3 Creative Ways to Transform Your Kitchen Island a Dramatic Standout in Your New Kitchen

When you’re designing a new kitchen, you might only be thinking as far as, “We will have a kitchen island.” Knowing you’ll have room for such a useful addition—with all the extra workspace, seating area and storage you’ll gain—is exciting. But wait, there’s more! Today’s kitchens offer several ways to create that kitchen island to transform it from merely useful to a beautiful focal point. Here are three of our favorites…

Waterfall counters

A waterfall counter can be used on a kitchen island, extending the countertop all the way to the floor on each end of the island, so it looks like the countertop material is cascading to the floor, like water over a cliff. (If waterfall isn’t working for you as a name, they are also called risers as well as an infinity edge.)

The aesthetic reasons for this design choice are obvious: Waterfall countertops can make your kitchen island into a stunning focal point, especially when you’re using a dramatic slab of marble or some other stone that’s gorgeous on its own.

They are functional too. Some homeowners and kitchen designers widen the depth of the kitchen island with waterfall counters to provide a seating area with room to tuck the stools in and out of the way when the seating is are not needed.

Note: Although they tend to be more of a showcase when used on kitchen islands, waterfall counters are not limited to kitchen islands. You can use a waterfall counter as a way to give a polished look to any counter end.

Kitchen islands as furniture

As much as we love the look of waterfall counters, we also love seeing kitchen islands embellished to look more like furniture. When you’re using semi custom cabinets for your new kitchen, you can easily transform your kitchen island by adding decorative elements such as corbels, molding, columns and decorative feet. With this approach, you still have the benefits of the useful qualities of the kitchen island for working, seating and storage, but your island will be the focal point of your kitchen when it stands out visually from the other cabinetry. You can add even more flair to your kitchen island by choosing to use glazes and other hand-applied finishes to the surface of the semi custom cabinets.

Kitchen islands as contrast

Does that sound a little too showy for your taste? We have a third option that can be streamlined and subtle if that’s more in line with the look you’re going for. For a simpler way to add flair to your kitchen island, go for contrast. Choosing a different color for your kitchen island cabinet base can give you a visual impact similar to the contrast and flair you can achieve with tuxedo cabinets. If you’re using tuxedo cabinets, your kitchen island cabinets can be the same color as your base cabinets. Or choose a different color only for the semi custom cabinets used for the kitchen island. Either way, your kitchen island will pop, standing out as a focal point with more subtlety than offered by waterfall counters or decorative furniture-like embellishments.

No matter the treatment you choose for your new kitchen island, semi custom cabinets will give you the versatility to make your vision a reality—while staying within your budget.