Kitchen islands are the workhorse of the modern day kitchen. From prepping meals, to casual breakfasts and even a spot to do homework – they do it all!

Accenting your kitchen with a contrasting island color is a great way to inject color into a kitchen, especially a traditional white kitchen.

Especially for those who are afraid of color, a colorful kitchen island is a great way to inject color and personality into a plain kitchen without going overboard.

Painting an existing island is also a totally do-able DIY project, especially when you’ve done your research and know the best paint for kitchen cabinets.

If you do decide you want to go for a contrasting color, it can create a wonderful focal point and is a great way of nodding to a trending shade without having to repaint your whole kitchen.

If you want to embrace the trend of natural wood tones, a stained or cerused wood island can create a wonderfully natural and cozy feel to a kitchen.

Here are my 10 favorite kitchen island colors to help you with your choice.

Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

Kendall Charcoal is a rich and luxurious dark gray which works best paired with crisp white and natural wood tones. This is a great choice is you are wanting to dip your toe into darker colors but you don’t want the massive commitment and cost of painting all your cabinets.

dark gray kitchen island with white quartz tops, leather counter stools and brass pendant lights
BM Kendall Charcoal via Home Bunch

Farrow & Ball Green Smoke

Green kitchen islands and cabinets are an emerging trend for 2021. While you may not want to commit to an entirely green green, a green island adds beautiful warmth, especially when paired with creamy white cabinets and brass accents.

Green Smoke by Farrow & Ball is the perfect green paint color– it’s not too dark and has the perfect balance of undertones to make your space really pop.

green kitchen island with white stools and farmhouse style accents
Farrow & Ball Green Smoke via Style by Emily Henderson

Benjamin Moore Boothbay Gray

Isn’t this shade of blue gray stunning? I simply love how it’s a light-mid tone gray with that gorgeous blue undertone running through it.

It has enough to depth in it to really inject some character into your space without completely taking over at the same time. It’s also a color that pairs well with all colors of kitchen hardware, from nickel to brass and even flat black.

I love it so much that I chose it for my kitchen remodel!

light gray blue kitchen island with rattan pendant lights overhead
BM Boothbay Gray via Design Loves Detail

Sherwin Williams Krypton

Krypton is a beautiful soft, creamy blue gray and is definitely a little brighter and lighter than Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Krypton is a stunning shade which looks amazing against white and gold as seen in the photo.

The white provides a wonderful contrast to the blue while the gold accents on the lights and clock work really well to bring out the creamy side of this dreamy color.

light blue kitchen island with white rattan counter stools and large brass pendants
SW Krypton via Chrissy Marie Blog

Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

Hale Navy is a wonderful rich dark navy with a gray undertone which will inject a striking pop of color to your kitchen island. Hale Navy looks best paired with light grays and bright whites.

I love this color so much – it really evokes the beauty of maritime and all things coastal!

navy blue kitchen island with rustic wood beams overheard
BM Hale Navy via Renovated Faith

Sherwin Williams Naval

While you may think Naval is pretty similar to Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy there are some subtle differences.

While Hale Navy has that gray undertone, Naval is more of a true blue so if you are looking for a navy which appears a little more colorful and vibrant, this may be the one for you.

In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a navy blue kitchen island. But I’m obsessed with all things blue so I’m a bit biased!

Light Ash Wood

Natural wood tones are majorly on trend for 2021 and I love this beautiful light wood tone for a kitchen island.

In particular, I love how the light ash is the main feature of the kitchen and appears in the doorway, kitchen island and flooring and how the white of the other kitchen cabinets is a subtle contrast.

This is a wonderful choice for an elevated farmhouse kitchen vibe – definitely more modern and subtle than a traditional farmhouse!

I would pair wood tones like this with creamier whites to really embrace the warmth they bring to a space.

light ash wood island with creamy white perimeter cabinets
Light Ash Wood via Utah Style and Design

Walnut Wood

Walnut wood tones are beautiful and rich and look gorgeous paired with white and blue as seen in this kitchen.

This is such a wonderfully versatile look and paired with the right accents – will keep your home looking fresh and modern, while still maintaining a traditional vibe.

traditional white kitchen with medium wood tone island
Walnut Island via Decor Pad

Rustic Dark Walnut

If you are on the search for a more traditional modern farmhouse look then a dark walnut kitchen island may be the best choice for you.

Not only is dark walnut a wonderful eye-catching choice – it will look great paired with most colors on cabinets. Pair with white and blue for a more traditional feel.

farmhouse style kitchen with rustic dark wood walnut island
Dark Walnut Island via Bold Boundless Blonde

Reclaimed Wood

If you are wanting a seriously shabby chic or European farmhouse/vintage style for your kitchen then you need to go to the extra mile and source your own kitchen island.

Or better yet – source the reclaimed wood yourself and create your own bespoke kitchen island. The result? A wonderfully quaint, minimalist yet unique kitchen island that will last the test of time.

European farmhouse style kitchen with reclaimed wood floating island
Reclaimed wooden kitchen island via House & Garden

Final Thoughts

No matter which color or wood type you choose – your kitchen island should be an expression of your personality and flow with the rest of your home.

Bearing that in mind, it’s always important to consider the wider room and how the kitchen island will impact on the visual balance of the room as a whole. Consider hardware choices, countertop materials, as well as the color of the perimeter cabinets to ensure the undertones don’t clash.

When all else fails, go with your heart, as the kitchen should always be the heart of the home!

Don’t Forget…

Don’t forget – no matter what you’ve read or photos you’ve seen online, it’s really important to sample paint colors in your home before committing!

Samplize provides real paint samples that are easy to move around your home, and cheaper than buying a gazillion paint pots! It’s the only way I buy paint samples.

Try Samplize For Yourself Here

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  1. Hi. I love your new kitchen, what is the cabinet color you used?

  2. Hi Jenna! Any ideas for honey oak cabinets and black granite? Most of the inspiration pictures have a light counter. Looking for something to pop for the island!

    1. My 3 go-to island colors for honey oak with black or speckled granite are warmer grays – try SW Mindful Gray, BM Chelsea Gray or SW Repose Gray.

      1. Thanks so much! I have Agreeable Gray on the walls now, so I think that will look great!

  3. Thank you for the great post! All of the kitchens shown are gorgeous and I am wondering what color might work for an island in a kitchen that has honey oak trim and cabinets. We have granite countertops that have a darker color speckled throughout so I am considering trying to “match” that dark color for the island to help bring out that color in the kitchen to help the eye steer away from the oak. Thank you for all you do!

    1. Yes! I would pull out some of the darker color – something like BM Chelsea Gray or BM Kendall Gray are usually good choices!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply. You are the best! Very inspiring and get my creative juices flowing. 🌷

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