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3 Inspired Kitchen Island Ideas for Your Kitchen

Not only does a kitchen island help your space function more efficiently, but it also serves as the room's visual anchor—so it should be as stylish as it is useful. For a truly inspired island, remember that it doesn't have to match the surrounding cabinets and countertops to be a successful design element. It must, however, work well and fit in aesthetically with the major components in the space, which actually isn't as difficult as it might sound.


If you're looking to add a kitchen island, or to revamp an existing one, here are three designs ideas to help inspire your project:

1. Top It with Tile

In a busy kitchen, the island countertop is often used daily, and when it starts to wear, it can make the whole space appear dated or poorly maintained. Why not refocus the room by covering the top of the island with quality tile?

To tie the design into the surrounding countertops, go with a complementary color or even a modern hue that adds a pop of color. This often works better than trying to perfectly match existing materials, which can easily result in a mismatched look. For example, if the existing countertops are white or pale gray granite, try topping your island with counter-friendly tile in black or dark gray granite, or a colorful tile blend that has a modern vibe. You'll be able to achieve a look that's intentionally different, which will come across as trendy.

You can then paint the island cabinetry a shade that matches the kitchen's existing scheme. Or, take the opportunity to add a new modern mosaic backsplash, which you can match with the paint color of the island.

2. Wrap It in Stone

The streamlined, timeless look of a kitchen island that's wrapped in natural stone adds elegance and value. Consider going with glossy white marble or Crystallize quartzite. Then pair it with quality finishes, such as streamlined cabinetry, top-notch appliances, and linear or plank wood-look tile flooring for visual impact against the natural stone.

For a supersized kitchen or an open-concept home, consider an L-shaped island that creates a visual boundary, enlarges the work surface area, and has plenty of space for stools. When wrapped in stone, this angular feature doesn't just give the room stylish appeal, but also it improves sight lines and adds more under-counter space for whatever you need—like a wine cooler, a second dishwasher, or a second oven.

3. Give It Legs

If you think your kitchen would benefit from an island, but you don't want its base to hide any of your flooring material, simply secure a natural stone slab on top of sturdy legs. Alternatively, a durable vintage table or dresser can be sufficient for a small, narrow island and will provide a laid-back, whimsical feel. Placing your countertop on a unit with a drawer or two will increase efficiency, and the underside will provide a perfect place to hang pots. If you can't find the right base, have one custom-built from strong material, such as salvaged pieces of iron or from a vintage metal factory cart.

Whether you're refurbishing an existing kitchen island, or designing an entirely new space, use these design tips and tricks to be successful. Start by carefully choosing the right material, and then try to put a unique spin on your design. If you're feeling inspired, get started on your design today.

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