Not only is a kitchen island one of the hardest working elements in a cook’s quarters (hello, extra counter space and storage) but, as these inspiring rooms prove, it can add heaps of character and style to an otherwise standard space. Here are 25 designs you’ll want to duplicate.
By the Book
Aspiring chefs and cookbook collectors, this one’s for you. Designed by Toronto-based boutique firm Palmerston Design, the custom island doubles as a bookcase, adding a healthy hit of colour to the otherwise neutral space. The chunky Statuario marble top tempers all the wood, while the island base was stained to match the red oak flooring.
Room to Grow
This standout kitchen (also by Toronto’s Palmerson Design) is modern, eclectic and highly functional. The dining area’s bench can slide into the island until it’s completely out of sight, while the table can lock into the island for an integrated look, or slide out to accommodate more guests.
When interior design star Genevieve Gorder overhauled her 1950’s NYC apartment in 2014, she injected her signature soulful style into every square inch. We’re coveting her kitchen’s Calacatta Borghini marble island and backsplash with rich grey and gold veining, coupled with the ultra-bright woven stools. Tour the entire space here.
Give your kitchen island a dose of farmhouse flair with thoughtful details like wooden X-shaped side panels. We love the black industrial-style bar stools for a welcome hit of contrast. See here for the full reveal.
It’s not often you see a kitchen island decked out in bold wallpaper – but based on this space alone, it’s only a matter of time until the trend gains traction. Love these coastal chic stools? Find them at Serena & Lily here.
More often than not, kitchen islands serve as both a prep space and an entertaining zone. Ottawa’s Design First Interiors took this into consideration when designing this client’s kitchen, cleverly adding a walnut bar top to separate the “dining” side from the grey quartz “cooking” side. Bonus: it makes a mega style statement.
More evidence of Design First Interiors‘ design genius: this contemporary cooking space. The walnut butcher block island and elevated eating bar integrated into the countertop work together to add ample function and design flair.
Looking to liven up your all-white cooking space with a jolt of colour? Coat your kitchen island in a bold shade like cobalt blue for a timeless focal point.
An earthy colour palette of soft green, white and wood adds character and calmness to this kitchen. The extra-spacious island, with its waterfall edge and built-in storage, is a dream for any busy household. Want to mimic the look? See here.
While this classic kitchen by Edmonton-based Effect Home Builders is predominately white, it entices and surprises thanks to its look-at-me island. The calming blue base and wood top are a striking combo… and how sleek is that integrated sink!
Knock on Wood
Warm wood meets subdued blue in this bright and modern kitchen. We love how the island’s stone countertop extends out for extra prep space, while the large metal barstools tuck perfectly underneath.
If your kitchen is lacking in the personality department, we have two words for you: barn board. The wood’s natural grain will add a shot of texture and warmth, as seen on this standout kitchen island. Reach new design heights by opting for a matching ceiling beam.
When you’re graced with a large open-concept space, adding a long and narrow island is a must. The reason? It helps delineate the cooking zone without overcrowding. Hang a few attention-grabbing pendants above for extra impact.
Montreal-based interior designer Tania Scardellato of TOC Design & Construction Inc. transformed her kitchen into the chicest of entertaining havens. The extra-large island features everything from a wine fridge and glassware storage unit to a cooking zone and dining area, yet the use of neutral hued materials ensures it doesn’t dominate the space.
Even though this living space is on the narrow side, you barely notice thanks to strategic furniture choices that help create a sense of spaciousness – namely the slender kitchen island, which adds tons of function without eating up too much real estate (tour the entire space here).
This chic find is a pint-sized powerhouse. It’s perfect in a compact kitchen, where it can serve as a table for two or as additional counter space. Love the brass-meets-black bar stools? Score them here.
Now here’s a kitchen island that’s large and in charge. Its sizable frame painted powder blue makes it the showpiece of the space, while ample storage and seating maximizes its potential.
Who says islands should stick to one height? Not us! Take this two-level counter’s lead and have one side function as a bar/prep area, and the other serve as your kitchen table.
The beauty of employing a neutral scheme is having the license to experiment with various shapes and textures. Case in point: these geometric bar stools, which give the sleek waterfall island a style boost. Tour the home here.
This light-filled kitchen lures us in with its expansive island, which hones in on function since the rest of the room lacks proper storage and counter space – an essential for any growing family. See here for the grand tour.
A custom island can do a whole lot more than offer extra storage. Here, it conceals oft-used appliances like the dishwasher and microwave (ie: cooking space eye-sores). Tour the entire kitchen here.
When space is on your side (as is the case in Scott McGillivray’s family home) why stop at one kitchen island? Double up, having one unit serve as the prep and washing zone and the other as the entertaining area. Tour more of the beautifully appointed home here.
Think of this compact island as the jack of all trades. Not only does it have a built-in wine fridge, but it boasts multiple storage opportunities for other kitchen essentials that were previously without a home.
Here’s an elegant kitchen that goes from conventional to character-filled thanks to the rustic island lined with industrial-style stools. The barn board adds a welcome hit of texture and warmth, amounting to a farmhouse chic look.
Feast your eyes on this statement island, which is easily twice as long as the average model. Seating at least six (though we imagine eight people would still fit comfortably), it banishes the idea of one-size-fits-all.