A white kitchen island with a butcher block countertop.

9 Kitchen Island Design Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/21/2021

At Home In Love
At Home In Love

Though an island isn’t a mandatory part of a kitchen, it’s still something that’s great to have. It’s a place where you can prepare food, entertain, eat a quick meal, or keep small appliances that don't fit anywhere else.

But most importantly, a nice island can really elevate the look of your kitchen. 

There’s something about having one that just ties an entire kitchen together. Not every kitchen layout can have an island, but the ones that can totally should.

If you’re in need of some kitchen island design ideas, then you won’t want to miss these.


Kitchen With Large Island Design

It’s pretty much a dream of most of us to have a large kitchen island with plenty of seating in it. While we may not all be able to have a huge island, it’s still nice to dream.

This island really fits the bill; it has room for four seats, but you could probably fit a few more stools around it. It also has so much space that it can fit a sink in there without making everything look too crowded.

And we absolutely love the way it contrasts the white cabinets along the walls. This is such a great design idea for anyone who loves to live large, but also enjoys having really nice, high end finishes.


Kitchen Island Design With Bonus Butcher Block Extension

The DIY Playbook

We seriously love the idea of having a two-toned kitchen. Even if it’s not as high contrast as white cabinets with a darker island would be, the blue in this example still looks so good juxtaposed with the white in the rest of this kitchen.

That little extension at the end is a really nice idea, too. It doubles as a bit of extra space, as well as a cutting board. The best part about butcher block, after all, is being able to chop food directly on the surface. How neat!


L-Shaped Kitchen With Wooden Island

We’re in love with the sleek, modern look of these cabinets alongside all of the minimalist accents in this kitchen. But the star of the whole room is definitely the island, with its wood base and clean, white countertop. There’s something about it that feels so modern, and yet so rustic at the same time. 

This kind of island could go virtually anywhere. It has such a distinct style, and yet because of the wood, it’s so versatile. You could literally pair an island like this with any sort of design, so it’s a great idea for pretty much anyone who wants a kitchen island.

Or at least, anyone who wants a really nice one.


Sleek Kitchen Island With Waterfall Countertop

We can’t help but feel that waterfall countertops are kind of underrated. Depending on the material of the counter, it can really take your kitchen into the realm of the high end.

That means paying for a bit of extra countertop, but you don’t necessarily need the most expensive marble slab in order to make it look expensive.

Of course, these kind of sleek, sharp edges may not fit every kind of design — they probably won’t suit rustic or farmhouse styles as well as they would modern and contemporary kitchens. But they still look ultra luxurious, and are definitely a contender for anyone who wants to capture that rich feel.


Farmhouse Kitchen With Large Island Design

This looks like the kind of kitchen that any professional chef would beg to cook in. We can definitely envision this being the backdrop of a cooking show where all the dishes have an all-American country flair to them.

The blue-gray cabinetry of the island looks so good against all of those wood and brass tones. It definitely has that rustic feel, but it’s still clean and sleek enough to feel contemporary. This is definitely a timeless style that isn’t going away anytime soon.


Kitchen Island With Side Seating

Thistlewood Farms

We can dream of having massive kitchen islands with an overabundance of seating, but for most of us, that isn’t quite the reality.

Though this island is still a really nice size, it is smaller than some of the other examples on this list. But that’s okay, because it shows us that kitchen islands don’t need to be huge to be functional.

This island maximizes its space by having the seating along the shorter side, reserving the length for cabinet space, and we all know how important storage in a kitchen is.

So this is actually a really good idea for anyone who wants an island, but is a little strapped for space. 


Mobile Kitchen Island With Butcher Block Counter

At Home In Love

A kitchen island with a butcher block counter is a really great idea, especially if the rest of the space has counters made with a different material.

It not only gives you that functional space, but it also provides contrast. Contrast in a design is a key way to take your space to the next level.

But the coolest thing about this kitchen island is the fact that it’s on wheels. That means you could potentially take the island with you if you ever move. Talk about having a kitchen island for life!


Cute L-Shaped Kitchen With Island

This kitchen is just so cute! All of the white and the wood tones work together so perfectly. It’s minimalist, but still has enough texture and interest to keep it from feeling like too much of the same. And it overall feels so bright and fresh.

Of course, this kitchen wouldn’t feel the same without that island. It keeps that whole space feeling so cohesive. And unlike other islands on this list, this one is actually made with the same materials as the rest of the kitchen.

It just goes to show that you don’t need to use two-toned cabinetry to make a kitchen look interesting. 


Small Modern Kitchen With Spacious Island Design

This kitchen may be small, but it has a huge heart. Or rather, it has a huge island, which is probably just as good. The back wall and the island essentially recreate the galley-style, which gives it more than enough prep space.

But this island has so much seating, too. This is a really great idea for a smaller home that may not necessarily have room for a formal dining space. And though the kitchen is small, it really makes good use of the space it has. And all of those modern finishes still make it feel like a great space.