Just 10 IKEA Kitchen Island Ideas You Can Buy or DIY

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When you're searching for kitchen island ideas, you might find yourself drawn to the ones covered in expensive marble, large enough to hold eight chairs, or outfitted with those fancy sinks you've been eyeing. However, as much as we love them, there is a tiny detail commonly known as the budget that we have to consider.

But don't despair: Whether you're renovating your cook space or you could just use an additional surface for food prep, we have good news: you can always buy or DIY an IKEA kitchen island. They have plenty of ready-made options that will add style and convenience to your culinary design, but you also have the option to makeover an existing IKEA item, like a work bench or shelving unit, into an island that functions perfectly for your needs — and looks cute to boot.

Here are 10 IKEA kitchen island ideas that will bring low-priced, Scandinavian flair to your culinary headquarters.

1. Mix different finishes.

Even though culinary products from the big box retailer are oh-so-reasonably-priced, their freestanding islands are anything but boring. In fact, for a low bottom line, you can still score this IKEA kitchen island, featuring white paneling and an oak countertop, that would be ideal for a rustic cook space.

Get the look: IKEA Tornviken Kitchen Island, $399

2. Turn a base cabinet into a colorful creation.

Ananda of A Piece of Rainbow got super-crafty when she took an IKEA base cabinet and turned it into a gorgeous turquoise island, complete with wheels and lots of storage.

Get the look: IKEA Sektion/Maximera Base Cabinet, $343

3. A utility cart makes for a perfect mobile island.

While you can use an IKEA utility cart in places like the garage or a studio, we prefer it for an industrial kitchen. Roll it wherever you like, take advantage of the ample shelving, and set it up in the center of your cook space or tuck it into a corner.

Get the look: IKEA Bror Utility Cart, $99

4. Craft an island that doubles as a bar.

Those kitchen island ideas with seating as far as the eye can see might be reserved for the culinary headquarters of your dreams — but perhaps you're not there yet. For now, you might be working with a teeny-tiny cook space. In this case, we recommend this clever DIY by Holly of Club Crafted, which transforms a shelving unit into a rolling island that also serves as a bar.

Get the look: IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit, $39.99

5. Stainless steel and bamboo are ideal for cooking enthusiasts.

Let's say you consider yourself a gourmet chef, but you don't exactly have a "gourmet" budget. Luckily, IKEA makes a work bench that's pretty pro-level when it comes to whipping up impressive meals. The bamboo works as an amazing butcher block work surface, and the stainless steel base will definitely be easy to clean.

Get the look: IKEA Rimforsa Work Bench, $499

6. Add luxe extras like Carrara marble.

Just because something is DIY doesn't mean it has to look DIY. In fact, it can look pretty darn luxe, like a kitchen cart dressed up in a slab of Carrara marble and a stylish towel bar. That's just what Meaghan of Oliver and Rust did when she created this elegant IKEA kitchen island.

Get the look: IKEA Bekväm Kitchen Cart, $59.99

7. Pick an on-trend hue.

OK, so you don't have the money for that custom cabinetry that appears in all of the kitchen island ideas you've been pinning. Never fear. You can capture the most on-trend hues around, like black, with an IKEA kitchen island, topped with a thick slab of oak veneer to complete the look.

Get the look: IKEA Vadholma Kitchen Island, $449

8. A shelving unit creates instant storage.

If your mini kitchen could use some bonus storage, consider using this popular shelving unit to craft an island that's guaranteed to stash your essentials. Let Jen Lou Meredith show you how it's done.

Get the look: IKEA Kallax Shelf Unit, $39.99

9. Think small — really small.

For a kitchen that's short on space but big on style, we recommend this tiny cart. Fully mobile and rendered in visually-pleasing oak, we're thinking that it can literally go anywhere and everywhere in your cook space.

Get the look: IKEA Stenstorp Kitchen Cart, $129

10. Add farmhouse flair.

Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY came up with one of the most adorable IKEA kitchen island hacks we've ever seen. Outfitted in modern farmhouse details like patterned peel-and-stick tile and handy hooks, a work bench is transformed into a useful (and pretty!) work station.

Get the look: IKEA Bror Work Bench, $149


Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.

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