Kitchen Island Ideas Will Spark Some Serious Inspiration

CONCRETE CREATIVITY

The rustic Argentinian getaway of landscape architect Jenny Graham is defined by concrete. The board-formed partition in her kitchen carries the same bold palette. On the other hand, the island is painted in her favorite color: bright cerulean.

BLUE BEAUTY

This example of a Manhattan Apartment, designed by Emily Todhunter, is a great one to copy. Emily Todhunter painted the entire apartment, including the island, in Benjamin Moore Van Courtland Blue.

MATCH MARBLE

There’s no such thing as too much marble, especially regarding the dynamic Arabescato variety. Designer Chad Dorsey matched the island counter to the walls and vent-hood in this stylish Texas home.

OLIVE LOVE

Try painting your island a different color if it needs to be better. Augusta Hoffman covered her cabinetry with a rich olive color in’s elegant Manhattan kitchen. She says, “I love green.” “I almost think of green as neutral.”

STONE STEADY

The exotic marble trend is a hot topic. Jeremiah Brent, a star designer from’s Manhattan design studio, embraced this trend in his elegant kitchen. He chose the bordeaux Calacatta Vagli Rosatto type.

SCULPTURE ’70S

Most eye-catching kitchen island pieces are sculptures. Montana Labelle’s is a postmodern design with pillarlike feet slightly offset under a glossy stone slab.

BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL

This stunning kitchen island is in a Chicago-designed home by Summer Thornton. She chose a stone with swirls of green and violet rather than the usual Carrara slab. Pro tip: Want color in your kitchen? Style your island using vibrant produce (that will last a long time), such as mini melons, artichokes, and citrus.

MODERN LOVERS

If you can afford it, and have the time to do so (not to mention the budget), go for it! Why not turn your kitchen island into a piece of architecture? Home Studios designers were inspired by the work done by Finnish modernist Alvar Alvar when creating This Brooklyn Kitchen. They made a custom island with ridged edges and a Paonazzo Marble top, which nods to Alvar’s buildings.

SLOW WATERFALL

Waterfall counters are classic. This kitchen island in the home in upstate New York by Perifio designers Matt Bidgoli & Raphael Portet creates a frame for cabinets painted in an evergreen shade.

COTTAGE CHIC

The interior designer Anne McDonald, working with Plaad Architects to create this charming Minnesota Lake House, was inspired by the Scandinavian heritage of the client. But she didn’t go overboard. This custom kitchen island has Scandi-chic legs that are a clever nod to the exterior columns of the house.

SALVAGE BEAUTY

This London townhouse was designed by the local firm Retrouvius. This philosophy was carried over to the kitchen island that began as a pair of mirrored cabinets from a museum. Retrouvius salvages the iroko from old government buildings.

PRIMARY RULES

Jessica Davis, a -inspired designer from the Bay Area, played with primary colors in this kitchen. She painted the island with Farrow & Ball Hague Blue and topped it with a large walnut slab.

Color Blocked

You can make the most of what you have to save money on something other than a new kitchen island. PlaidFox, a Canadian design firm, worked with an existing island in this ultra-trendy mother-and-daughter home to give it a unique look. The island was given a teal coat of paint, plush seating, and funky lighting.

Minty Fresh

Caroline Rafferty, a designer who lives blocks away from the beach in Palm Beach, made sure that her Palm Beach Home reflected the positive vibes of the tropical climate. The designer chose to complement minty cabinets in the kitchen with a cream island slab and honey-colored walnut cabinets beneath. Mother Nature is the best!

ALLOVER MARBLE

In the kitchen, we are big fans of allover patterns. Nicole Hollis, an ELLE DECOR designer A-List, used the same raspberry-colored stone to cover the island, shelves, and counters in this San Francisco mansion.

Old-World GLAM

We’re obsessed with this custom yellow kitchen island (painted in Farrow & Ball’s India Yellow) in an 18th-century villa on the Spanish island of Menorca. This custom yellow island painted in Farrow & Ball India Yellow is in an 18th-century mansion in Menorca, Spain. The marble backsplash and gilt-bronze fringed crystal chandelier from a Madrid palace add a touch of old-world glamour to the look.

PATINATED BRASS ISLAND

The designer Poonam Khanna, who also designed a Long Island house, created a look sure to appeal to all minimalists. She kept the rest of the kitchen relatively muted, with pale wood cabinetry and flooring, but clad the entire island in patinated bronze for added visual interest. The finish will fade over time as fingerprints are left on it. Khanna instructed her residents not to shine it as a tribute to family life.

SCULPTURAL ISLAND

The sculptural island in the Sydney residence of Australian designer Tamsin JOHNSON is one of the most beautiful. This bespoke piece, made from gray Bianco Gioia, is a work of art and a place for family gatherings.

RUSTIC YET REFINED

This rustic kitchen in a Sonoma home, designed by Ken Fulk, evokes the simplicity of a vineyard estate. The central island is a custom-made design, made of dark wood and topped with marble slabs with curved edges. The look is completed by a pair of brutalist barstools designed by Carl Malmsten, a Swedish designer.

WALNUT VENEER ISLAND

The designers Kelli Wilde & Laurent Champeau gave this 19th-century Paris apartment a facelift by adding a walnut-paneled kitchen with a custom walnut veneer kitchen island.

CURVED ISLAND

Interior designer Richard Mishaan adds drama to a large apartment in TriBeCa with a Herzog & de Meuron custom island featuring a rounded black lacquer bottom.

TILE AND MARBLE

Carmel Greer, an architect from Washington, D.C., brings drama to her kitchen with a navy-blue central island covered in black tiles and topped with black granite.