10-foot walnut cabinet inspired by 18th- and 19th-century English furniture styles. Outside, the island boasts burled walnut and decorative veneers. Inside, the island sports multiple storage drawers with adjustable pegs for safe china storage. The island’s teak top and stainless-steel sink provide functional work space.
10. Extra Space
The spindle-leg stools that surround the kitchen island (painted Right White by Restoration Hardware) in this California home are hand-me-downs from the homeowner’s parents.
11. Cream-Colored Kitchen
The owners of this Texas ranch painted their kitchen island Paris Rain by Benjamin Moore and topped the counter with Caesarstone.
12. Life of the Party
More than mere prep surface, this kitchen island from Cost Plus World Market also serves as a social hub come happy hour in our 2013 House of the Year.
13. Stylish and Functional
An open-plan ground floor—a mere 22 by 23 feet—in this New Hampshire farm homecontains a kitchen and dining area. A local carpenter built the pine island.