We all think we could upgrade our kitchen space, and while some of us are limited by the confines of our walls, there’s no harm in admiring a bit of kitchen porn, right?

A lot of this might help the sense of kitchen envy you feel while scanning the internet for kitchen ideas, I hope something in this list sparks something inside you for your next phase of decorating.

Nothing takes centre stage in the kitchen as much as an island.

What’s particularly great about a well thought out island is that you actually don’t need acres of space to fit one in. When done right, even a small space can fit one in without it dominating the room.

If you’re lucky enough to be at the other end of the spectrum and have a large kitchen, an island is a great way to break up the space.

They also serve a whole range of purposes, from food prep to entertaining, to simply breaking the room up.

Here are 11 ideas from around the web to inspire you to take your kitchen to the next level.

 

#1. Waterfall Islands

studiomcgee mercer islandWaterfall islands have a worktop that flows over the edge of the work surface, helping to create a finish that can easily match the other elements of the kitchen space. In this case, the color white takes centerstage in the kitchen, so the waterfall island helps it retain this look. Its marble finish however helps the island pop out, and even helps emphasise the water-like element of a waterfall.

Despite things being seemingly simple, there’s a lot that’s been well thought out here. While even the chairs match the wooden aesthetic of the shelves on the wall.

Check it out here

 

2. Bright Blue

bright blue island erika bierman

Photo: Erika Bierman

You pretty much can’t go wrong with a blue painted island, especially in any sort of coastal setting. I also love the brass inlays and chevron detailing of this particular piece in this SoCal kitchen. It keeps the blue color from feeling too cottagey, which can be a thing with Shaker style cabinetry. Pairing the blue island with a row of gray bottom cabinets helps keep the look edgy as well.

 

3. Deep Navy

Tessa Neustadt for Amber Interiors

Image credit: Tessa Neustadt for Amber Interiors

Obviously, Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors didn’t invent the accent island, but she’s been getting after it in projects for a while, and I’m into it.

Firstly we have a navy island – certainly a bold choice that stands out. And what’s interesting here is that with just a coat of paint, she highlighted the pretty paneling on her client’s existing island, made the kitchen way more dynamic, and created a visual buffer between kitchen and living room, which is clutch in an open plan. I actually think this makes the space look bigger, since it’s not just a sea of white. The navy adds definition.

 

4. Not so basic black

Tessa Neustadt for Amber Interiors white island

Image credit: Tessa Neustadt for Amber Interiors

The dark island was so nice she did it twice, here in her own mother’s kitchenwith black paint—so you know it’s a good design idea.

 

5. Soft gray

Tessa Neustadt for Amber Interiors white island soft gray

Image credit: Tessa Neustadt for Amber Interiors

So far, we’ve looked at islands that don’t shy away from bold color. But I think it’s important to note that you can still create a showstopper accent piece and solidify a kitchen’s design scheme with a more subtle, tonal color choice like Amber did here. Gray is still a color, people! Don’t forget about it.

 

6. Just right white

Lauren Kolyn kitchen island

Image credit: Lauren Kolyn

Similarly, I think it’s fair to also point out that white can be a dynamic choice for your island if the rest of your cabinetry is colored, as is the case in the Montreal cookspace.

 

7. faded green

faded green kitchen island

Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott

Sure, the bigger the island, the more impressive. But smaller guys can get in on the bold action, too. Chances are, if you find a true vintage painted table or cart at a flea market or whatever, some of the color is going to be chipping off. But I actually think that helps its case as a kitchen focal point. Every angle you view an “island” like this from is going to be different.

 

8. a touch of olive

wood tone kitchen cabinets on island

Image credit: Samara Vise

So far, we’ve seen the accent island work well with white cabinetry and a few other neutral colors (gray and blue namely), but I wanted to show a space where you can see how wood tone kitchen cabinets handle an island that has a pop of color, too. In this case, it’s olive. But a rich jewel tone could also be very effective.

What do you think? Would you go colorful on an island, or match the paint to the rest of your cabinets? What color is a total no-go for you?

It has everything I wanted: Balance. Seating.Clean. Glamorous. Emphasizes the pretty picture window.

 

9. A touch of gold

Jennifer Allwood blue kitchen center

Photo: Jennifer Allwood

Gold is a great color for adding emphasis without dominating a space. A perfect example of this is this manmade kitchen island from Jennfier Allwood.

This beautiful island features a manmade quartz for its countertops, which adds a beautiful level of light to the room while also helping draw your eye towards the room’s windows.

It’s perfectly paired with gold barstools that also manage to match the room’s faucets.

It has its prep sink at its center, meaning that you can cook, eat, and entertain all in one place. While it also has plenty of cupboard space to help declutter the kitchen and keep everything clean.

 

10. Wooden Kitchen Island

Wooden Kitchen Island

Photo: Jennifer Paster

I love wooden furniture, especially for tableware. By extension I think its great for kitchen islands. Wood has its own unique colors, patterns, and textures, that are unmatched by any other kind of material. It’s also an extremely strong and durable material to create furniture from.

I think wooden island go best on wooden flooring, but if you do this make sure that the tone of them contrast slightly. Not too much so that its jarring to look at, but enough to help prevent your room looking dull.

Matched with white walls and overhead lamps, this helps create a rustic yet modern feel to your kitchen.

 

11. Dark Blue Style

Dark Blue Style kitchen island

Photo: Jennifer Paster

Blue, and even dark blue, can feel like a bold color to go for. However I think it works really well here matched with the wooden floor and the white walls of the kitchen. I particularly like that the overhang of the waterfall island is white, to help create depth and also to match with some of the room’s cabinets.

Working together with the understated stools and lamps, it helps make the kitchen look modern and inviting.

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