Kitchen islands are hugely popular in modern home designs. Not only do they provide extra prep space and storage, but they also become a natural focal point for the kitchen. The right accessories can take a basic kitchen island from drab to fab. By incorporating items like bar stools, a backsplash, pot racks and pendant lighting, you can create an island that is both functional and visually striking.
From small upgrades like hardware knobs to bigger additions like display shelving, we’ll cover everything you need to elevate your cooking space. By the end, your kitchen island will be a highlight of your home rather than an afterthought!
Comfortable Bar Stools for Island Seating
If your kitchen island doubles as a dining area or casual seating spot, then comfortable bar stools are a must. The island stools not only add functionality but also provide a first layer of style. Options abound when it comes to bar stools, so use these tips when selecting your perfect pairings:
- Opt for a set of 3-5 bar stools depending on the width and purpose of your island. Allow for about 2 feet per stool.
- Consider saddle-style seats without backs to keep things visually open, especially in smaller kitchens.
- Select adjustable-height stools to accommodate all guests and enable proper eating posture.
- Choose durable frames like wood or steel that hold more weight and resist nicks.
- Don’t be afraid to add some personality! From velvet upholstery to unexpected colors, your bar stools can showcase your unique style.
For a casual coastal kitchen island, weathered barnboard stools add warmth. In contemporary spaces, sleek metallic stools feel right at home. Or grab some inspiration from your kitchen backsplash and choose bar stool cushions to match.
Textural Backsplash Tiles
An eye-catching backsplash protects your wall from splatters while providing visual appeal. Extend your kitchen backsplash onto the back side of your island to create unity and give this high-traffic area some extra personality.
When selecting materials, glass, metal and marble not only elevate the look but also stand up well to bumps and spills. If your style is more eclectic, don’t be afraid to mix and match shapes, textures and colors.
|Reclaimed wood planks Beaded board panels Terracotta tile
|Polished stone tiles Stainless steel Glass mosaics
|Painted tin backsplash Vintage ceramic tiles Multicolor glass tiles
No matter your material choice, be thoughtful about backsplash placement. A full backsplash protects better but can clash with open shelving designs. For a lighter look, install your backsplash tile as a focal point in the center or on one accent wall of the island.
Hanging Pot Racks for Storage and Style
Short on storage space? Installing a hanging pot rack above your kitchen island adds storage and frees up precious cabinet real estate for other essentials. But a pot rack does more than just help with organization–it also becomes an eye-catching focal point.
Opt for materials that complement your decor, like black wrought iron for industrial vibes or warm wood racks for cottage style kitchens. Copper racks lend a purposefully patinaed look that suits both rustic and contemporary spaces.
Make sure to install your pot rack at least 18 inches above the countertop. This leaves clearance for tall chef’s pots and ensures guests won’t bump their heads. Diagonal corner placement tends to work best above a kitchen island sink and stove. But a centered rack aligned with overhead lighting creates intriguing shadow effects.
Pendant Lights for Illumination and Ambiance
Few accessories make as dramatic a difference for kitchen islands as pendant lighting. Not only does pendant lighting provide much-needed illumination for food prep tasks, but it also instantly elevates the look and feel of the entire kitchen.
Follow the “rule of threes” when deciding how many pendants work best. Three light fixtures make a strong grouping directly over an island. For larger islands, scale up to five evenly spaced pendants.
The possibilities are endless when selecting pendant styles. Nautical-inspired fixtures work beautifully for coastal kitchens. For modern spaces, sleek domed globes or futuristic sculptural pendants set the right tone. Or choose cage pendants with exposed bulbs that provide an edgy, industrial warehouse vibe.
Vary the height of cascading pendants for added visual interest. Lower them to enhance ambient lighting over a dining area. Raise pendants higher over a food prep zone to reduce shadows. Install individual toggles so you can control pendant sets independently depending on changing needs.
Decorative Hardware for Custom Touches
Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference in pulling a kitchen island decor scheme together. Decorative hardware offers small touches that provide personalized flair. Swap out standard silver knobs and pulls for custom options that complement your style.
For a homey farmhouse or cottage kitchen, wooden knobs bring natural warmth. Hammered metal pulls and handles lend an artisanal vibe well-suited to rustic abodes. While sparkling crystal knobs inject luminance and shine for glam spaces.
Don’t forget about pulls for doors or drawers that hide appliances and gadgets. Match these to main cabinet hardware for continuity. For a blended look in eclectic kitchens, it’s perfectly acceptable to mix knobs and handles with care.
Be thoughtful about how prominent hardware finishes play against other elements like pendant lighting or bar stool frames. Contrasting metals prevent matching finishes from feeling monotonous. But sticking to one or two complementary metals and materials ties everything together.
Display Shelving to Showcase Favorite Pieces
Open shelving remains a top trend for kitchen islands. Not only does it provide space to neatly organize essentials, but it lets you creatively style vignettes with favorite dishware, cookbooks and decor.
Glass shelving lined with tiny dimmable puck lights enables items to sparkle like jewelry. Or choose sturdy wood shelving stained to match other cabinets. Box shelves work especially well near sinks by keeping items corralled.
When organizing display collections, apply principles used by retail stores. Place eye-catching pieces at eye level to pique interest. Angle cookbooks attractively to showcase titles and textures. And don’t underestimate the power of objects in odd numbers. Three porcelain bowls or five rustic cutting boards are more compelling than pairs.
Keep frequently handled items within easy reach, like clean dishcloths or measurement cups. Not only does this satisfy ergonomic best practices, but it also adds convenience for busy cooks!
The right accessories introduce color, texture and personality into kitchen islands often plagued by monotony. Items like statement lighting, textural backsplashes and display shelving transform wasted spaces into functional focal points.
Thoughtfully incorporate one or more accessory upgrades that align with your tastes and lifestyle needs. Over time, continue elevating your kitchen island with new embellishments. Soon this high-traffic hub will become a standout showcase that energizes your entire kitchen!