7 Kitchen Island Ideas to Make Your Kitchen Island a Focal Point of Your New Kitchen

When you’ve wrestled with the question of “kitchen island or not,” and decided that yes, a kitchen island is for you, your next task is to research kitchen island ideas. Just because you’re buying your kitchen island as part of your semi custom cabinets does not mean your island has to look just like those cabinets. In fact, you have many design options to make that kitchen island into a focal point—while still keeping it as the functional piece you need it to be.

Below are seven kitchen island ideas you can use to make your kitchen island into a design element as much as a functional one…

Kitchen island ideas 1: Go bold with color

Perhaps you’re choosing light gray cabinets, an antique white look, or a soft wood stain on oak for your cabinets. Your kitchen island need not be so subtle! You can go for broke with a bright color on your cabinets, or simply a color or stain that contrasts with your cabinets and therefore makes your island stand out.

Kitchen island ideas 2: Add embellishments

While your cabinets give you a little flexibility for embellishments, your kitchen island lets you get creative. At Wellborn Forest, we have 30 different types of columns and feet you can add to your kitchen island to customize it. Transform your kitchen island into a lovely piece of furniture with the addition of rope column legs or tulip bun feet, or consider adding cornice moldings, corbels or other decorative elements.

Kitchen island ideas 3: Choose a distressed finish

A distressed finish is another way to achieve a furniture look. With heirloom stains or paints, you can create a kitchen island that looks like a treasured antique. This can provide a nice counterpoint to an all-new kitchen, giving the room a warm, lived-in appearance—while the modern conveniences are all brand new!

Kitchen island ideas 4: Make it a central work area

Your kitchen island can include a sink or a range on the surface, and a small under-the-counter refrigerator or a dishwasher too. It can be as functional as you want it to be, while still adding visual appeal to your new kitchen. How does this add visual appeal? Because your guests will like to watch you prep and cook, and when you’re doing it at the island, you won’t have your back to them!

Kitchen island ideas 5: Focus on storage

If your kitchen island will function as a work area, you might want to opt for storage instead of appliances, or in addition too. The size of your kitchen island will determine how much storage you can provide for yourself. But take that into account when designing your new kitchen, by thinking through how much storage you will have vs. need, and whether or not your kitchen island needs to be part of your storage solution. No, this probably won’t help you to create a visually appealing kitchen island, but it will definitely add to the efficiency of your kitchen!

Kitchen island ideas 6: Create an eating area

You’re probably used to seeing kitchen islands used as eating areas, but you can go a step farther to create a focal point when you use interesting bar stools or chairs as the furniture. Or consider creating a kitchen island of two heights: one for your work area and one for a dining area. You can also play with the amount of seating you want to offer, from two stools to six or even more when designing your new kitchen island.

Kitchen island ideas 7: Opt for an optional counter

You can use a different material for the countertop of your island to make it stand out. Perhaps your cabinets will be topped with granite. You could use tile or butcher block for your island, to make the island stand out, for example.

A kitchen island can add immeasurable workspace, storage and visual appeal to your new kitchen. So have fun brainstorming your own kitchen island ideas!