A kitchen island makes everything from cooking to dining a breeze. Discover these inspiring kitchen island ideas and start planning the kitchen of your dreams
You may be dealing with a cramped galley kitchen right now, but that lack of counter space isn’t forever. Someday you’ll have room for a toaster and a coffee maker and be able to spread out with your very own kitchen island—the MVP of the home. From cooking prep to casual dining to storage, these workhorses do it all (and add an architectural focal point). So it’s no wonder that more and more renovations include the addition of a kitchen island. We’ve gathered stylish spaces from the AD archives that are full of kitchen island ideas for any style. Find inspiration for your future remodeling project in these kitchens by top architects and designers. Whether you dream of creating a spot for nightly homework, gourmet meals, or morning coffee, a practical and beautiful island will be the most used area in the house.
In the kitchen of designer Ray Booth and television executive John Shea’s Nashville, Tennessee, home, Roman Thomas pendant lights are installed above the Booth-designed island, Ann Sacks tile was used for the backsplash, the sink fittings are by Kohler, and the stools are by BDDW.
Install a Waterfall Island
Painted in a Benjamin Moore white, the kitchen of a Nova Scotia home designed by Alexander Gorlin is centered by an island clad in Caesarstone; the stools are by Gus Modern.
Mix Marble and Metal
The kitchen of Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s former New York apartment is outfitted with cabinetry and butcher-block countertops by Fanuka; the island is clad in unlacquered brass and topped with Breccia Imperiale marble from Artistic Tile. The marble shelves rest on brackets from Liz’s Antique Hardware; the subway tile is from Home Depot, the painting of Saint Peter is an 18th-century work from Peru, and the barstools are vintage American.
Make an Impact with Mirrored Surfaces
The symphony of reflective surfaces in the kitchen of a Manhattan penthouse by Jean-Louis Deniot includes the polished stainless-steel panels on the Deniot-designed island, a Guy de Rougemont free-form chrome-top table, and metallic wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries; the circular artwork is by Astrid Krogh, and the vintage swivel chairs are by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand.
Go for the Gold
The centerpiece of designer Jamie Drake’s New York kitchen is a custom-made island comprising cabinetry finished in gold leaf by the Alpha Workshops and an overlapping table in Corian with gold inlay; the pendant lights are by Drake, the counter stools are by the Bright Group, and the tabletop sculpture is by Reinaldo Sanguino.
Add Country Charm
At Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s former Los Angeles home, designed by architect Richard Landry and decorator Joan Behnke, antique Tunisian tile from Exquisite Surfaces makes a lively backsplash in the kitchen, which is appointed with Formations pendant lights, marble countertops from Compas Architectural Stone, custom-made alder cabinetry, an oak island, and a Wolf range.
Create Extra Storage
At a Bel Air, California, home designed by Kelly Wearstler, lanterns by Blend Interiors hang in the kitchen, which features alder-wood cabinetry and a stainless-steel-clad island with brass trim. The bespoke brass-and-cracked-glass table is by Wearstler, the range is by Wolf, and the island sink fittings are by Kallista. Near the window is a custom-made sofa in a Lee Jofa velvet.
Use Warm Woods
At the Umbrian estate of architect Benedikt Bolza and his family, the kitchen’s massive oak-top island features sink fittings by KWC.
Add Open Storage
Andy Lewis of Neumann Lewis Buchanan Architects created a new kitchen wing for this historic home in Virginia, which was decorated by Jean Perin and includes a wood island with open storage.
Make It Massive
This townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village, designed by Leroy Street Studio architects and decorated by Christine Markatos Lowe, features a massive island that spans the kitchen.
Cover It in Marble
The kitchen of decorator Pedro Espírito Santo’s home in Lisbon, Portugal, features a marble island with a cooktop and a 19th-century Italian porcelain figure.
Create Contrast with White
The sleek island in this Shelton, Mindel & Assoc.–designed Hamptons kitchen is paired with Jean Prouvé barstools.
Mix Black and White
The kitchen in this house near Tel Aviv, Israel—renovated by homeowner Joshua Kastiel and architect Alex Meitlis—features a Corian-topped, black-lacquered island.
Center It in the Space
At a Southampton, New York, retreat renovated by interior designer David Netto and architect David Hottenroth, pendant lights by Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. illuminate the island, which is paired with BassamFellows tractor stools from Design Within Reach.
Combine Seating and Storage
In the kitchen of an Aspen, Colorado, home designed by Shawn Henderson, a vintage Louis Poulsen pendant light from Lost City Arts hangs above a Caesarstone-top island and Orange Furniture barstools upholstered in an Edelman leather; the hood is by Bulthaup, the cabinetry is by Studio B, the ovens are by Gaggenau, and the sink fittings are by Dornbracht.
Add Standout Stools
The kitchen of a Martha’s Vineyard home designed by Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro features an island illuminated by minimalist pendant lights by Davide Groppi; the barstools are by Garza Marfa.
Design duo Dufner Heighes chose marble surfaces in this Manhattan penthouse kitchen, which complement Bulthaup cabinetry. The space is equipped with Miele wall ovens, a Gaggenau cooktop, Dornbracht sink fittings, and a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator; the Suite NY stools are clad in a Holland & Sherry fabric.
Pair with a Table
The kitchen of a Bridgehampton, New York, home designed by Steven Gambrel has plenty of surfaces for prep, including an island and a Gambrel-designed table.
Bring in Shining Surfaces
Sleek ebonized-oak cabinetry, matching flooring, a gleaming island, and black granite counters lend a moody elegance to the revamped kitchen in this Aspen, Colorado, home decorated by Stonefox Architects.
Mix Drawers and Shelves
The kitchen of a Long Island home renovated by designer Daniel Sachs and architect Kevin Lindores includes 1920s American pendant lights over the island and a bespoke copper hood; the range is by Bertazzoni, and the cabinetry at far right is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue.