20+ Of H&H’s Best Kitchens With Contrasting Islands
From high-contrast palettes to beautiful banquettes and trendy backsplash tile, there are endless ways to style our kitchens. Another way to elevate this hardworking space is contrasting islands that don’t match the rest of the kitchen’s countertops or cabinets. We love this look for its versatility, whether adding drama with a pop of color or softening a space with warm wood. Get inspired by 23 of our favorite kitchens from the H&H archives.
Rustic wood countertops and deep blue cabinets give H&H editor-in-chief Beth Hitchcock’s kitchen timeless appeal. Lacquered white drawers on the island are a mod update, while brass pulls throughout unify the space.
A marble-clad island is the jewel of this former Princess Margaret showhome kitchen. Recessed panels add depth and dimension.
A walnut island adds instant warmth in this black and white kitchen. Birdcage pendants by Mathieu Challières introduce an element of whimsy into the hardworking space.
A midnight blue peninsula makes a dramatic statement in this compact condo kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling porcelain tile lend it a classic bistro vibe.
Natural textures and subtle hits of shine give this spacious cottage kitchen a warm, inviting feel. An extra sink on the island boosts functionality.
Steel blue cabinets pair well with cognac-toned leather barstools at the end of this cozy breakfast bar. A mixture of crisp white upper cabinets and modest open shelves allow for a bold backsplash.
Deep blue lower cabinets and a walnut island give Kenny and Michelle Gemmill’s Vancouver kitchen a contemporary edge. Both picks pair nicely with classic white uppers.
A chunky Calacatta Gold marble island has pride of place in this industrial kitchen. “A waterfall effect wasn’t enough; we wanted it to be monolithic, like it was carved from a block of marble,” explains designer Nam Dang-Mitchell of the eclectic piece.
Moody indigo backsplash tiles complement the island’s seafaring blue hue and give this kitchen a layered, cohesive feel. Industrial elements, including wood-backed stools and a black articulating faucet, update the trad millwork.
Interior designer Scott Yetman embraced a high-contrast palette in his own Montreal kitchen. Streamlined cabinets painted a crisp white blend into the wall, allowing the inky island to take center stage.
A fresh coat of paint gave this trad kitchen island an instant design boost. Open shelving balances the visual weight of the island’s glossy black base.
Designer Tommy Smythe isn’t afraid of color! Here, he united a palette of blue, black, red and white with handsome brass accents.
With a vision to create a space that would make guests “smile and relax when they walked in the door,” homeowner Lara Irwin designed a cozy cottage kitchen with simple white lower cabinets, open shelving, and an inviting espresso-toned island.
To harmonize this kitchen with its bucolic locale, designer James Davie used an array of warm, rustic woods on the island, cabinets, ceiling and floor.
A C-shaped line of cabinets are centered around this oversized eat-in island, which offers plenty of space for meal prep and casual dining. Glossy pendant lights keep the area well lit, while a single yellow barstool adds a juicy hit of color.
Designer Philippe Beauparlant balanced a deep blue island with white cabinets in this kitchen. Thonet-style stools give the space a classic cafe vibe.
This rustic kitchen island is as practical as it is pretty. Built-in drawers house servingware, pots and pans, while a built-in microwave keeps counter space at a premium.
A stainless steel work table doubles as an industrial island in this graphic black kitchen. Open shelving (on the other side of the island) makes storing cookware a breeze.
Upholstered stools set the stage for entertaining around this generous kitchen island. Warm oak cabinets pop against the island’s dark brown wood stain.
There’s no shortage of storage in this rustic kitchen; a full 360 degrees of cabinetry surrounds a barnboard-style island. To create depth, designers Barbara Purdy and Olivia Botrie painted one wall of cabinets black.
A midnight blue island with ornate moldings was the sole piece designer Rachel Fox salvaged from this family’s original kitchen. A trio of Bertoia barstools are a mod addition.
Shaker uppers painted in a creamy hue, bevelled-edge walnut lower cabinets and a waterfall-style marble island give this kitchen a refined, layered feel.
Designers Benoit Gérard and Alexandre Blazys painted this sizeable kitchen island a dark griege so that it popped against creamy cabinets.