Few kitchen features are as versatile as the island.
While its purpose may seem simple—to provide extra prep surface and storage—it’s extremely customizable. Depending on its design, it can house a sink, a stovetop, a seating area, and, of course, plenty of cabinet space. And not only that—a modern kitchen island can be a statement-making complement to your cabinets.
You might consider introducing a new accent color via your kitchen island or bringing in more texture through elements like wood-finish cabinet fronts or a dramatic marble waterfall. The design of this piece can be as striking and as subtle as you like, and with the right finishes and details, it can elevate the look of the entire room.
With so many possibilities, it can admittedly be challenging to nail down exactly how you imagine your dream space—so allow these six modern kitchen islands to provide you with all the inspiration you need.
Design: Space Exploration Design
Gray kitchens tend to look more modern than traditional, but that doesn’t mean they have to look cold or minimalist. It all has to do with your pairings: In this kitchen by Space Exploration Design, light gray cabinets complement the veins of the marble backsplash and countertops. Meanwhile, oak floors warm up the space and upholstered pewter barstools (with oak legs) add a softness against the island.
The Blond Bridge
Design: Sarah Sherman Samuel
Leave it to Sarah Sherman Samuel to design a kitchen island as fresh and original as this one. Two beaded cabinets provide storage, while a matching wooden table in between joins them. If you’re not a fan of sitting at bar stools, this innovative design delivers both a large workspace for cooking and a comfortable spot for eating.
The Warm Wood
Photography: Erin Feinblatt; Design: Hearth Homes Interiors
A large kitchen island means there’s lots of space for tucking away pots, pans, and air fryers. The Semihandmade Impression Tahoe fronts used here by Hearth Homes Interiors not only warm up the neutral space, but also make the cabinets discreet—a hidden storage solution that’s perfect for the home cook with plenty of tools.
The Waterfall Effect
Design: LL Design Co; Build: Well Done Building & Design
Never underestimate the power of a good matte black. The kitchen of this Orange, California home designed by LL Design Co has a bright, airy feel thanks to white slab cabinets and green zellige tiles, but a few dark accents add graphic appeal: a textured range hood, a wall of cabinetry, and, a black and white island. The metal counter stools offset the more bohemian elements like the woven pendant lamps.
The Marble Edge
Photography: Christine Michelle; Design: The Habitat Collective
Semihandmade Supermatte Shaker cabinets make this all-white Miami kitchen by The Habitat Collective look especially sleek and modern. A waterfall kitchen island made with light-veined marble adds just the slightest bit of visual texture. The small detail that brings the space to the next level? Matte black hardware all around.
The Green Dream
Photography: Nicole Franzen; Design: Athena Calderone
In Athena Calderone’s Amagansett kitchen, Farrow and Ball’s Ash Grey adds just the slightest green tinge to Semihandmade DIY Shaker cabinet fronts and a ridged kitchen island. While this hue is subtle, it makes a big impact—especially when paired with striking marble counters and woven bar stools.