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Date posted Jun 7, 2024
Updated on Jun 8, 2024

kitchen island designs – Picking a color and style for your island

The kitchen island is a great way to increase the storage and benchtop space, while also providing additional seating. It separates the working kitchen zones from family and guests so that the chef can do cooking stuff and not be isolated. Along with these practical features, they also have an enormous aesthetic impact on the kitchen. An island can be a fantastic asset, being the center of attention in your kitchen.

A kitchen island design is a job that requires a lot of expertise. It is important to design an island right, as your entire space revolves around this central element. The kitchen island is great for experimenting with colour, texture and benchtop materials. It could be the perfect way to make a statement if you’re feeling adventurous.

Island bench colour ideas

A good island should appear solid and permanent. It must look like it has always been there, and not just a last-minute addition. This does not mean that the island should blend in with the rest of the kitchen design, it could, though. Generally, you have two options when choosing your island style, to match it with the cabinetry in colour, texture and style, of course. Another option is to make it stand out. In this case, you can still incorporate some striking colour ideas for the island to give the room a new dimension of excitement.

The most striking representatives of the two groups of colours, light and dark, are white and black, respectively. To give you a general idea of ​​the contrast or blend vibe that an island in the kitchen can create, we will consider the opposite situations in a white kitchen – a white island and a black island:

White kitchen island Black kitchen island
This elegant solution is designed to blend seamlessly into the white minimalist kitchen with clean lines. To create contrast, you can add contemporary light fixtures or bar stools to the white kitchen island bench. These darker splashes will make the white island the focal point in the kitchen. Bold and dark colours are intimidating. But using a black, punchy colour for island cabinetry can create a dramatic effect. It may seem to be difficult to match the black kitchen island bench with the rest of the cabinets. However, the island cabinetry is below the line-of-sight and always out of view, so they wouldn’t overwhelm the space.

There are many island colours and looks available to match your kitchen style. Your choice absolutely depends on your preferences. An invariant simple palette or tuxedo combination? Maybe you are willing to experiment with primary pops in bright colours or bold, vibrant hues? You can choose from a range of kitchen island colours to suit your style!

The diversity of island architectural styles

In addition to the dominant colour, it is essential to coordinate the kitchen island style with the overall aesthetic of the room. Each of these styles offers distinct characteristics that can be tailored to fit your personal taste and the overall design of your home. When choosing a kitchen island style, consider how it complements your kitchen’s existing layout and your functional needs.

  • Rustic kitchen with an island. The rustic appeal of the kitchen island is popular in country-style homes. Wood kitchen island panelling can be used to create a weathered or knotty texture. Rustic island designs are often characterized by benches with live edges, exposed beams and visible seams on the dark wood. With some design effort, a wooden kitchen island bench will fit the kitchen well, not overpowering your space but creating a cozy atmosphere.
  • Farmhouse kitchen with an island. The essence of farmhouse design captures the natural charm and functionality of traditional farm life. A farmhouse island in the kitchen is a focal point that combines practicality and style. The Shaker island kitchen bench is a natural fit for most farmhouse designs. Functionality takes center stage; a Shaker-style island is usually equipped with ample drawers that provide storage solutions for effortless organization. Granite or timber island benchtops are designed to support the weight of the overhang and emphasize the feeling of reliability and eternity of farm life. If you’re looking for more affordable options, laminate benchtops are a good pick. They come in many colours and can mimic either wood or granite.
  • Contemporary kitchen with an island. If you are looking for a contemporary feel, a kitchen in neutral colours, with uncluttered spaces and stainless steel appliances is the choice you might like. Benchtops are usually made from easy-to-clean, practical materials and featured by functional lighting and smart storage solutions. Contemporary kitchens are often open-concept with large multifunctional islands. To complement a colour scheme, you can go for a marble kitchen island bench, or fluted kitchen island. Fluted panelling is characterized by thin strips placed in a vertical pattern, with a gap between each plank. The space between the planks on kitchen island timber creates an eye-catching visual effect, while also enhancing the warmth of a timber kitchen island bench.
  • Modern kitchen with an island. Modern kitchens tend to be minimalistic, clean, and simple. Modern kitchen designs are usually dominated by handleless cabinets with flat panels in bold, dark colours. Floating islands in the kitchen is something that can make it truly special. This is a type of cabinetry with a deep toe kick that can be described as “floating”. You may also choose to contrast the finish on the pedestal section in order to highlight a floating appearance even more. This effect will make it look suspended in mid-air. A floating kitchen island is a beautiful design element in the modern kitchen style.
  • Industrial kitchen with an island. The vibe of industrial kitchens is usually dark and includes exposed brick, concrete and metal elements. Industrial-styled kitchens pair beautifully with concrete or even stainless steel kitchen islands and subway tile backsplashes. A concrete kitchen island bench is an excellent choice for industrial kitchens, due to its utilitarian and raw nature. A concrete island in the kitchen is sturdy and provides a solid foundation. Its minimal appearance creates an impactful impression. Your industrial kitchen island bench may benefit from open shelving and exposed cabinets.
  • Scandinavian kitchen with an island. Scandi-style kitchens tend to use a lighter colour palette. Whites, soft grays, and stone hues are popular for an ultra-minimalist look. The lighter tones are usually contrasted with dark charcoal shades in order to add small accents of colour. They are characterized by simple cabinet units in glossy or matte finishes. A waterfall kitchen island can be a unique feature of a Scandinavian kitchen. A waterfall edge extends vertically down on one or both sides of the bench. The kitchen island waterfall is often made out of natural or engineered stone materials like quartz or marble.
  • Hamptons kitchen with an island. Hamptons kitchens are breezy and beach-inspired with large windows and a lot of natural light. They feature a palette of blue and soft neutrals with classic finishes. In a Hamptons kitchen, the island serves as a central gathering point and should embody the same exotic, relaxed vibe. Typically, it features a large, solid surface kitchen island stone top, providing ample space for meal preparation and casual dining. A cool, polished stone kitchen island benefits from being accented with rattan bar stools.
  • Eclectic kitchen with an island. Basically, an eclectic kitchen style is where mixing and matching different design elements is key. It appears that tiled kitchen island benches are making a comeback, paying homage to kitchens of the mid-century modern. The latest wave of tiled designs for kitchen islands features vibrant patterns and bright tones now. This design, regardless of whether they are large or smaller slates, will make a contemporary in your home.

Tip: Do not choose a certain island just because you have a suited kitchen style. Mixing kitchen island benches with different looks and surfaces can be a great way to create a unique look in the kitchen. Use a white quartz top with a marble effect on the island and combine it with simple dark cabinetry blocks. The soft, refined look can be achieved using a variety of bench materials such as porcelain or engineered marble.

Islands of different forms and how can they benefit your kitchen?

An island takes up a lot of space in the kitchen. While traditional rectangular islands are common, exploring unconventional island shapes can bring unique benefits and aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. different island forms can be tailored to fit your specific needs and kitchen layout.

The L-shaped island can be adapted to the shape of the kitchen, or it can fill the empty space with additional storage and preparation space. Corner islands are spacious and ensure that the worktop doesn’t feel crowded, making them a great option for households with more than one cook. An L-form island can add some interest to your kitchen if you’re okay with not having clean lines. However, the shape might be too large for certain kitchens and may not maximize storage due to the many corners that need to be bypassed.

A kitchen with curved islands has an interesting visual effect. A round breakfast bar can help soften up a large island in a room, providing a welcoming and stylish focal point. A rounded island design can enlarge seating spaces, allowing up to four people to socialize and eat in comfort. At the same time, the protruding counter may restrict access to underbench storage and have limited load capacity.

A U-shaped island may be any chef’s fantasy. U-shaped kitchen islands are the most spacious and functional, offering plenty of storage, a worktop, and space for seating. When you are cooking there, you may not need to leave the island, as everything is within reach. U-shaped Islands can also be a problem due to their sheer size potentially overwhelming a kitchen and complicating traffic flow.

If you choose non-standard island forms, be careful in making your choice. Space constraints, when the island does not fit well in the kitchen, aesthetic mismatch when it may clash with the existing kitchen design and of course, higher costs are the things you should not overlook. Consider your kitchen’s layout and size, as well as your specific needs and cooking habits, to ensure that the island enhances both the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen.


What are some popular colours for kitchen islands?

Many homeowners are choosing to design their islands in charcoal or blue. White and black are classic choices, with white usually providing a seamless blend with the kitchen and black offering a dramatic contrast. Other popular options include bold, vibrant hues for a striking statement or soft neutrals for a more subtle effect.

How do I choose the right style for my kitchen island?

Consider your kitchen’s overall design and functionality needs. For example, rustic and farmhouse styles use wood and traditional elements, while contemporary and modern styles focus on sleek lines and minimalism.

Can I mix and match styles for my kitchen island?

Mixing different colours and styles in the kitchen can create a unique and personalized look. Combining various materials, colours, and design elements can result in an eclectic and visually appealing kitchen island.

Are curved islands practical?

The rounded kitchen island overhung creates a soft visual effect and can offer more seating space than a straight rectangular island. However, curved islands might limit under-bench storage and can be harder to integrate into a kitchen’s existing layout.

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