Make your kitchen island facade your standout feature with these 6 ideas


  By Rebecca Gross

A kitchen island solves many functional and spatial issues: it anchors a rooms, provides a surface for preparation, cooking and eating, and may offer space for storage or display. But as these stunning examples demonstrate, your island unit can also be a standout feature in your kitchen, adding colour, texture, warmth or tactility to the space.

Photo by Klopper and Davis ArchitectsKey measurements of a kitchen island

1. Textured tiles

Tiles come in such a vast array of colours, patterns and sizes, allowing you to create endless looks on your kitchen island.

The island in this Perth kitchen is lined with Kit Kat Mosaic tiles from Academy Tiles. The mottled bronze adds colour, texture and depth to the space, all beautifully framed by the unit’s timber top and sides. Laying the tiles in a vertical formation emphasises the horizontal bands and highlights the generous length of the kitchen island.

Photo by Contemporary Kitchens Melbourne  – Browse small kitchen design ideas

2. Patterned tiles

Tiles can also add bold pattern to a space, which can be particularly effective in an otherwise plain kitchen.

Here, black-and-white patterned tiles – Palm Cove Encaustic-Look tiles from Tile Cloud – add punch to the fresh, white kitchen and are very much the star of the show. The colour of the pattern on the tiles is also cleverly reversed for the splashback in the butler’s pantry behind.

Photo by sw-architects Find kitchen designers and renovators in Sydney

 3. Breeze block

Everyday breeze blocks have been used to add bold, geometric pattern to this kitchen, while their open design keeps the kitchen feeling airy and light. The breeze-block front on this kitchen island adds a decorative touch to this clean-lined and minimalist space.

“Our client came to us with a love of textiles and the Palm Springs influence, and they asked us to work this breeze block into the addition,” says Sally Wilson of SW-Architects. “Breeze blocks are a fantastic masonry element to work with.” Because internal masonry doesn’t need the same large mortar joints as external masonry, she recommends keeping the detailing thin and crisp to avoid too much bulk.

Photo by Schweigen Home Appliances Search modern kitchens


4. Vertical panelling

For years, wood panelling – also known as shiplap – has been seen in country kitchens, giving them a warm, homey appeal. But in recent years, wood panelling has shaken off its rustic reputation and become synonymous with laid-back elegance. It now brings a casual yet sophisticated appeal to both country and contemporary kitchens.

Here, vertical panelling is used on the kitchen island front and joinery for a cool, calm and consistent look throughout the kitchen.

Photo by Roundhouse Look for kitchen pantries


 5. Storage and display

By adding in a display shelf at the top of this kitchen island and cupboards with sliding doors below it, the designers have boosted the style and functionality of this kitchen in one smooth move. The matt lacquer joinery is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Down Pipe‘, a dark grey with blue undertones.

By Caesarstone AustraliaSee more 8 cupboard door styles to beautify your kitchen

 6. Cupboards

The copper detailing on these old-fashioned cupboards steals the show in this warm and sophisticated kitchen. Pale blue adds a touch of colour against the pale grey and white marble-look Caesarstone benchtop and splashback, while the cupboards provide storage for kitchen appliances and cookware.


Houzz is a platform for home renovation and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community. These guest posts are supplied by their community of authors and first appeared on www.houzz.com.au

1 Comment

  1. Alan Chapman

    July 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    What a beautiful design! I really love this one and I appreciate all the color combination. Thanks for sharing this one to use. I got a perfect idea for my home sweet home because of this.

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