If there's one thing that's worth the investment in a home renovation, it's the kitchen island. They can provide extra seating and storage space, and even incorporate large appliances like stoves and dishwashers. The Pioneer Woman understands this wholeheartedly. When Ree Drummond and her husband Ladd renovated The Lodge back in 2008, there was not only one but two kitchen islands to consider: a smaller baking island and the main wraparound island. For the latter, they chose a stone-like concrete and wood to complement the walls and open kitchen shelving. "One of my favorite things about the kitchen is the butcher block countertop on the island," she says. "We all just cut and chop right on it, wherever we're standing."
If you, like Ree, appreciate functionality and form, consider these inspiring kitchen island ideas. Some of these designs are the result of easy-peasy DIYs, which keep the cost of the project low and allow for more creativity. Even simple things like painting the room will change the look—isn't it amazing what a coat or two of a great new color can accomplish? There are even kitchen islands here fashioned from tables as well as portable islands. Of course, we also had to include some more pricey, pie-in-the-sky examples, for your "someday" wish list. After you've wrapped up work on your kitchen island, make sure you head over to kitchen décor ideas and find more dynamite design suggestions for the most hard-working room in the house.
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Wraparound Kitchen Island
Inside of The Lodge, the main island is part butcher block, part concrete. "I've always, always been in love with the look of plain concrete," Ree says. "I'm not sure why… it's so industrial, yet so elemental at the same time." It's also practical—rock solid and, if sealed and maintained properly, will last you a lifetime.
See more at The Lodge.
Holland Avenue Home
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How much do you love this island, created with a simple antique table? Best of all, it only cost a total of $75: $65 for the table, and $10 for the casters, which the blogger added to make the table more versatile.
See more at Holland Avenue Home.
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Room Dividing Island
If you have the space, why not install a long island with loads of seating? This one has room for six bar chairs and beautifully delineates the galley-style kitchen, acting as a half-wall. We love the black sink sunk into that white top, too.
See more at Vintage Revivals.
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This island brings both warmth and texture to the kitchen beyond it thanks to the addition of wood slat sides. If you (or your sweetie) is handy with a saw and a nail gun, it's a project you can tackle yourself, too. Gotta love that!
See more at The Merrythought.
The Craft Patch
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Island with Bench
Sometimes, you can get inventive with the seating and not use chairs or stools at all. This cute DIY bench looks great pulled under the simple-but-snazzy island and, as the blogger says, "I love not having to chase down the stools that my kids drag all around the kitchen."
See more at The Craft Patch.
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This island started out life as a two-tiered coffee bar that no one used, but after a renovation morphed into this nifty island. The beadboard complements the rest of the modern farmhouse-styled kitchen nicely.
See more at Snazzy Home.
Inspired by Charm
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Work Table Island
Installing a large island wasn't possible in this smaller-sized kitchen, so the designer used a wooden table with turned legs. It perfectly offsets the nearly all-white look of the space.
See more at Inspired by Charm.
Homemade by Carmona
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When planning your ideal island don't neglect the accessories that can bring the whole look together, in this case gorgeous, bright brushed gold pendant lamps. The material is echoed in the chair frames and cabinet handles, creating eye-pleasing cohesion.
See more at Homemade by Carmona.
Shades of Blue Interiors
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Island With Trash Storage
This island not only features open shelves to tuck away cookbooks, cutting boards, glass canisters and other goodies, but it has pull-out trash storage so you can keep your garbage can out of sight.
See more at Shades of Blue Interiors.
Room for Tuesday
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Sugar & Cloth
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No only seriously smart-looking, with that blond wood and brushed gold hardware, this oh-so modern island is also the answer to your storage prayers. It doesn't sacrifice seating, either, for that storage; on the other side of the island two bar chairs are tucked away under the countertop overhang.
See more at Sugar & Cloth.
Rooms for Rent
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Charcoal Gray Island
Sometimes color is everything, as this eye-catching island proves. Its base was originally white, but after careful consideration, the blogger decided to paint it a flat, dark gray color. The daring hue ended up changing the whole vibe of the kitchen, adding new dimension to the beloved farmhouse style.
See more at Rooms for Rent.
For Hollow Cottage
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This farmhouse island boasts all kinds of pretty features, like the furniture-style feet, barn doors and distressed white finish. There are screened cabinets on both sides you can use to tuck away even more kitchen items.
See more at Fox Hollow Cottage.
Perry MastrovitoGetty Images
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Super sleek styling, open shelves and a convenient cooktop all distinguish this sublime island. And the material it's made of isn't bad, either—magnificent American walnut wood.
Jenna Kate at Home
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Island With Changing Color
If you don't want to go with an ultra-dramatic color for your island, you might want to try something a little more muted. (Bonus points if it changes with the light!) This pretty shade of gray can also look blue or green, depending on the time of day, giving the kitchen a slightly different look.
See more at Jenna Kate at Home.
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Island with DIY Trim
It's hard to believe looking at it now, but this island originally had no trim and just a couple of flimsy-looking corbels under the counter. The island really pops now with the DIY addition of more substantial corbels and trim around each panel. They give the piece the charm and character that it had been originally lacking.
See more at Abby Organizes.
Randi Garrett Design
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Featuring polished marble countertops in a waterfall design, this stunning island definitely steals the focus in this kitchen. But it's also plenty functional, providing room for a generous workspace, a sink and significant storage. We can dream...
See more at Randi Garrett Design.
Houseful of Homemade
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Who says kitchen islands are only for indoors? This DIY outdoor version features a stainless steel top with handsome slatted cedar sides made from fence pickets. On the other side, shelves provide room for plastic storage bins.
See more at Houseful of Homemade.
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Even if you don't think you have room for a more traditional island you just might if you think creatively. Yes, the island and the table are close together, but it actually works to blend the kitchen and dining area, giving it a warm, homey feel.
See more at Delia Creates.
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Easy DIY Island
This project started from three basic cabinet boxes and added bells and whistles like trim and beadboard for an easy-to-make island that looks fantastic, especially in that pretty navy blue color.
See more at Classy Clutter With Savannah Kay.
Romy TeseiGetty Images
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If you're going for a George Jetson feel in your kitchen, this half-circular, two-level island might be exactly what you need. Sure, the sink's handy, but we really can't get enough of the funky square vent.
Bless this Nest
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Island With Foot Rail
Here's something that you don't see very often, but it just makes sense: an island with a foot rail. Originally designed to aid posture when bellying up to a bar (the idea is you keep one foot on it, which relieves pressure on the spine) foot rails also help shorter folks get on to those tall chairs.
See more at Bless This Nest.
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Chefs and especially bakers will love this huge DIY island on casters because it not only features a large, uninterrupted work space, the top is quartz, a non-porous material that doesn't hold heat.
See more at Tidbits.
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If you want both a traditional island and a beautiful table with turned legs, how about this one, which combines the two into one showstopping piece? It's definitely the centerpiece of the European farmhouse kitchen that surrounds it.
See more at Boxwood Avenue.
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These two outdoor islands, made of tough marine grade composite, were part of a modular kitchen system that took just eight hours to build. The countertops are Corian for extra durability.
See more at Bless'er House.