Kitchen islands have become much more than extra counter space. An island is now a kitchen’s focal point. It’s an informal place for families to gather and an ideal location to entertain guests while making those last-minute touches to the evening’s main course. Naturally, island design has also evolved, creating numerous possibilities for more creativity and practicality than ever before.
If you’ve ever wondered how to create a kitchen island with that magazine-style wow-factor, these are tricks you need to know.
1. Choose a countertop with shine and visual interest.
A smooth, polished surface has a classic and luxurious appeal (and because it’s polished, it’s actually quite easy to care for). Plus, a surface with reflectivity will also help brighten your kitchen.
For some added visual interest, opt for materials made of natural stone (such as granite or marble) or materials that can convincingly mimic natural stone (such as quartz). Stone countertops contain a variety of tones, streaks, and textures that naturally draw the eye.
2. Use contrasting tones.
Choosing an island that contrasts with other design aspects of your kitchen highlights your island as the room’s focal point. It also anchors the space as a whole.
In this photo, the design expert contrasted not only deep wood tones on the island’s sides with the kitchen’s white cabinetry but also contrasted the island’s faux-marble, quartz countertop with the dark quartz countertop around the kitchen’s perimeter. The white of the island countertop and the white of the cabinetry provide the perfect balance for this timeless look.
3. Wow with waterfall legs.
A fantastic addition to modern or transitional styles, waterfall legs are the perfect way to make a clean, contemporary design statement. What’s more, this island style can work on a small or large scale and everything in between. Whether you want to display the natural beauty of real stone or enjoy the clean, minimalist lines of this look, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of island legs that are extra durable!
4. Don’t forget the edges.
The thickness and edges of your island’s countertop may seem like a relatively small aspect of the overall design, but they are an important one! Choosing edges with some detail can lend an ornate touch to a traditional style, while simple, thick edges can make a contemporary style pop!
Pro style tip: Miter drop edges are especially popular with granite countertops because they make countertops appear thicker than they actually are. That means you get the look of a 2- to 3-inch stone slab for a fraction of the cost.
5. Add seating.
Bar seating is what truly transforms your island into the heart and central gathering place of your kitchen. Installing an overhang makes it possible to add chairs or stools that tie the whole look together.
Short on space? Instead of installing an overhang that protrudes over your island’s legs, install alcoves for stools underneath instead!
6. Center the lighting.
Whether your kitchen is large or small, this design trick works wonders: center your lighting fixtures over your island. People often assume that it’s best to place lighting fixtures in the center of the room. Placing lighting fixtures directly over focal points in your room (such as kitchen islands and dining tables) balances the entire space.
Ready to start creating the kitchen island you’ve always wanted? Get started with Capitol Granite’s Virtual Kitchen Visualizer or contact our countertop experts for a quote.