70 Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas

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Time for some island hopping–right in your kitchen!  From curved marble custom kitchen islands to storage-heavy workhorse islands, we’ve gathered some impressive custom kitchen island ideas.

The kitchen island is the social area of the kitchen. It is a popular gathering point especially for breakfast before everyone runs off to their own busy days. It also adds a lot of functionality to a kitchen, providing additional workspace and storage. Considering its central position in the kitchen, it is worth taking time to consider the best design for your kitchen island.

Hopefully by the end of this blog, you’ll have some great ideas to consider. We’ll also give you a primer on some of the practical issues to keep in mind when installing a kitchen island.

COVERING THE BASICS:

Size

Before going any further, how big do you want your kitchen island to be and can you fit it in your kitchen?

Size will depend on several factors with the most important being your kitchen’s real estate. If you have a large kitchen you have the freedom to play around with a wide variety of sizes and designs. For smaller kitchens, the island will have to be compact.  When deciding how big (or small) the kitchen island is going to be, consider how it will affect kitchen functionality. Will people still be able to walk around the space without having to walk sideways? Will it block access to the fridge, pantry or door?

The recommended clearance space around the island is around 3 feet. This is especially important for safety. Make sure you can open cabinet doors without blocking the way or hitting someone. You should also check that the stove is far enough.  But don’t let this discourage you if you have a small kitchen. There are many custom kitchen island ideas that can work great in a small kitchen without compromising safety or freedom. You can have an island as small as 40 by 40 inches while still maintaining practicality.

The secret to getting the size right is a lot of planning. Sit down with your contractor and crunch the numbers until you find a perfectly sized design.

Countertops

Another big decision is the type and style of kitchen island countertop. Your choice will depend on several factors including the size of the kitchen island, what you will use it for, your overall kitchen style and your budget.  Most homeowners automatically assume that the kitchen island countertop has to match the main kitchen countertop. While you certainly can match them, it is also an opportunity to create a contrast from the main kitchen décor. For instance, if you have quartz or stainless steel countertops,  butcher block on the custom kitchen island can introduce some warmth.  Vice versa,  a warm-colored kitchen countertop can be balanced by a cooler neutral-colored kitchen island.

But make sure there is a flow between the island countertop and the rest of the space’s décor. Try to find a style that complements the wall cabinets, flooring and main countertop.

Other than décor and aesthetics, also take into account practical matters of durability, hygiene and maintenance.

  • Stainless steel is highly durable and easy to maintain though it scratches easily and could dent over time.
  • Granite is great but it needs to be resealed regularly to keep it non-porous. It is also vulnerable to chipping.
  • Quartz is long lasting and is naturally non-porous, making it one of the most hygienic options.
  • Other countertop ideas include: brass, acrylic-sealed wood, marble, zinc and glass.
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Storage

A kitchen island is a great way to add more storage to your kitchen. There are many ways you can incorporate storage into your new kitchen island from traditional cabinets and drawers to creative open shelving where you can store books.

When it comes to kitchen island storage, think multifunctional. Try to have two or three different storage components to fully maximize the island. You can have a couple of cabinets, drawers along the top, storage for the trash bin and open shelves on the side or at the back of the island. The open shelves are especially handy for storing utensils, linens and small appliances.

Related: The Benefits of Adding an Island to Your Kitchen

NATURE INSPIRED

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Crestwood Construction Inc.

Natural wood bar top is stunning!

OPEN CONCEPT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Elad Gonen

Love the open shelving.

BRIGHT & SUNNY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Alison Kandler Interior Design

Great pop of yellow. Such a cheerful space.

RICH RED

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Precision Cabinets

Vibrant red is an excellent choice for this island.

SHADE OF GRAY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Nice deep rich gray color on this custom kitchen island.

CHOCOLATE DELIGHT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Minnesota Cabinets, INC

Nice deep dark chocolate cabinetry make up this island. Those pendant lights are so striking!

CRAFTSMAN

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
MG Designs Inc.

A wonderful example of a craftsman style custom kitchen island.

TRADITIONALLY INDUSTRIAL

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects LLP

A mix of both traditional and industrial. Great feature storage and seating!

LOCATION

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Plunkett Homes

Awesome location for this island–great overall space!

POOL HOUSE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Siemasko + Verbridge

A custom “kitchen” island is appropriate just about anywhere–like the idea of the wheels and mobility.

GREAT STORAGE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Excellent storage on this side.

TAKE A SEAT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Smart tuck-a-away seating on this side.

CURVY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Space Fitting Furniture

Unique fun shape for this custom kitchen island.

NEOLITH

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Omicron Granite & Tile

This countertop is Neolith Calcutta.

WELL ROUNDED

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Raywal Cabinets

The rounded shape is so welcoming.

BEACHY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Kristi Spouse Interiors

Pretty blue/grey work island in this renovated beach house.

WASTE NOT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Don’t forget about all the great features you can add to a custom kitchen island.

SAN FRANCISCO TREAT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
WA Design Architects

Remarkable long island in this San Francisco kitchen.

WILTSHIRE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Stephen Graver Ltd

Another great rounded bar style island in this Wiltshire, England kitchen.

SMALL & SIMPLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Interior Intuitions, Inc.

Good choice for this small kitchen.  What about those lights!?

DOUBLED UP

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Vallone Design

Spectacular double islands–one for working and one for gathering. Beautiful overall space.

AUTUMN GREEN

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
RGN Construction

Breathtaking view in this traditional kitchen. Autumn green granite was used on both these custom kitchen islands.

MIXED UP

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Kitchen Distributors

Love the blended Iroko wood and Zebrino marble countertop.

WARM WOOD

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Bluebell Kitchens

The wood countertop is so rich & warm. Those pendant lights are so pretty!

RUSTIC

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
 Brooks Design/Build, Inc.

This island features a mesquite wood countertop.

NAPERVILLE REMODEL

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Superb kitchen remodel.  Love the pendant lighting above the custom kitchen island!

SMALL & MIGHTY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Windham Construction, Inc

This smaller size island looks like it gets the job done.

WOOD ISLAND

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Stacey Brandford Photography

Rustic, industrial and a little beachy.

WHEATON TRADITIONAL

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Notice that these Wheaton homeowners chose recessed lighting and no pendants over the island.

SPREAD THIN

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Terracotta Studio

Thin island fits great in this limited space.

BIG BLUE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Mark Wilkinson Kitchens, Harrogate

No lack of space at this custom kitchen island!

DARK & RICH

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Visbeen Architects

Handsome features and seating were chosen for this kitchen.

GREAT STORAGE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Lots of great storage in this custom kitchen island.

AUTUMN PURPLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Kedleston Interiors

Wow–what a unique choice. Take a chance–choose your favorite color!

SWEDISH SHAKER

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sola Kitchens 

This crisp and clean kitchen in the UK features a great custom kitchen island.

RALEIGH RUSTIC

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Ecologic-Studio, llc

Love the vibrant blue color and great industrial metal seating.

BAROQUE STYLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Isler Homes

A much more formal style kitchen and island.

LA LOFT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Incorporated

Great idea! This island on wheels allows the space to be opened up when needed.

SUPER SIMPLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Mahoney Architects & Interiors

Can’t get any more simple than this. Gives you a little more work space and a little bit of extra storage maybe with the help of some baskets to keep it all neat.

ICE BOX

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Joseph Mosey Architecture, Inc.

Great eye-catching metal accents. Nice ice box style to this island.

LIGHT IT UP

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Mal Corboy Design

Great lighting! So cool. You have to check this designer out–unique and stunning projects.  Things you don’t see every day.

WARM & INVITING

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Comito Buildng and Design LLC

All the choices in this space are rich, warm and inviting. Plus two islands!

CONTEMPORARY LONDON

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Mia Karlsson Interior Design

Expansive contemporary island.

COTTAGE KITCHEN

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Smart placement of appliances in this custom kitchen island.

CLAY PEBBLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Soleil By Design, LLC

Countertop is Pental Clay Pebble polished quartz in this transitional kitchen.

ANOTHER DIMENSION

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Brooks and Falotico Associates, Inc.

The size of this island is incredible. The island cabinetry is cerused ebonized oak.

NEXL LEVEL

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build 

Great open concept kitchen.  All the varying levels on the island make this a great entertaining space.

IN THE NAVY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Matthew Bolt Graphic Design

Striking navy kitchen island.

NY TRADITIONAL

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services

BAR STYLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

All are welcome to gather around all while not interrupting the cook!

HILTON HEAD

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
William Byrd Homes

Gorgeous kitchen in this water front home in SC. The carrera marble countertop is perfect!

MASCULINE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Laurysen Kitchens Ltd.

Grand and masculine feel to this kitchen. Cool lights!

TRADITIONALLY YOURS

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

A warm space to bake & cook and share with family and friends.

MINNEAPOLIS HISTORIC

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
w.b. builders

The custom green-gray on the island along with the wood countertop is a great warm complement to the white cabinets in this kitchen.

CUT IT OUT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Arturo Palombo Architecture

Amazing walnut cutting board built into this custom kitchen island.

TAKING SHAPE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Colorado Cabinetry

Love the rounded shape of this island and the seating choice. Must be a great place to gather with family and friends.

MEGA MODERN

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Out of this world expansive custom kitchen island in this Oak Brook home.

DOUBLE DUTY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Trend Interior Design

Another pretty kitchen that houses not one, but two wonderful islands.

FLOATING ISLAND

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Mal Corboy Design

Beyond unique–genius! This kitchen is even handle less (all cupboards and draws are electric opening).

TEXAS WATERFRONT

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Dawn Hearn Interior Design

Rich wood, stone and granite make up this custom kitchen island. Plus those lights are awesome!

LAKE HOUSE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Yvonne McFadden LLC

This reclaimed white oak island is a wonderful choice for this lake house. So fresh! Plus another great light fixture.

NY STYLE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Susan Glick Interiors

So chic. Fantastic lights.

DON’T WINE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Martha O’Hara Interiors

Really like the seating area and wine storage!

DC TRANSITIONAL

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Morgan Howarth Photography

The mix of the white cabinetry, gray island and warm and rich wood floors make this such an inviting space.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

Plenty of room for the entire family.

SOAPSTONE

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
The Woodshop of Avon

Soapstone countertops were used for this island. Great configuration!

COLOSSAL ISLAND

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Patrick Brickman

Perfect gathering spot in an awesome kitchen!

CHIC COUNTRY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
THINK architecture Inc.

Breathtaking double islands. Also look at the great seating–loving the long bench!

SHIPS AHOY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
DiMauro Architects, Inc.

What a cute idea for a beach home.

AURORA CONTEMPORARY

Spectacular Custom Kitchen Island Ideas - Sebring Services
Sebring Design Build

A great example that illustrates you don’t need a huge space to have a great custom kitchen island and beautiful kitchen!

Seating

If you want your kitchen island to double as a gathering space, you need to think about seating.  Here, factors like: comfort, style, layout and space are important. First of all, make sure the seats are comfortable. This will make the space more inviting. Chairs with a comfortable backing will make people stick around longer. If the kitchen island is used frequently for dining, consider using padded seats.

Bar stools are the common choice for kitchen islands, but not the only seating you should consider. For instance, a padded bench provides a unique look and can be especially great with kids. Just make sure it is high enough to reach the countertop. For compact islands, stools are a better option since they save more space.

The layout is also very important. Are you going to place the seating along one side, along the sided only or on three sides? This will depend on the size of your kitchen island and how often your family gathers there and how many people will be seated.

Remember to include the seating area when planning the clearance space. Even with the seats present, you still need to maintain a clearance of at least 3 feet all around the island. Consider designing the kitchen island so the stools can slide under the countertop when not in use.

You will definitely want to take a moment to check out this blog: Easy Steps for Designing the Perfect Kitchen Island

Lighting

Getting the lighting right is important both for functionality and aesthetics.  An obvious way to brighten up the kitchen island is to add overhead lighting. Make sure the lights hang low enough to provide enough illumination. This is especially important if the kitchen island is going to be a working and dining area.

Find uniquely designed fixtures that differentiate the island from the rest of the room. Bronze, gold or wrought iron light fixtures can provide a nice unique look that makes the kitchen island feel special. As for the light itself, LED is best.

As with the countertop, make sure the kitchen island lighting blends well with the rest of the kitchen lighting.

Kitchen Island Bar

A kitchen island bar provides a cozy space to dine without hogging the countertop space. It is especially handy for laidback meals such as breakfasts and brunches.

There are several ways you can add a kitchen island bar. A popular design is to place it higher than the countertop. This makes it easy for whoever is on the other side of the island to conveniently place plates of food on the bar. You can also have the bar lower than the countertop or at the same level.   Make sure that the bar height and seating correspond. Additionally, check that there is still adequate clearance space around the kitchen island.

Bonus tip: If you are going to be throwing back a few drinks at the bar, consider integrating wine storage with the kitchen island. It can be anything from a small built-in freezer to specialized shelves for your collection of wine bottles.

Kitchen Island Ideas For Small Kitchens

Here are a few final tips on how you can still enjoy the benefits of a kitchen island even with a tiny kitchen.

  • Small and compact kitchen islands are the way to go. Though it will have limited storage and countertop space, at least it will properly fit in the space.
  • If your kitchen is long but narrow, go for an island with similar dimensions. A long narrow island can work surprisingly well and even add a unique look to your kitchen.
  • If you add seating, make sure it slides under the counter to save space.
  • Maximize on storage. Deep drawers, side shelves and tall cabinets will help you make full use of the limited space.

See? Whatever size your kitchen is, a custom kitchen island is a definite possibility. If you saw something you loved in our round-up, talk it over with your contractor and make it a reality. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us.

This is an image roundup post, curated to showcase and promote other reputable contracting companies’ and their amazing work.  To have any of the images removed, please reach out to us and we would be happy to do so.

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About the Author:

" We are very passionate about educating homeowners. From design ideas to hiring a contractor, we hope this blog helps you in the process of remodeling your home. " ~ Bryan Sebring

4 Comments

  1. Stan Williams December 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    The nature inspires island that utilizes a thick slab of a tree is my personal favorite. When we redid our Island I wanted to use wood and well and was vetoed by the misses. Oh well. At least great sites like this can post a variety of options for me to daydream about. Thanks for this comprehensive variety.

  2. Sarah Cook April 19, 2018 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    This is such a helpful blog. Cleared so many of my problems. You are a lifesaver. Thanks!

  3. Andy Shepard May 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    I’m planning on remodeling our kitchen for next year, and I’m thinking of having custom kitchen cabinets for that personal style. It’s good that you mentioned how knobs and cabinet pulls can be customized easily to suit our everyday needs. I think I’ll consider working with my contractor to design our kitchen with maximum functionality.

  4. Kalik Collin September 4, 2018 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Really your blog is very interesting. You shared valuable information in your post. Thank you for sharing with us.

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