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Accenting your kitchen with a contrasting island color is a great way to inject color into a kitchen, especially a traditional white kitchen. In this post, I’m sharing the best paint colors for your kitchen island as well as the best wood tones to really make your island the focal point of your kitchen.

So without further ado, here are my 10 favorite kitchen island colors to help you with your choice.

The Best Kitchen Island Colors

1. Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal

Kendall Charcoal is a rich and luxurious dark gray which works best paired with white walls 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

The contrast between white cabinets and a dark color on the island is what really makes this kitchen special. The wood tones and brass hardware help balance out the contrast, tying it all together.

A soft black island like this also works with a variety of white cabinet colors – from warmer whites to cooler whites – making it a versatile choice.

2. Farrow & Ball Green Smoke

Green kitchens are majorly on trend! While you may not want to commit to an entirely green kitchen, 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

3. 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.

A blue island is always a popular choice, whether it be a light blue gray like Boothbay Gray or dark blues like royal blue or navy.

kitchen island painted BM Boothbay Gray

It has enough 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

4. 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. Most of the time, it comes across as a light blue which makes it a great choice to pair with complementary brass shades.

Krypton is a stunning shade which looks amazing against bright colors such as 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

5. 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

6. Sherwin Williams Naval

Are you a fan of non white kitchen ideas? This Navy is perfect! 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. I’m clearly such a fan of this kitchen island paint color!

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!

7. Light Ash Wood

Natural wood tones are majorly on trend 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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

More on Choosing a Bold Color For Your Island

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!

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 a new color is also a totally do-able DIY project, especially when you’ve done your research and know the best paint for kitchen cabinets. A fresh coat of paint has an amazing way of completely transforming any kitchen!

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’re entirely remodeling and 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, the kitchen island does not have to match your cabinets. You can paint your island a different color or have it a contrasting wood tone. You can also choose to have it match. However, adding an accent color to your island is a great way to make the most of your kitchen design, especially when the rest of your cabinets are white.

This entirely depends on the color scheme of the kitchen. If you have white cabinets, a darker color on the island will offer contrast. If your cabinets are darker, you may choose a wood tone for your island that’s lighter in nature.

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.

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 and overall design of the kitchen.

Bearing that in mind, it’s always important to consider the rest of the kitchen and how the kitchen island will impact 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!

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  1. Vicky Buerster says:

    At the very top of your article under the very first paragraph, is a picture of light blue cabinets with gold pulls on the drawers. I love that blue color, but you make no mention of it. Is it the same blue that you put in your kitchen or a different blue?

  2. You are so talented! Would you mind giving an opinion? We painted our kitchen cabinets SW Cyberspace and our island Pure White. Love the cabinets but the white island isn’t working with our countertops which are Super White Quartzite. Any suggestions for a contrasting color for the island? I’m afraid doing it in Cyberspace to match the cabinets would make the kitchen too dark.

    1. I’m not familiar with the color of your quartzite. Your best bet is to get some samples from and see how they compare to the color on your countertops. It’s always important to figure out all these elements together, especially when dealing with shades of white! I’m guessing your counters are a really bright white based on the name so if you want to keep the island white, SW high reflective white or BM chantilly lace might be a good starting point.

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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. 🌷