18 kitchen layout ideas with island for optimal countertop space

Kitchen islands are a great way to ensure sufficient space for meal prep and additional storage space in any kitchen. They can serve as a breakfast bar, a source of visual interest, a makeshift eating area, and an easy-access storage location among other things.

These are some of the many reasons why they are such a popular feature to include in a kitchen remodel. In the list below, you can find the best kitchen island ideas to give you inspiration for your next kitchen island design.

A Neutral Color Scheme Featuring Granite Countertops and a Matching Kitchen Island

This simple kitchen layout allows the island to double as a console table and prep space without obstruction. The kitchen island features granite on all three sides that matches that of the countertop and pairs well with the neutral, off-white scheme found throughout the room.

Additionally, the counter stools provide an alternative dining area for quick, casual meals or holding conversations while cooking. The unique chandelier adds a slightly modern touch to the room as a whole.

A small stone kitchen island in the middle of a living kitchen

photographed by Henrik Linden, sold at Alvhem

A Greige L-Shaped Design With a Standard-Sized Kitchen Island

This timeless kitchen island design uses an average-sized island to create a visual barrier between the kitchen area and dining table while maintaining an open-plan aesthetic.

The kitchen island here is essentially an extension of the kitchen cabinets, using the same shade of paint and countertop material for a well-blended appearance. The large counter space and its positioning allows for prepping food while remaining a part of the conversation happening at the table.

A greige kitchen with a small kitchen island separating the kitchen from the living room

Styled by Yngfalk interior, photographed by Mia Borgelin for Historiska Hem

A Quaint Cottage-Style Design With an Elevated, Mobile Kitchen Island

This example uses a kitchen island stand in place of a typical island, allowing you to reposition the surface as needed for endless layout options. The kitchen island features the same pattern and material as the cabinets but with a slight variation in panel size to create a simple focal point.

Furthermore, the matching flooring and peg rail along the wall helps to tie the space together even more, completing the cottage-style aesthetic.

A soft wood kitchen with a long wood peg rail over the counter and a moveable kitchen island

via DeVol Kitchens

A Farmhouse Kitchen Design Style With a Wood Island

This kitchen island with open shelving pairs perfectly with the tones of the exposed beams, countertops, flooring, and decor, tying the kitchen layout together in a natural way.

The farmhouse design of the room further enhances the appearance of the kitchen island, allowing it to easily become the centerpiece while displaying a variety of dishes and cooking tools. With a simple brass rod used for dish towels or large utensil storage, this kitchen island exemplifies functionality.

A farmhouse kitchen with exposed wood beams and a wood kitchen island matching the look

via Nordiska Kök

Dark Greige Cabinetry With a Large Kitchen Island and Matching Marble Countertops

Among the most elegant of the kitchen island ideas on this list, this example provides a large prep space in addition to a built-in sink, counter stools, and glass-front shelving.

The black and white marble countertop and matching backsplash both contrast and blend well with the greige cabinets, creating a cohesive look that carries throughout the kitchen layout. The disguised range hood, gold-toned hardware, and delicate pendant lights further elevate the design.

A Jersey kitchen with authentic designs reminiscent of when things were made to last a lifetime, from deVOL kitchens

via DeVol Kitchens

An Airy Off-White Kitchen With Sandstone Countertops and a Matching Island

This all-white kitchen features touches of sandy tones and subtle appliances to create the illusion of more room with the help of ample storage. A mix of shelving and deep drawers is a must-have, providing extra space for things you want to keep out of sight from guests, such as trash cans and various clutter.

By using the same countertop material on both the island, the cabinets, and the backsplash, a subtle path is created that draws you deeper into the room.

An off-white kitchen with a beige stone countertop that comes back on the kitchen island and on the backsplash

via Nordiska Kök

A Dark, Blue-Toned Palette With a Large Island in a Bold Color

Nothing makes a statement quite like a long, blue kitchen island. In this predominantly blue-grey kitchen, this dark blue island sets itself apart in the best possible way. The wall of windows spanning the countertop space along back of the room allows an abundance of natural light to pour in, making it easy to style dark, dramatic tones without fear.

Overall, the size and placement of this kitchen island is perfect for both food prep and serving dishes during family gatherings.

A light blue kitchen with a darker blue kitchen island with an impressive width

via Kitchen and Beyond

A Wood Island That’s a Combination of a Storage Space and a Seating Area

This sturdy oak island provides more storage as well as a place to rest and enjoy a brief meal. This unique kitchen island design features detailed legs, a recessed area to hang hand towels, and large drawers with an open area to store the stools when not in use.

The color of the wood contrasts beautifully with the lightness of the flooring and walls, while the use of the same countertop material and hardware helps to tie it back into the rest of the kitchen.

A classic dark wood kitchen island with seating

via Nordiska Kök

An Off-White and Light Tan Color Palette With a Large Kitchen Island

This more traditional kitchen island offers plenty of space for food prep, featuring a built-in sink and cooktop. The size and positioning of this island lend itself well to completing a standard work triangle while the use of two different countertop materials in this room provides subtle contrast.

Overall, the light, sandy tones of this color palette help to reflect and magnify the limited natural light, making the kitchen feel larger than it is.

A one-wall kitchen layout with a wide island in a sand color with green undertones

via Cupboard and Goods

A Warm, Modern Kitchen With a Split-Level Island Countertop

This split-level kitchen island creates a more clear eating space with a lower surface, perfect for homes with children. Meals can be quickly served and cleaned up without ever leaving the kitchen. The warm wood in this particular kitchen provides those who enter a sense of welcome and coziness.

By utilizing different flooring patterns, you can also create a visual indication of the borders of a room, especially useful in open-plan spaces.

A split-level kitchen island with a place for cooking and eating

via Nordiska Kök

A Wide Natural Wood Kitchen Island in a More Traditional Kitchen Design

Prepping food is a breeze in this spacious kitchen. The wide kitchen island provides an abundance of surface area as well as storage. Kitchen island designs such as this make the most sense in rooms that have a bit of floor space to spare, as it also makes up for a lack of cabinetry along the walls.

The blend of modern design elements and more traditional ceiling detailing all work together to create a kitchen design that is timeless by nature.

A spacious kitchen and dining area with a double width kitchen island in the middle

Styled by Bon Interior, photographed by Maria Sahlander, for sale via Bjurfors

A Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Island With Matching Cabinets and Black Marble Countertops

This reclaimed, natural wood kitchen island design combines modernity with rustic touches for a warm, inviting kitchen. The eye-catching wood textures in the cabinetry and flooring provide enough detailing to create interest while the black marble on the countertops helps to transition the eye into the lightly detailed walls.

Track lighting around the ceiling ensures that light is always exactly where it’s needed, which makes sense with the dark tones of the materials used in the room.

A dark oak kitchen with black countertops and a spacious kitchen island in the middle

via Nordiska Kök

A Semi-open Kitchen Island With a Stovetop and Seating

In this light sage green kitchen, the island is placed between the dining area and the main kitchen module. The side of the kitchen island opposite the sink includes the stovetop, allowing for a good working triangle with the sink and fridge.

The other sides of the island include bar stools and open storage for keeping wine and decor pieces for the dining table.

A light sage green kitchen with a kitchen island that includes a stove top, open shelving and seating

Styled by Clindholm Design, photographed by Jocke Ono for Historiska Hem

A Custom Island Made Entirely of Carrara Marble

A Carrara marble countertop is a popular choice for any room, but especially when designing a kitchen island. This large kitchen boasts a huge amount of room for meal prepping with light wood cabinetry and grey stone floors.

The kitchen island hosts a built-in sink, the second in the room, perfect for those who enjoy a two or more-person cooking style. A large picture window allows sunlight to pour in throughout the day, creating a relaxing environment.

A U-shaped kitchen layout with a spacious kitchen island in the middle

via Nordiska Kök

A Multicolored Kitchen Island for an Exciting Pop in a Small Kitchen

This kitchen island is bursting with personality. With small appliances and a limited work area, this kitchen is the standard size in many apartments where full-scale remodels are far less common.

This budget-friendly style is a great way to make your kitchen your own, with bright color blocks all around the island and other cabinetry. This one kitchen island showcases a fun and carefree style that’s sure to be a conversation starter.

A colorful corner kitchen layout with a kitchen island in the middle

via Sjöman Frisk

A Small, White Island for Extra Counter Space in a Small Kitchen

This kitchen island is an important element of this kitchen. The style of kitchen here is very simple and compact, with the island countertop including a cooking surface and a single stool.

The off-white and beige tones with dark accents create a timeless style that will last a lifetime. Overall, this kitchen island furthers the concept that an island can be a simple, blended addition to the kitchen, not just a statement piece

A modern kitchen design in an off-white color palette with a small kitchen island

via Stadshem

A Dark-Toned L-Shaped Design With a Matching Kitchen Island

This deep, muted green kitchen features a stunning marble backsplash and countertop with a matching island and stainless steel appliances. The result is a contemporary, earthy style that exemplifies simple elegance.

Though this design doesn’t include counter stools, there is a slight overhang on the kitchen island that would allow for them to be added when needed. Additionally, the placement of the island once again creates a more clear visual separation between the kitchen area and the rest of the open-plan room.

A green kitchen with white marble countertops and a kitchen island in the middle

Styled by Åsa Copparstad, photographed by Frederic Boukari for Historiska Hem

A Terrazzo Backsplash and Matching Countertop With Island

For the last of the kitchen island designs on the list, we have a unique terrazzo countertop and backsplash. This pattern paired with the checkerboard wood flooring and creamy tan cabinetry results in an understated yet exciting style.

By having the kitchen island be covered in all of the same material, both the material and the island itself are highlighted. Overall, this style strikes a perfect balance between contemporary and traditional kitchen island ideas.

A bold terrazzo backsplash and kitchen island paired up with beige cabinets

via Nordiska Kök

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