A contrasting kitchen island is the best way to make your kitchen design stand out. A kitchen island in a different color or material can create the focal point that takes your kitchen design from regular to stylish.

You can go for complementary colors to create a bold look, or work with a difference in materials to add texture and make your kitchen island stand out against the rest of your kitchen cabinets.

In the list below, you will find my favorite ideas for creating a kitchen design with a contrasting kitchen island. The inspirations range from bold color combinations to modest pairings of materials for a more subdued look.

Work with complementary colors to achieve a playful contemporary space

Let’s start with the boldest one of the contrasting kitchen island ideas on the list, shall we? The large kitchen island in the middle of the space is picked out in a beautiful pink color, that stands out against the sky-blue kitchen cabinets against the wall.

Not only are the colors of the cabinets different, but the countertops are also selected in different materials, setting the two modules apart even more.

The pink kitchen island has a wood countertop, while the light blue kitchen cabinets are finished with a white marble countertop. The gold hardware unites the two different kitchen modules.

A light blue kitchen paired with a pink kitchen island that results in a kitchen design with great contrast

via Cupboard and Goods

Create a tone-on-tone backdrop to make your island stand out

The distinctive paint color of the contrasting kitchen island pops out powerfully against the subdued background of the sage-green farmhouse-style kitchen. The shiplap kitchen backsplash is painted in the same color as the kitchen cabinets, resulting in a tone-on-tone setting from which the contrasting kitchen island pops out even more.

A farmhouse kitchen with a contrasting kitchen island in a complementary color

via Cupboard and Goods

Create a white island with the same countertop as your main kitchen module

The marble countertops in this kitchen with dark wood cabinets are also used on the backsplash and on the statement island which is the kitchen’s focal point. The marble back panel on the kitchen island makes it look like a solid block, which gives it an even more impressive presence in the space.

An oak wood kitchen with a marble island and a glass and wood partition in between the kitchen and the dining room

via Nordiska Kök

Go for a contrasting kitchen with a dark-tone island

The off-white cabinetry with glass front cabinets in this gorgeous farmhouse kitchen with kitchen wallpaper is finished off with a classic wood island and bar stools made out of the same material.

The dark wood tone and grey limestone countertop on the kitchen island stand out against the light-soaped hardwood flooring of the room.

A classic dark wood kitchen island contrasts against an off-white farmhouse kitchen design

via Nordiska Kök

Add a pop of color to a white kitchen

The white cabinets in this minimal kitchen design blend into the white walls of the space. The green kitchen island pops out of this white backdrop, transforms the white kitchen design, and provides it with a unique appearance.

A green kitchen island stands out against a minimal white kitchen design

via Reform CPH

Play with natural materials for a contrast that blends in with its surroundings

In this white kitchen, the dark wood island paired with rattan bar stools and a white quartz countertop stands out in an understated yet impactful way. The white cabinets of the main kitchen module blend in with the white walls, while the kitchen island in the middle of the space blends in with the wood finish of the flooring.

A white kitchen with a contrasting kitchen island in a dark wood tone

via Himlekök

A contrast of materials in a playful contemporary kitchen

In the kitchen below, the stunning island made out of stainless steel contrasts with the pink kitchen cabinets that are finished off with terrazzo countertops.

The kitchen island not only stands out because it’s made out of a different material but its round shape and organic appearance are very distinct from the clean lines of the rest of the kitchen design.

A pink kitchen with terrazzo countertops and a contrasting stainless steel kitchen island with an organic shape

via Himlekök

White cabinets paired with a black marble island in the middle

The oversized island in this space is made out of black marble, paired with black pendant lights and black chairs for an overall black-and-white kitchen color palette.

Statement kitchen islands like this one tend to work well in a minimal space, as they grab all the attention. In this example, the black island is paired with subdued white cabinets that blend in with the white wall color.

The black shape of the kitchen island comes back with the black-stained mirror on the wall for an interesting effect in the space.

a contrasting kitchen island in black marble in a kitchen with white cabinets

via Ballingslōv

Go a few shades darker with your kitchen island for a tonal effect

The teal blue kitchen island is painted a few shades darker than the cabinets and the walls in this spacious historic kitchen space. This way, the kitchen island stands out in the room, yet in a subtle way that allows for a classy and tranquil aesthetic and a balanced look.

A tea blue kitchen island in a light blue kitchen with light blue walls

via Kitchen and Beyond

Pair different styles together for a classy kitchen design

In this spacious beige shaker kitchen, the classic wood island stands center stage and introduces a historic element into the room. The white countertop contrasts nicely with the dark wood tone on the kitchen island, finished off with subtle brass hardware.

Even though the white countertop of the kitchen island has a classic look, it has a modern induction cooktop seamlessly integrated into the stone countertop.

A beige shaker style kitchen with a wooden kitchen island

via Artilleriet kitchen studio

Pair your stainless steel appliances with a stainless steel island

The dark wood cabinets and white oak wood flooring in this modern kitchen are paired with an impressive steel kitchen island with lots of storage space.

The contrasting kitchen island made out of steel matches the impressive range hood in the same material. The modern brushed steel surface pairs well with the natural texture in the different wood tones for an interesting pairing of materials.

A combination of dark wood kitchen cabinets with stainless steel drawers on the kitchen island

via Nordiska Kök

Create a subtle yet contrasting island in the countertop material

In this two-tone kitchen, the beige stone countertop used on the main kitchen module and backsplash also come back in the waterfall kitchen island in the middle of the space.

The waterfall effect makes the beautiful texture of the stone countertop stand out and it unites the look of the entire kitchen.

A beige stone kitchen island stands out against a two-tone kitchen design

via Nordiska Kök

Differentiate with the wood tone and unite with the countertop material

Imagine this gorgeous kitchen space with a blue island and it wouldn’t have such a unique appearance, wouldn’t it? The natural oak kitchen island is surrounded by blue-stained wood kitchen cabinets in this big space with an abundance of natural light.

The color palette is finished off with brass hardware on the blue kitchen cabinets and a white marble countertop that unites the kitchen island visually with the rest of the kitchen layout.

A natural oak kitchen island paired with blue kitchen cabinets, white marble countertops and brass hardware

via Historiska Hem

Pair natural stone with a full-wood kitchen

The dark wood kitchen cabinets in this modern space are paired with a wooden countertop for a dark and moody appearance that contrasts against the white oak wood flooring.

In front of the dark wood elements, a large island with quartz sides and a quartz countertop makes for an extraordinary eye-catcher. The stacked stone island has a clean and minimal look, that pairs well with the natural texture of the dark wood cabinetry and the herringbone flooring.

A quartz stone kitchen island paired with light hardwood herringbone flooring and dark wood kitchen cabinets

via Norm Architects

Create a beautiful contrast with your kitchen flooring

While the terrazzo kitchen island doesn’t stand out that much against the white cabinetry, it does pop out against the black and white checkerboard kitchen flooring. The tick, clean lines of the island pair well with the classic white cabinetry against the walls.

Inside the kitchen island, wood finish shelves allow more room for the storage of herbs and spices, making the kitchen island both functional and elegant.

A contrasting terrazzo kitchen island on top of a black-and-white checkerboard floor

via Ferm Living 

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