Build or Remodel Your Custom Kitchen Island

Custom Kitchen Islands: Materials, Details and Shapes that Function Well and Look Great

custom kitchen island

You don’t have to settle for a boring standard kitchen island, even if you’re using stock cabinets in your kitchen

Custom kitchen islands are for everyone! There are dozens of ways to customize and personalize your new island so that it really stands out and becomes a focal point.custom kitchen islands are for everyone! There are dozens of ways to customize and personalize your new island so that it really stands out and becomes a focal point.

Custom kitchen islands vary from the totally custom-made and custom-finished island to match your custom cabinets, to a much cheaper island made out of standard size countertops and cabinets put together in unusual ways to give a custom look.

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If you’re planning an island in your kitchen, don’t assume that it has to match the perimeter cabinets in cabinet finish, countertop material, or height: you can use the island to give your kitchen a distinctive custom look.

Materials for Creating Your Custom Island

Kitchen island base cabinets

Use wall and/or base cabinets to create a base for your kitchen island. Then you can customize it in some of these ways:


  • Customize the sides and ends of the base: add panels or doors to match your cabinets, cover them with wallpaper or fabric (varnished for protection), panel them with decorative materials like beadboard or tile or even use a translucent material and light it from the inside.
  • Use several counter-top materials: possibly a butcher-block prep area with a soapstone slab for pastry
  • Change cabinet colors on the base to contrast with your perimeter cabinets: antique-look vs modern, painted vs stained, dark vs light
  • Use a two-tone color scheme on the island cabinets: light and dark wood panels, distressed or antiqued paint finishes
  • Keep the same style for island and perimeter cabinets, but use a different color or finish to distinguish them

Details to Decorate your Custom Island

multi level custom kitchen island
  • Add legs to the ends, or to support an eating counter. Look at old tables for proportions and sizes: some island legs I’ve seen in magazines are way oversized and clunky-looking to me.
  • Light your island with several decorative pendant lights: mini-chandeliers, industrial lighting, art glass shades, whatever you enjoy. For most flexibility, make them dimmable.
  • Include appliance drawers: freezer, dishwasher, fridge, even a warming drawer for plates and finished dishes.
  • Use small gaps between your base cabinets for bottle storage, narrow pullout racks for spices, display niches, cutting board or baking sheet storage, pull-out towel storage, cookbook shelves etc.
  • Tuck a small movable island in or under a larger fixed island for flexibility
  • Install an unusual sink which would not be practical as your main sink: perhaps an odd shape like a trough or less-used material like copper
  • A unique or showy faucet can be a great island feature too

Is your kitchen island customized?

Unusual Shapes for Custom Islands

  • Modify levels on different sections of the island, up to bar level or down to table level
  • Make the island a unique shape. Why should everything be rectangular? Try angles and curves: prototype the shape with boxes to get the feel of how it looks and how it works.

Kitchen Island Build Video

Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Colors: More Choices, More Decisions

So many of the kitchens we see pictured nowadays have white or stained-wood cabinets, that you might think those are the only choices.Nothing could be further from the truth! Kitchen cabinet colors span a wide spectrum and you should make sure you see the full range available before you make your decision, as it can have a huge effect on the feel of the room.

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As well, many people nowadays are using more than one finish or color for their kitchen cabinets, with different colors on top and bottom cabinets, or one color on the perimeter cabinets and a different one on the island.

Kitchen Cabinet Colors in Context

Choose Your Kitchen Color Scheme

Kitchen Cabinet Colors in find eien

As all homeowners know, a wide variety of decisions need to be made when considering any renovation or redecoration project in the home.Beginning with your vision of the “perfect” room or home, you plan carefully, select the best available materials for your project, and hire a contractor or begin the work yourself.

Kitchen cabinets are no exception.As our kitchens have become more and more the focus of our homes, they have begun to take on multiple roles.In addition to being where we cook and eat our food, the kitchen is now often the social center of the house and/or a home office as well.The cabinets are a large part of the overall feel of this space.

Your first consideration should be your kitchen colors.Whether you are doing a complete kitchen overhaul or a smaller-scale project, the color choices you make have an enormous effect on your finished kitchen.Color can affect the size and shape of the room and even alter the moods of the people using the space.

Kitchen color schemes have come a long way in the past few decades.People now feel free to select colors that reflect their personalities or make a statement, rather than sticking with the traditional wood-grain theme.Kitchen paint colors now encompass the entire rainbow, from bright yellows to dark reds and medium blues.

Do a Test Run
Test your new colors by painting just one or two cabinets before you do the whole lot.

Kitchen Color Ideas

More than black, white and wood!

Because your cabinets take up so much room, the kitchen cabinet colors are the key to your whole color scheme. Some experts advise that you make the cabinets neutral colors and change the color of the paint or accessories to create the atmosphere you want.But if you want to select a color that reflects your personality or makes you feel good, think about these well-known characteristics of particular colors:

  • White generally makes a space feel larger.Depending on the other colors in the room, white can be seen as sterile or refreshing.White cabinets provide many choices for the rest of the kitchen.
  • Black is a popular choice for many because of its air of elegance and wealth.While it can also look a little sinister, the overall effect is created by the pairing of other colors with the black.Black is often used to make large kitchens seem smaller and more intimate.
  • Yellow is a color often seen in kitchens, but seldom one of the main kitchen cabinet colors selected. Yellow provides light and warmth for a room and is especially recommended for darker spaces. It is also easy to mix other colors and wood tones with yellow.
  • Bright blue is a very cool, light color that evinces feelings of freshness and relaxation. It is often used to mimic the color of the sky to make rooms seem larger and more open.
  • Green, the color of nature and the outdoors, is considered relaxing and fresh.A light yellow-green combination is a favorite of many and easy to match with other colors in the kitchen.

Another popular color for kitchen cabinets is orange.This color provides quite a few variations, from the warmth of terracotta to the freshness of peach and the stimulation of pumpkin.Orange is particularly recommended when you want to draw attention to something in your kitchen.

When you are considering your own kitchen color ideas, remember these hints about colors and the feelings they evoke.As you select your kitchen cabinet colors, take into account the fact that the cabinets are a very large part of the room and as such, their color sets the tone for your kitchen.Choose a color that reflects your personality and makes the statement you most want to make.


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