84 Custom Luxury Kitchen Island Ideas & Designs (Pictures)

Lengthy island features huge expanse of natural wood countertop with built-in sink and large seating area.

Welcome to our gallery featuring stunning kitchen island ideas in a wide ranging galaxy of colors, materials, and styles.

When I think of my favorite kitchen designs from childhood on through now, the ones that have always stood out contained an island.

Not just any island, but something unique, a standout piece of the space that commands attention, offers utility, and truly completes a room.

I recall a friend’s home featuring an island with  myriad cubby spaces that we could hide in as kids; the thing felt magical!

Growing up, I realized that the best of them still offer that same sense of magic and fun.

Whether it’s a unique shape, bold material, or rich feature set, they often command attention in already luxurious kitchens.

With an already jam-packed space full of the necessities, from appliances to fixtures and more, the island offers an opportunity to get creative.

Dining spaces bump against second sinks, ranges, innovative storage solutions, and plain old expanses of beautiful marble.

As you’ll see in the following collection, there are few things that cannot be done with good kitchen island design.

We hope you feel as inspired as we have with the islands presented here.

If you’d like to learn more about the expansive kitchen pictured above, see our review.

Table of Content

Enjoy this massive kitchen island photo gallery.

30 Different Types of Kitchen Islands

1. Two-Tier Breakfast Bar and Work Station Kitchen Island

One of the best functions possible with large scale kitchen islands is the ability to host in-kitchen dining along with abundant countertop workspace. This particular model features a two-tier design, with discrete space for dining and a built-in sink. Cabinetry is built into the design, allowing for extra storage space.

One of the best functions possible with large scale kitchen islands is the ability to host in-kitchen dining along with abundant countertop workspace. This particular model features a two-tier design, with discrete space for dining and a built-in sink. Cabinetry is built into the design, allowing for extra storage space. Click here to learn more about this kitchen (plus leave your own review)

2. Two-Tier Kitchen Island Designed for Storage and Work Space

Speaking of storage, this kitchen island has it in abundance. The sleek curved wood design of the extension allows for a pair of massive drawers, while the main body houses a dual-basin sink and expansive countertop space in jet black.

Speaking of storage, this kitchen island has it in abundance. The sleek curved wood design of the extension allows for a pair of massive drawers, while the main body houses a dual-basin sink and expansive countertop space in jet black.

Learn more about this glossy modern kitchen in our extensive review.

3. Breakfast Bar Kitchen Island

This extraordinary kitchen island grants a burst of contrast to its respective room, with a dark stained wood structure and bright marble countertop. The extended countertop space allows for in-kitchen dining, with a set of matching wood bar stools tucked in.

This extraordinary kitchen island grants a burst of contrast to its respective room, with a dark stained wood structure and bright marble countertop. The extended countertop space allows for in-kitchen dining, with a set of matching wood bar stools tucked in.

You’ll want to check out or full review of this gorgeous kitchen.

4. Country Style Kitchen Island with Wood Surface

Despite its more rare appearance, hardwood countertops are one of the best options available for both style and utility, when it comes to designing a kitchen island. This example features a rustic-styled base with old fashioned cabinetry painted hazy green, contrasting with the sleek, rich stained wood countertop.

Despite its more rare appearance, hardwood countertops are one of the best options available for both style and utility, when it comes to designing a kitchen island. This example features a rustic-styled base with old fashioned cabinetry painted hazy green, contrasting with the sleek, rich stained wood countertop.

5. Kitchen in Luxury Home with White Cabinetry

Within this sprawling, open-plan kitchen, the island stands in sharp contrast, flaunting a black stained wood construction and beige granite countertop. The island houses a stainless steel microwave, in addition to a curved expanse of countertop that provides ample dining space for a pair of wood bar stools.

Within this sprawling, open-plan kitchen, the island stands in sharp contrast, flaunting a black stained wood construction and beige granite countertop. The island houses a stainless steel microwave, in addition to a curved expanse of countertop that provides ample dining space for a pair of wood bar stools.

6. Diamond-Shaped Kitchen Island

With this kitchen, we've reached one of the more unique island designs: the diamond shape. These work well in larger, open kitchens are shared room designs, helping to separate the kitchen itself while offering a surfeit of usable countertop space. This two-tier design boasts abundant cabinetry, a built-in range, and a lengthy in-kitchen dining space.

With this kitchen, we’ve reached one of the more unique island designs: the diamond shape. These work well in larger, open kitchens are shared room designs, helping to separate the kitchen itself while offering a surfeit of usable countertop space. This two-tier design boasts abundant cabinetry, a built-in range, and a lengthy in-kitchen dining space.

7. Kitchen Island with a Sink

With an expansive open plan space, shared with a living room, this kitchen has room to spare. The extraordinarily large island in black stained wood houses a variety of drawers and cupboards, plus a small over, in the body. An oversized white basin sink is built into the light granite countertop, while the structure extends into a broad space for in-kitchen dining on the opposite side.

With an expansive open plan space, shared with a living room, this kitchen has room to spare. The extraordinarily large island in black stained wood houses a variety of drawers and cupboards, plus a small over, in the body. An oversized white basin sink is built into the light granite countertop, while the structure extends into a broad space for in-kitchen dining on the opposite side. Click here for more islands with a sink.

8. Kitchen Island with Attached Dining Table

In this bright and modern kitchen, we see a unique take on island design. The L-shaped island stands out with a built-in sink and abundant storage, plus an attached high dining table. The serpentine design helps define the kitchen space while enhancing the bold white color palette.

In this bright and modern kitchen, we see a unique take on island design. The L-shaped island stands out with a built-in sink and abundant storage, plus an attached high dining table. The serpentine design helps define the kitchen space while enhancing the bold white color palette.

9. Kitchen Island with Breakfast Counter on the Side

In a richly appointed, traditionally styled dark wood kitchen, a matching island commands attention at center. Featuring a broad dark marble countertop and built-in sink, the island also houses cabinetry and a glass door wine rack. The end of the countertop extends to offer dining space for a pair of leather upholstered, nailhead trimmed bar stools.

In a richly appointed, traditionally styled dark wood kitchen, a matching island commands attention at center. Featuring a broad dark marble countertop and built-in sink, the island also houses cabinetry and a glass door wine rack. The end of the countertop extends to offer dining space for a pair of leather upholstered, nailhead trimmed bar stools.

10. Comfortable Kitchen and Living Room

Here's a unique open-plan design, incorporating a slim kitchen and large living room. The island is used, along with different flooring materials, to define the spaces. A light hardwood countertop and lower dining tier provide ample space, while the white body matches the surrounding bright cabinetry. A built-in range sits beneath a detailed central hood vent, extended from the ceiling.

Here’s a unique open-plan design, incorporating a slim kitchen and large living room. The island is used, along with different flooring materials, to define the spaces. A light hardwood countertop and lower dining tier provide ample space, while the white body matches the surrounding bright cabinetry. A built-in range sits beneath a detailed central hood vent, extended from the ceiling.

11. Luxury Real Estate Home Kitchen

In this dark hued, utterly bespoke kitchen, sharp contrast is achieved via juxtaposing between dark floor tiling and matching-toned granite countertops against rich wood cabinetry. The island features glass door cabinetry and a two-tier design, with an upper level in rich wood for dining purposes.

In this dark hued, utterly bespoke kitchen, sharp contrast is achieved via juxtaposing between dark floor tiling and matching-toned granite countertops against rich wood cabinetry. The island features glass door cabinetry and a two-tier design, with an upper level in rich wood for dining purposes.

12. Kitchen Island with Glass-Faced Cabinets on the End

The bright and bold nature of this kitchen is highlighted by warm hardwood flooring and rustic white painted cabinetry. The wide space centers on a beautiful island with glass panel cabinetry and sleek, dark toned countertop space.

The bright and bold nature of this kitchen is highlighted by warm hardwood flooring and rustic white painted cabinetry. The wide space centers on a beautiful island with glass panel cabinetry and sleek, dark toned countertop space.

13. Kitchen in Luxury Home with Cherry Wood Cabinetry

This ultra-luxurious kitchen flaunts rich cherry wood from floor to ceiling, with ornate cabinetry all around. Beige granite countertops add a splash of contrast and brightness, which continues on the island surface. With a built-in sink and array of storage drawers, the island is a highly functional center of this kitchen.

This ultra-luxurious kitchen flaunts rich cherry wood from floor to ceiling, with ornate cabinetry all around. Beige granite countertops add a splash of contrast and brightness, which continues on the island surface. With a built-in sink and array of storage drawers, the island is a highly functional center of this kitchen.

14. Kitchen Island with Rounded Corners

In an ultra-modern home with a wide open-plan design, the kitchen is clearly defined by the immense, curved white island at center. Boasting a high contrast section of natural wood cabinetry, matching the surrounding floor to ceiling cupboards, the island houses a smooth surface range and a dining table extension.

In an ultra-modern home with a wide open-plan design, the kitchen is clearly defined by the immense, curved white island at center. Boasting a high contrast section of natural wood cabinetry, matching the surrounding floor to ceiling cupboards, the island houses a smooth surface range and a dining table extension.

15. Kitchen in Luxury Home with Center Island

In a luxuriously detailed kitchen, high contrast informs the overall style. Dark hardwood flooring matches light beige cabinetry, while the granite topped island features ornate carved detail and abundant room for in-kitchen dining, courtesy of a set of leather upholstered bar stools.

In a luxuriously detailed kitchen, high contrast informs the overall style. Dark hardwood flooring matches light beige cabinetry, while the granite topped island features ornate carved detail and abundant room for in-kitchen dining, courtesy of a set of leather upholstered bar stools.

16. Kitchen Island with Side Storage

The warm hardwood flooring and white cabinetry of this broadly open kitchen design make an enticing, bright space. The large island in black with light granite countertops stands in stark contrast as a centerpiece element. With a raised tier for dining, and side structure for shelving storage and additional countertop space, it makes the most of its large footprint.

The warm hardwood flooring and white cabinetry of this broadly open kitchen design make an enticing, bright space. The large island in black with light granite countertops stands in stark contrast as a centerpiece element. With a raised tier for dining, and side structure for shelving storage and additional countertop space, it makes the most of its large footprint.

17. Modern Australian Kitchen with Stainless Steel Appliances

This ultra-modern kitchen shrugs off the usual buttoned-down look of its contemporaries with flashes of bright color throughout. The island features an expansive dark countertop with dining space, plus a tall wine rack and cooled storage rising above. This extra feature backs up a built-in range, with stainless steel hood vent overhead.

This ultra-modern kitchen shrugs off the usual buttoned-down look of its contemporaries with flashes of bright color throughout. The island features an expansive dark countertop with dining space, plus a tall wine rack and cooled storage rising above. This extra feature backs up a built-in range, with stainless steel hood vent overhead.

18. Kitchen Island with Table Extension

This bright kitchen stands below a massive vaulted ceiling with exposed natural wood beams, centered on a massive island with a full size dining table extension. The glass surface shows off the rich wood construction, which contrasts with the lighter hardwood flooring and white cabinetry throughout the kitchen.

This bright kitchen stands below a massive vaulted ceiling with exposed natural wood beams, centered on a massive island with a full size dining table extension for 3-sided eating (see more kitchen islands with seating here). The glass surface shows off the rich wood construction, which contrasts with the lighter hardwood flooring and white cabinetry throughout the kitchen.

19. Kitchen Island with Wine Rack

Now we come to another luxuriously appointed kitchen, bright and bold with white cabinetry and light marble flooring. The wide expanse is punctuated by the rich, dark wood two-tiered island, housing a large wine rack and plenty of in-kitchen dining space on the granite countertop.

Now we come to another luxuriously appointed kitchen, bright and bold with white cabinetry and light marble flooring. The wide expanse is punctuated by the rich, dark wood two-tiered island, housing a large wine rack and plenty of in-kitchen dining space on the granite countertop.  If you don’t have a $10,000 budget, check out this DIY kitchen island with wine rack.

20. Kitchen Island with Wood Surface

While it's connected to a free standing dividing wall, we'll still count this unique creation as a kitchen island. A single large slab of natural carved wood makes for abundant in-kitchen dining space, while helping define the natural wood kitchen itself.

While it’s connected to a free standing dividing wall, we’ll still count this unique creation as a kitchen island. A single large slab of natural carved wood makes for abundant in-kitchen dining space, while helping define the natural wood kitchen itself.

21. L-Shaped Kitchen Island with Inside Dining Area

This subtly bespoke kitchen features a standout L-shaped island in dark stained wood, with a soft grey marble countertop. There's a large curved dining table built into the center of the frame, with room for a trio of seats. With a built-in sink and abundant storage, this is an exceptionally useful island design.

This subtly bespoke kitchen features a standout L-shaped island in dark stained wood, with a soft grey marble countertop. There’s a large curved dining table built into the center of the frame, with room for a trio of seats. With a built-in sink and abundant storage, this is an exceptionally useful island design.

22. L-Shaped Kitchen Island

This sleekly contemporary kitchen sports dark hardwood flooring and cabinetry tones to match, with a massive L-shaped island defining the entire space. Glossy white countertops add a wealth of contrast and brightness, housing both a sink and large gas range.

This sleekly contemporary kitchen sports dark hardwood flooring and cabinetry tones to match, with a massive L-shaped island defining the entire space. Glossy white countertops add a wealth of contrast and brightness, housing both a sink and large gas range.

23. Oval Kitchen Island

Curved cabinetry is the defining feature of this modern kitchen, reflected on the abundant white cabinetry and the natural wood island alike. With large format grey tile flooring and a burst of red, courtesy of the backsplash, the kitchen is flush with textural detail. The island itself is a unique oval shape, with built-in microwave and plentiful storage.

Curved cabinetry is the defining feature of this modern kitchen, reflected on the abundant white cabinetry and the natural wood island alike. With large format grey tile flooring and a burst of red, courtesy of the backsplash, the kitchen is flush with textural detail. The island itself is a unique oval shape, with built-in microwave and plentiful storage.

24. Pie-Shaped Kitchen Island

This novel design is a broad, angular kitchen island with a large swath of dining space and built-in sink on the beige granite countertop. Rich natural wood construction matches the surrounding cabinetry, meshing well with the brown tile flooring.

This novel design is a broad, angular kitchen island with a large swath of dining space and built-in sink on the beige granite countertop. Rich natural wood construction matches the surrounding cabinetry, meshing well with the brown tile flooring.

25. Round Kitchen Island

In a modern kitchen flush with bold red cabinetry, an innovative circular island holds the center. Wrapped in the same cherry red tone as the rest of the kitchen, the island sports a unique countertop, pairing granite with light wood. A set of dual sinks and wraparound cabinetry provide a surprising amount of utility in a small package.

In a modern kitchen flush with bold red cabinetry, an innovative circular island holds the center. Wrapped in the same cherry red tone as the rest of the kitchen, the island sports a unique countertop, pairing granite with light wood. A set of dual sinks and wraparound cabinetry provide a surprising amount of utility in a small package.

26. Semi-Circle Kitchen Island

Here we see another sprawling open-design kitchen, this time in pristine whites over a dark hardwood floor. The island is a massive semi-circle design, with large basin sink on the flat end and a large curved space for in-kitchen dining. Dark granite countertop adds to the bold contrast in this brightly sunlit room.

Here we see another sprawling open-design kitchen, this time in pristine whites over a dark hardwood floor. The island is a massive semi-circle design, with large basin sink on the flat end and a large curved space for in-kitchen dining. Dark granite countertop adds to the bold contrast in this brightly sunlit room.

27. Square Kitchen Island

This kitchen balances its dark wood flooring and cabinetry with white marble countertops and matching tile backsplash, while the island truly punctuates the contrast. With white wood construction and grey granite countertop, the island features both a built-in sink and space for two diners.

This kitchen balances its dark wood flooring and cabinetry with white marble countertops and matching tile backsplash, while the island truly punctuates the contrast. With white wood construction and grey granite countertop, the island features both a built-in sink and space for two diners.

28. L-Shaped Kitchen Island

With a modern rustic look and open-plan design, this kitchen is absolutely awash in rich natural wood tones, from floor to ceiling. Exposed wood beams match the cabinetry and hardwood flooring, while the L-shaped island itself boasts an upper level dining tier of light wood. The large granite countertop includes room for a gas range and plenty of work space.

With a modern rustic look and open-plan design, this kitchen is absolutely awash in rich natural wood tones, from floor to ceiling. Exposed wood beams match the cabinetry and hardwood flooring, while the L-shaped island itself boasts an upper level dining tier of light wood. The large granite countertop includes room for a gas range and plenty of work space.

29. White Island in Natural Wood Kitchen

In an open but traditionally appointed kitchen wrapped in natural wood cabinetry, the elegant white island at center draws attention while subtly reflecting the white tile backsplash. In contrast with the hardwood flooring and beige granite countertops, a black countertop on the island truly punctuates the scene.

In an open but traditionally appointed kitchen wrapped in natural wood cabinetry, the elegant white island at center draws attention while subtly reflecting the white tile backsplash. In contrast with the hardwood flooring and beige granite countertops, a black countertop on the island truly punctuates the scene.

30. Kitchen Island On Wheels

Our final kitchen island design is a unique take on the entire concept, with a slim frame and casters built into the legs for portability. This allows for dynamic placement and extraordinary utility. The black wood frame and stainless steel countertop make for a very sharp, modern appearance in this kitchen with hardwood flooring and white cabinetry.

Our final kitchen island design is a unique take on the entire concept, with a slim frame and casters built into the legs for portability. This allows for dynamic placement and extraordinary utility. The black wood frame and stainless steel countertop make for a very sharp, modern appearance in this kitchen with hardwood flooring and white cabinetry. See more kitchen islands on wheels here.

Other types of kitchen islands

54 More Amazing Pictures of Kitchen Islands


Expansive, open kitchen features island done in white painted wood with dark slate grey countertop, array of useful drawers.

Expansive, open kitchen features island done in white painted wood with dark slate grey countertop, array of useful drawers.

Ultra modern kitchen featuring slanted, natural wood island with glass countertop connected to large central concrete pillar.

Ultra modern kitchen featuring slanted, natural wood island with glass countertop connected to large central concrete pillar. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Light grey island with dining seating features black countertop and full kitchen sink.

Light grey island with dining seating features black countertop and full kitchen sink.

Lush beige tones throughout this kitchen, including filigreed wood island with rounded marble countertop.

Lush beige tones throughout this kitchen, including filigreed wood island with rounded marble countertop.

Minimalist dark wood paneling throughout this kitchen with triangular matching island featuring expanse of white glossy countertop.

Minimalist dark wood paneling throughout this kitchen with triangular matching island featuring expanse of white glossy countertop.

Luxurious, modern kitchen awash in dark purple and wood tones featuring marble topped island with extended dining table attached.

Luxurious, modern kitchen awash in dark purple and wood tones featuring marble topped island with extended dining table attached. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Large modern white and dark brown kitchen with huge modern island with breakfast bar.

Large modern white and dark brown kitchen with huge modern island with breakfast bar.

A kitchen of contrasts holds this large island in black and white, replete with expansive built-in storage and full range.

A kitchen of contrasts holds this large island in black and white, replete with expansive built-in storage and full island range.

Rich dark wood tones throughout this kitchen featuring two-tier island with full bar seating and dark marble countertops.

Rich dark wood tones throughout this kitchen featuring two-tier island with full bar seating and dark marble countertops.

Luxurious beige tone island features wide overhang for dining, with built in range.

Kitchen island photo of a luxurious beige tone island features wide overhang for dining, with built in range.

This compact island in white features two-tiered natural wood countertop with plenty of dining space and hood vent with extra shelving overhead.

This compact island in white features two-tiered natural wood countertop with plenty of dining space and hood vent with extra shelving overhead.

Large island doubling as dining table, with large overhang and carved wood legs. Light marble countertop matches with kitchen while white wood paneling adds contrast.

Large island doubling as dining table, with large overhang and carved wood legs. Light marble countertop matches with kitchen while white wood paneling adds contrast.

Rich red wood over beige marble flooring throughout this kitchen. Large two-tiered island with marble countertop features dining seating and built-in storage.

Rich red wood over beige marble flooring throughout this kitchen. Large two-tiered island with marble countertop features dining seating and built-in storage. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Dark wood and marble countertop island stands out in this white and beige kitchen, with ample dining seating all around.

Dark wood and marble countertop island stands out in this white and beige kitchen, with ample dining seating all around.  This is a great example of a natural wood kitchen in an otherwise white kitchen.

Lush green tones liven this kitchen, awash in beige wood paneling on cupboards and octagonal island. Island features built-in sink and range on forest green marble countertop.

Lush green tones liven this kitchen, awash in beige wood paneling on cupboards and octagonal island. Island features built-in sink and range on forest green marble countertop.

Unique, white toned island stands apart in this black-floored kitchen, with light wood tones and white marble countertop and side panels.

Unique, white toned island stands apart in this black-floored kitchen, with light wood tones and white marble countertop and side panels.

Ornate, modern kitchen features imposing island in black wood and light marble countertop, featuring dining area between shelving, and full sink.

Ornate, modern kitchen features imposing island in black wood and light marble countertop, featuring dining area between shelving, and full sink. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Rich, natural wood kitchen holds this large, contrasting light wood island at center, with built-in dishwasher, storage, and sink, across from dining seating.

Rich, natural wood kitchen holds this large, contrasting light wood island at center, with built-in dishwasher, storage, and sink, across from dining seating.

Warm wood tones unify this kitchen featuring large island with ample seating area, built-in shelving and full kitchen sink.

Warm wood tones unify this kitchen featuring large island with ample seating area, built-in shelving and full kitchen sink.

Large, open kitchen features immense island done in natural wood tones, with built-in glass cabinetry, dining area, and full sink on marble countertop.

This is clearly not your typical DIY kitchen island.  Instead it’s a luxury custom design in a large, open kitchen features immense island done in natural wood tones, with built-in glass cabinetry, dining area, and full sink on marble countertop.

White island with rosy marble countertop under dual chandeliers stands apart in this natural wood toned kitchen.

White island with rosy marble countertop under dual chandeliers stands apart in this natural wood toned kitchen.

Here we have another two-tiered island adding contrast to a kitchen with warm natural wood and dark marble countertop.

Here we have another two-tiered island adding contrast to a kitchen with warm natural wood and dark marble countertop.  Compared to others in this gallery, this is an example of a smaller kitchen island.

All-white kitchen replete with minimalist wood island and dining table hybrid. Large natural wood beams above add contrast.

All-white kitchen replete with minimalist wood island and dining table hybrid. Large natural wood beams above add contrast.  Source: Zillow DigsTM

Red wood features heavily in this kitchen, contrasting with light beige tile flooring and countertops. Elaborate, multi-tiered island has built-in bread box and ample dining space.

Red wood features heavily in this kitchen, contrasting with light beige tile flooring and countertops. Elaborate, multi-tiered island has built-in bread box and ample dining space.

Kitchen centered around lengthy island featuring full range, sink, and dishwasher, plus raised marble countertop for dining.

Kitchen centered around lengthy island featuring full range, sink, and dishwasher, plus raised marble countertop for dining.

White wood with beige marble countertop island features bar style seating with natural wood stools.

White wood with beige marble countertop island features bar style seating with natural wood stools.

Wide open space centered around oblong island in natural wood cabinetry, topped with white marble under large metal pot hanger.

Wide open space centered around oblong island in natural wood cabinetry, topped with white marble under large metal pot hanger. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Luxurious kitchen awash in light marble tones, dominated by large dark wood island with filigreed siding and built-in secondary sink.

Luxurious kitchen awash in light marble tones, dominated by large dark wood island with filigreed siding and built-in secondary sink.

Light painted wood island features bright natural wood countertop, matching hardwood flooring in this detailed kitchen.

Light painted wood island features bright natural wood countertop, matching hardwood flooring in this detailed kitchen.

Compact, richly detailed kitchen holds this two-tiered island with built-in sink and raised dining surface of light marble.

Compact, richly detailed kitchen holds this two-tiered island with built-in sink and raised dining surface of light marble.

Kitchen space stands as part of larger open area, featuring warm wood paneling on every vertical surface and black marble countertop attachment for dining area.

Kitchen space stands as part of larger open area, featuring warm wood paneling on every vertical surface and black marble countertop attachment for dining area.

Dark cherry wood and darker marble countertops unify this kitchen, featuring expansive L-shaped island with built-in wine rack and ample dining space.

Dark cherry  wood and darker marble countertops unify this kitchen, featuring expansive L-shaped island with built-in wine rack and ample dining space.

Island comprised of stone wall and rich wood paneling matching the cabinetry throughout this kitchen, features marble countertop and raised wood dining surface.

Island comprised of stone wall and rich wood paneling matching the cabinetry throughout this kitchen, features marble countertop and raised wood dining surface.

Large open kitchen is thoroughly dominated by multi-part island with full height counter space attached to C-shaped lower dining extension, replete with glass panel cabinetry and bookshelf space under rich marble countertops.

Large open kitchen is thoroughly dominated by multi-part island with full height counter space attached to C-shaped lower dining extension, replete with glass panel cabinetry and bookshelf space under rich marble countertops. Source: Zillow DigsTM

White island stands apart from natural wood tones throughout this kitchen, with light marble counter space and dining seating across from sink.

White island stands apart from natural wood tones throughout this kitchen, with light marble counter space and dining seating across from sink.

White kitchen features dual islands: traditional model featuring sink and dark blue marble countertop, and second dining-area island with space for three.

White kitchen features dual islands: traditional model featuring sink and dark blue marble countertop, and second dining-area island with space for three.

Traditional wood island matching cabinetry throughout this kitchen features marble countertop and circular dining area extension.

Traditional wood island matching cabinetry throughout this kitchen features marble countertop and circular dining area extension. Source: Zillow DigsTM

In this kitchen defined by wraparound counter space, modest sized island commands attention with built-in wine cooler and full sink over dark hardwood paneling.

In this kitchen defined by wraparound counter space, modest sized island commands attention with built-in wine cooler and full sink over dark hardwood paneling.

Sleek, modernist kitchen replete with glossy white paneling throughout, with natural wood island with built-in range.

Sleek, modernist kitchen replete with glossy white paneling throughout, with natural wood island with built-in range.

Natural tones throughout this space, with C-shape island complete with dining seating, full sink and black marble countertop.

Natural tones throughout this space, with C-shape island complete with dining seating, full sink and black marble countertop.

Bright painted island illuminates this kitchen over natural hardwood flooring. Built-in sink shares marble countertop with dining space.

Bright painted island illuminates this kitchen over natural hardwood flooring. Built-in sink shares marble countertop with dining space.

Compact, detail-rich island sits at the center of this natural wood kitchen, with both painted and natural sides, plus rounded marble countertop.

Compact, detail-rich island sits at the center of this natural wood kitchen, with both painted and natural sides, plus rounded marble countertop.

Rich patterned marble countertop extends to round dining space on this natural wood island.

Rich patterned marble countertop extends to round dining space on this natural wood island.

Unique, white stone island with marble countertop stands apart in this kitchen flush with natural wood tones.

Unique, white stone island with marble countertop stands apart in this kitchen flush with natural wood tones.

Immense island dominates this space, with dark wood paneling and two-tiered marble countertops with full dining area and built-in sink.

Immense island dominates this space, with dark wood paneling and two-tiered marble countertops with full dining area and built-in sink.

Natural wood paneling under light marble countertop define this wedge-shaped island with full dining space.

Natural wood paneling under light marble countertop define this wedge-shaped island with full dining space.

Ultra luxurious island features wine cooler and hidden storage space under large dark marble countertop in this kitchen.

Ultra luxurious island features wine cooler and hidden storage space under large dark marble countertop in this kitchen. Source: Zillow DigsTM

Expansive island matches dark wood and light marble countertop theme of kitchen, with lengthy dining seating and secondary sink built-in.

Expansive island matches dark wood and light marble countertop theme of kitchen, with lengthy dining seating and secondary sink built-in.

White kitchen features matching island with contrasting black countertop, full dining seating and built-in sink.

White kitchen features matching island with contrasting black countertop, full dining seating and built-in sink.

Truly ornate wraparound island features under-counter lighting and expanse of black marble countertop, with seating for 5.

Truly ornate wraparound island features under-counter lighting and expanse of black marble countertop, with seating for 5. Source: Zillow DigsTM

This dark wood kitchen features matching large island with black marble countertop, complete with second sink and ornate dining chairs.

This dark wood kitchen features matching large island with black marble countertop, complete with second sink and ornate dining chairs.

Natural wood material belies modern setup on this island with hidden utility cart, elaborate cupboards and built-in wine rack next to dining area.

Natural wood material belies modern setup on this island with hidden utility cart, elaborate cupboards and built-in wine rack next to dining area.

Types of Kitchen Islands

When it comes down to it, there are unlimited options for designing a kitchen island.  That said, if you go with a pre-built, your options are less, but obviously it will cost much, much less.  Some kitchen islands, especially many in this gallery cost thousands of dollars.

Island Options

Custom design:  Many people are choosing to put luxury kitchens in their homes these days.  It’s often the most expensive room.

Off the shelf:  Many hardware stores offer “off-the-shelf” kitchen islands along with cabinets.  This is much less expensive and can be an excellent option for your kitchen.  Please don’t think you need a custom luxury island for it to look great and be functional.  An inexpensive island can definitely improve kitchen function and appearance.

Mobile kitchen island:  You can also buy mobile kitchen islands on wheels.  These are usually fairly small and are a terrific addition to smaller kitchen spaces.

Butcher block:  For an even less expensive and smaller option, consider a butcher block.  We have one and while we don’t use it as an Island currently, it’s always a handy item for more workspace and/or storage.

Kitchen Island Color Design Ideas

Same color as cabinets:  This is a common design element – matching the island with the other cabinets throughout the kitchen.

Different color than cabinets:  If you have a white kitchen, consider a dark or honey wood island.  The white and dark combination can be striking.

Alternatively, if you have a natural wood kitchen, get a white island.

Also, as you see above and in our other island galleries, many islands themselves have contrasting color schemes such as white base and dark countertop or vice versa.

Island Countertops

The island is an opportunity to add design diversity in your kitchen.  This applies to the countertop too.

If you have granite throughout, you can certainly continue with granite on the island.

However, why not consider something different such as wood for a large butcher block space or even stainless steel (there’s a reason commercial kitchens like stainless steel countertops – they’re incredibly durable and easy to clean).

Island Functionality

It’s no surprise islands are so popular.  In fact, most new kitchens are design to accommodate an island.  They’re great because they offer more workspace, counterspace, storage all without impeding flow too much (at least they impede less than peninsula assuming smart kitchen layout design).

Counterspace:  In my view counterspace is very, very important.  When designing your kitchen, think carefully about counterspace.  Will the island be the main workspace or will the island have other features leaving more workspace on the regular counter areas?

Storage:  Most island bases offer a lot of additional storage.  It sounds simple, but it’s not.  You need to consider the type of storage you’ll want and access points.  Will there be access points from all sides, 2 sides or one side?  Will you have large open storage for pots and pans or smaller storage options such as layers of drawers?  When planning kitchen storage, you must consider the kitchen as a whole.

Seating:  Kitchen islands are perfect for offering additional seating. Since people congregate in kitchens these days, it’s nice to offer stools or bar seats along an island or at the end of the island.  TIP:  Be sure to consider open space beneath for legs.  I like the island bars with a 2-tiered section that overhangs so that there’s room for legs below the eating area without encroaching storage space.

Production:  Some islands include a sink and/or stove.  This turns the island into a productivity area.  I’ve had an island with a sink and it’s very, very handy.  However, I’m not so keen about islands with a stove because the drop-down hood impedes the openness of the kitchen.

Kitchen Layout Considerations

You’ll definitely want to give some thought to your kitchen layout when incorporating an island.  Why?  Because an island can actually impede workflow.  For example, if a you have the stove one one side of the kitchen and the sink on the opposite end of the kitchen with the island in between, you don’t enjoy the efficient triangle kitchen flow.

Maintaining the kitchen triangle workflow is one reason islands include a stove or sink.  By doing so, the efficient triangle workflow layout is retained.

That said, you don’t necessarily need to place a sink or stove as part of the island.  Many islands are set away from the main work space – essentially offering the function peninsulas do without closing off the kitchen.

Kitchen Island vs. Peninsula

I think it’s safe to say most people prefer and island over a peninsula these days.

Islands offer a more open kitchen design and don’t impede access points.

However, an island in the middle of a kitchen, if not well placed, can actually impede kitchen workflow whereas peninsulas seldom do because they make the triangle workflow easy to incorporate.

Why not have an island and a peninsula?  If you have a large enough kitchen space, you can create the typical U-shaped or G-shaped kitchen and place an island in the center.

How do you choose an Island design?

The best way is getting kitchen island ideas by scouring magazines, websites, etc.  Also, if you’re planning on hiring a designer, ask for several design ideas.  Keep looking until you find the perfect design for you and your home taking both aesthetics and function into account.

Related Kitchen Island Galleries and Articles You May Enjoy

100 Kitchen Design Tips | 64 Kitchen Island Designs | 25 Kitchen Islands with a Stove | 30 Pictures of Kitchen Islands | 32 Kitchen Islands with Seating | DIY Kitchen Island with Wine Rack | 45 Small Kitchen Islands in Small Kitchen Spaces


(c) 2015

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