for by Allie Holcomb King

A few things are certain in the dream kitchen. One of those is an oversized, totally tricked-out island. The island’s exact details are still up in the air; so today I’m sharing a few of my favorite ideas. Take a look, and get inspired for your own remodel (in your head or IRL, no judgement either way).

1: Choose a Bold Color

Consider contrasting the color of your island with your perimeter cabinets, like designer Ashley Clark of sKout did here. Bold blue and green hues are totally on-trend and pair well with neutrals.

2: Accent With Metallic Pendants

Don’t forget lighting when designing your island, as it’s a key part of the overall look. If you’re leaning toward neutral tones for cabinetry and countertops, try a shiny, metallic finish for your pendant lights.

3: Add an Eating Bar

Do you desperately need an island for prep space but love the thought of casual dining? This idea is for you. An eating bar will provide a spot for quick meals while keeping your actual island countertop open for food prep.

4: Hang Shelves Above

Struggling with storage space? Purchase shelving proportionate to the size of your island to hang directly above.

5: Tuck Your Barstools Under

If storage isn’t an issue, design an island with a countertop overhang to house your barstools. This will help keep your kitchen neat and walkways open.

6: Integrate Appliances

If you have the option to install a large island, take full advantage by housing appliances within it. Often, the island provides a central location, perfect for everyday appliances like a microwave.

7: Warm It Up With Wood

The kitchen is typically one of the most neutral spaces in a home. If yours feels a bit dull or lifeless, consider wood for your new island. As you can see in this stunning kitchen designed by Serendipite, nothing warms a room quite like a dose of natural wood.

8: Blend It In

Make your island blend seamlessly with the rest of your space by choosing the same cabinets, countertops and hardware used on the perimeter walls. To further this idea, opt for the same metal for your lighting and barstools, just as Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design did here.

9: Include a Prep Sink

If you plan to use your island as a workspace, consider installing a prep sink. The addition is definitely worth it for avid chefs.

10: Match Your Hood’s Hue

If you like the idea of a colorful island but want to make sure it ties into your design, paint your range hood the same color. This will give your space an effortless flow.

11: Half It

Who said an island can’t multitask? If you need yours to do double duty, consider one that has two distinct halves — one for dining and one for storage and prep.

12: Waterfall One Side

Waterfall countertops are the it-girl accessory for kitchen islands, but have you ever considered a countertop that only spills over on one side? I love the asymetrical edge it gives this kitchen by Coddington Design.

13: Waterfall Both Sides

BUT — you can’t go wrong by going all out. The marble waterfall countertop in this kitchen designed by Julie Dodson is simply stunning.

14: Consider an L Shape

An L-shaped island can bring immense functionality to your space, especially if your kitchen is tucked in a corner.

15: Double Up

Maybe you’re working with a blank slate and wide, open spaces. By all means, then, don’t stop at one! Install two separate islands, one for working and one for dining.