These Traditional Kitchen Island Ideas Are Anything but Outdated

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Traditional kitchens can too often feel like dark, wood-clad spaces with a little too much going on, but we're here to tell you that's not what the interior style is all about. With a traditional kitchen island, classic cabinetry, and timeless color combos, you can create a quality aesthetic with a little bit of heritage to boot. It's about nodding to the future as well as looking back at the past.

And don't worry, we've done the hard work to get you inspired. Here are 10 traditional kitchen island ideas that will last you for years to come.

1. Keep it light.

Material selection is important in the world of traditional kitchen islands. Think lots of solid woods, marble, iron, and unlacquered brass. But don't forget that you can have a little bit of modern appeal. Designers at Studio McGee used a custom stain on this traditional, bleached oak island. It perfectly complements the creamy walls.

2. Consider your color palette.

Traditional design tends to focus on neutral colors, but blues and greens are also popular choices, especially in countryside abodes. This kitchen by Heidi Caillier Design features a sage green kitchen island with a black marble top and antique-style brass cabinet pulls. The muted color palette is both classic and uplifting.

3. Add charm with beadboard.

Beadboard is a timeless choice for traditional islands. It will add visual interest to your kitchen without being too excessive. Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home painted their beadboard island a pale blue-gray to match the kitchen cabinetry. And the black stools create the perfect contrast.

4. Try a wood countertop.

If you want to add some natural elements to your island without overdoing it, a wood countertop will nod to tradition without stealing too much attention. The butcher block on this dark blue kitchen island from deVOL makes heritage style work in a modern way.

5. Work with a small space.

If you're working with a small space, a slim freestanding cart or cabinet can be the perfect traditional touch. This petite island (that Jenny of Juniper Home painted with Benjamin Moore Dragon's Breath) is a high quality addition that doesn't overwhelm the space.

6. Think about storage.

Whichever kitchen design style you choose, it's always important to think about functionality. Do you need to incorporate appliances or a sink in your island or will it be mostly decorative? For a traditional kitchen island that's pretty and efficient, why not make like this cook space by Amber Interiors? It has a gorgeous wood and marble island with open storage underneath.

7. Stay classic.

When you're thinking about your traditional kitchen island, you should try to consider how you'll feel about it in 10 years' time. That's why material and color choice are so important. Emily Jackson of The Ivory Lane kept things simple but luxe in her classic white space, opting for a crisp kitchen island with a thick marble countertop.

8. Double up.

What's better than one kitchen island? Double islands, of course. Meriwether Design Group incorporated two traditional kitchen islands in this gray cook space, creating all the more room for washing up and socializing. And the daring shade of blue makes everything feel a little bit fresher.

9. Round it off.

Kitchen islands, especially those with traditional elements, tend to come in one shape: rectangular. But you don't have to conform. The Chango & Co. team used an oval-shaped island in this traditional food prep zone, and we love how the soft edges and dusty pink hue opened up the space.


Emma Jane Palin is a multi-award-winning blogger and freelance writer with a penchant for design and interiors.

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