9 standout kitchen islands

Whether you want more worktop space for preparing meals or a sleek breakfast bar for guests to sit at, take a look at these inspiring ideas for island units

No jaw-dropping kitchen extension would be complete without a fabulous island at its centre. This nifty design solution gives you more worktop and storage space, as well as the possibility of a breakfast bar, which will instantly make your kitchen a more sociable place to hang out. Discover decorating tricks for your kitchen in these island ideas…

1. Scandi-style breakfast bar This whopper of an island has got it covered, with room for a sleek ceramic hob, a double sink and undercounter storage. The owners keep all their appliances and gadgets on the worktop at the back of the room so the island is clutter-free when the family sits down to eat.

2. Classic kitchen with room for two
Proving that an island can look right at home in a traditional country kitchen, this unit provides handy cupboards, open shelving for a row of cook books and a neat breakfast bar for a quick cuppa. It’s okay to mix-and-match: the blue-painted wood panelling on this island brings soft colour to a cream kitchen.

3. Symmetrical seating areaThis square island has got careful planning written all over it. The open shelves match the wood of the bar stools and the integral sink is positioned directly opposite the hob on the worktop behind it. Note the concealed sockets cleverly fitted beneath the breakfast bar – ideal for plugging in your laptop for a working lunch.

4. Simple country kitchen
Even if your kitchen is small in size, it could benefit from an island unit, as long as you size it up to allow enough space to easily move around it. The owners of this cute country kitchen opted for a granite worktop for the island to contrast with the wooden worktops around the cooker.

5. Elegant kitchen with industrial finishes
This beautiful (not to mention huge) kitchen is a masterclass in mixing colours within a soft palette. The marble worktop stands out against the lilac-painted wooden panelling of the island, while the brushed steel pendants and Tolix-style bar stools add a modern edge.

6. Traditional kitchen with modern touches
While seamlessly blending in with the Shaker-style units on the back wall of the kitchen, this slimline island also makes room for a few more contemporary accessories, such as the Scandi-style two-tone bar stools and a trio of copper-lined pendant lights.

7. Contemporary kitchen-diner
A high-gloss black island has turned one simple white kitchen into a dramatic room. Sleek bar stools lend sophisticated style, while lustrous floor tiles and a glass splashback keep natural light bouncing around the space, so the overall effect is light rather than dark – a pop of sunshine yellow helps too.

8. Sideboard style island
If it’s storage your dream of, this vast island is for you. Crammed with drawers for cooking equipment, cutlery and tableware, it’s more custom-made sideboard than run-of-the-mill island. The wooden worktop and cool grey colour sit perfectly in a pale country kitchen.

9. Chic monochrome island
A simple way to add impact to a traditional kitchen is to paint island units in a matt black paint. Cup handles and Shaker doors will tie in with classic features in a period home, and a glossy white worktop will ensure the room isn’t overpowered by the black paint. Keep walls and flooring neutral so the look feels clean and simple.

Ideal Home loves...