Kitchen Islands – 32 Kitchen Island Ideas For 2024


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Go grey

kitchen island ideas
Brent Darby Photography

Combining style and practicality, this kitchen island has it all: handle-free cupboards providing additional storage, breakfast bar seating and a large work surface. This streamlined kitchen from the House Beautiful range at Homebase is perfect for creating a bespoke feel. Why not pin it to your kitchen moodboard…

House Beautiful ‘Islington’ kitchen in Gunmetal at Homebase


Decide on the purpose

kitchen island ideas
Olive and Barr

When designing your kitchen island, think about how you’d like to use it daily. Whether you want extra space to serve food or an area for family and friends to dine (or children to complete homework), an island could make for the perfect feature.

Think about the worktop, the storage and whether you want to use it as your main workspace. If you have a smaller run of cabinetry you may want to move the hob onto the island to allow for more surface area.

•Olive & Barr Shaker Kitchen painted in Railings and Pink Ground by Farrow & Ball. From £10,000.


Consider wooden features for a rustic feel

kitchen island with bar stools and blue tiles
Carolyn Barber/House Beautiful

Exposed wood kitchen islands are guaranteed to make a statement, even in the most pared-back kitchen.

Claire Garner, director at Claire Garner Interiors, says it’s ideal for creating traditional rustic charm. ‘Wood plays a pivotal role, whether it’s used for cabinetry, shelving, or kitchen accessories as its rich textures and warm tones infuse the space with a sense of history and authenticity,’ she explains.

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Blue sky appeal

a kitchen with white cabinets
Hush Kitchens

Need some colour inspo? If one shade is poised to dominate kitchens this year, it’s blue, especially a soft sky hue that will bring an airy brightness to this functional space. From Hush Kitchens’ new Lugn range with doors colour matched to Farrow & Ball’s Dix Blue (from £12,000) to KitchenAid picking iridescent Blue Salt as its colour of the year, this shade is guaranteed to make a stylish statement.

• Lugn range, Hush Kitchens


Go pink on pink

pink and wooden kitchen island

Stick to a tight colour palette but experiment with varying shades, just like this delightful pink kitchen. The narrow kitchen island adds warmth to an already luxe room scheme.

‘Make sure the island is in proportion with the rest of the kitchen,’ says William Durrant, owner of Herringbone Kitchens.. ‘Dependent on the sizing of the room and the gapping around the island, you’ll need to have a minimum 900-1000mm walking space. It needs to be more if you have seating around the island and if you have appliances. Try to increase the space to 1100-1200mm.’

• Shop the full look at Herringbone


Tap into nature

kitchen island ideas
Olive & Barr

Green kitchens are always a good idea (and remain a timeless hue). Associated with nature, it’s a shade that is both sophisticated and refreshing, creating a peaceful and relaxed environment for the home.

Olive & Barr shaker kitchen painted in Castle Grey, Bianco Glacier Worktop. From from £10,000.

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Make space for a sink

homebase westbourne kitchen house beautiful

If you’re dreaming of a kitchen island, consider making space for a kitchen sink. Providing a more functional layout, it will give tons of extra counter space — making it easier to get those chores done. It will also add a sociable aspect to your kitchen, especially in a kitchen-diner, allowing you to easily communicate with guests whilst cooking.

• House Beautiful Westbourne kitchen at Homebase


Add impact with tiles

a kitchen with a table and stools
Bert and May

The beauty of geometric designs is that they always look super-elegant – so it’s no surprise that this design has decorated Soho House in Berlin. Handmade using natural pigments, these encaustic tiles come in three dynamic colourways and can be laid in a number of different patterns for an individual look with lots of texture and character. It looks fabulous on this kitchen island and is repeated as a splashback for continuity.

• Soho House Redchurch Street tiles, Bert & May


Ensure it’s functional (and makes you smile)

kitchen island with yellow drawers and bar stools
Carolyn Barber / House Beautiful

A happy, uplifting shade, yellow is a brilliant choice for the kitchen. Used as an accent here, the sunshine shade adorns cabinet drawers on the island and pendant lights hanging above, contrasting with the crisp white wall.

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Leave enough space for food prep

kitchen island ideas  blue kitchen island
Life Kitchens

We love the wooden block on the end of this island, providing the ideal surface for chopping fruit and veg and it’s a good way to subtly zone an island. Another noteworthy feature is the legs, giving the illusion of more space. This island might be compact but it’s been cleverly designed to fit in a bar stool, too.

• ‘Relaxed Look’ kitchen with ‘Hartforth Blue’ and ‘Porcelain’ paint from Life Kitchens


Make it luxe industrial

a kitchen with a table and chairs
Caesarstone/BIRGIT MONS

With a cool urban vibe and no-nonsense practical qualities, industrial finishes remain firm favourites in our homes, and Caesarstone is ticking all the boxes with its 4023 Topus Concrete, a hardwearing, non-porous, scratch- and stain-resistant quartz. A big selling point is that it comes in a lovely soft neutral greige with pinky undertones that would add a warm, luxe feel in a kitchen. It looks super-elegant on this kitchen island, shaped into a curved top and teamed with pretty mint green paintwork.

• 4023 Topus Concrete worksurface, Caesarstone


The reeded look

kitchen island with food and flowers on it
Ryan Wicks / Harvey Jones x Swoon

Sleek, bold and sophisticated, this reeded kitchen island (with brushed brass handles) only adds to the dark and sultry appeal of this kitchen design.

• Hove kitchen, Harvey Jones x Swoon

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Refined luxury

a kitchen with a marble counter top

How do you nail the quiet luxury look in a kitchen? ‘Within the home, we translate this term to focus on the quality of materials selected and allowing them to dominate the style of the room,’ says Melissa Klink, creative director at Harvey Jones. ‘The blend of unique finishes creates spaces that are immediately elegant and softer as a result of the layered combination. Think thicker worktop slabs with specialised edge detailing instead of obvious bold and colourful veins of marble.’

You can also use additional colour to give your space more dimension. ‘This doesn’t need to be a new colour as a different tone of the main run of cabinets works well too,’ says William. ‘You can always bring in a pop of colour or a darker tone such as a deep purple and paint your cabinetry in a lighter colour.’

• Shop the full look at Herringbone


Install a hob on your island

house beautiful camberwell kitchen in mink, homebase

Want to maximise space? Make your cooking area the centre of the kitchen by installing a hob and extractor fan within your kitchen island. Not only will it allow you to be more sociable as you cook, but it will save on vital surface space, too.

• See more: the House Beautiful Camberwell kitchen at Homebase


Go gold

kitchen island ideas

Want to create a style statement? The application of gold leaf on this kitchen island, along with gold and brass accessories, creates a head-turning look.

‘Including an island or breakfast bar in the kitchen design helps to create a partition between kitchen and living space. This will help define areas of the room without closing in the kitchen or blocking off the rest of the room,’ says Naomi Dean, furniture and showroom designer at Harvey Jones.

Shop the full look at Dunelm

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Zone the floor

green kitchen island
Wren Kitchens

As if a gorgeous green kitchen island wasn’t enough, give it wow factor by zoning the floor. We love the checkerboard flooring used here, in complementary white and green tiles that’s also repeated under the cooker for continuity.

• Shaker style kitchen in ‘Roman Leaf’ from Wren Kitchens


Think carefully about your surface

kitchen dark wood walnut panel walls and marble effect kitchen breakfast island, top shelf ceramic storage jars, £35two, cox  cox second shelf elliot baking dish, £30, habitat pedra pampas vase, £1895, urban nature culture third shelf salt oval plates, £6970four, broste copenhagenandalucia serving bowl with lid, £18, habitat fourth shelf ring sandstone canisters, from£5950 each, broste copenhagen moroccan serving bowl, £58, eesome linen napkin in orangerust, £10, heal’s fifth and bottom shelf lidded storage jar, £35 french strainer, £85romanian bowl, £42 all eesome on breakfast bar terracotta vase, £40, cox  cox grey ceramiccoffee jug, £60, hend krichen salt cup and saucer, £1950 plate, £1580 both broste copenhagendish brush, from £4, labour  wait napkin, as before elzora plates, £8012 piece set, habitat
House Beautiful/Rachel Whiting

Marble is best suited for a classic kitchen island where work surfaces are respected with care, while quartz and granite used in their entirety work well to give a seamless finish.

‘Larger islands may require a joint, so there is the opportunity to experiment with the design and choose a complementary material, colour or thickness,’ advises Graeme.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about kitchen worktops


A multipurpose kitchen island

navy kitchen island
Jon Day/Kitchen Makers

Consider a movable freestanding island, which can be used as a convenient work table and meal table. It’s valuable to those who need furniture to act as a preparation-based room divider during the day, and, if needed, can be pushed aside at night to make way for entertaining.

‘Although a practical choice for kitchens, an island should be considered carefully before the final design is chosen,’ explains Ben Burbidge, managing director at Burbridge Kitchen Makers.’You should look to maximise the internal and worktop space but don’t be tempted to make the overall dimensions too big as it could dominate or restrict movement around the kitchen. If you want to include appliances or sinks make sure you can accommodate the required plumbing or electrics.’

• ‘Haddon’ in charcoal and burnished bronze from Burbridge Kitchen Makers

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Go natural

a kitchen with a marble counter top
Olive & Barr

If you want a look that mixes the best of traditional style with smart modern lines, then Olive & Barr’s Ash collection could tick all your boxes. Handmade in the UK from ash, which has a lovely pale hue that will bring a light touch to any kitchen, it has a Shaker feel with a contemporary edge – guaranteed to become a modern classic.

• Ash collection from Olive & Barr


Make it accessible

kitchen island ideas
Wren Kitchens

We love this kitchen island idea from Wren Kitchens – the varying levels are great for multi-generational family cooking, making food prep more accessible.

• ‘Milano Elements’ slate and copper kitchen island from Wren Kitchens

Headshot of Lisa Joyner

Lisa Joyner

Senior Digital Writer, House Beautiful and Country Living

 Lisa Joyner is the Senior Digital Writer at and , where she’s busy writing about home and interiors, , , pets, health and wellbeing, countryside news, small space inspiration, and the hottest properties on the market. Previously, she has written for , and magazine. Lisa studied at University For The Creative Arts, where she completed a BA in Fashion Journalism.  


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