Published on July 30, 2021

rustic kitchen tablePin It
Photography by Adrian Gaut

Farmhouse kitchens make us feel all warm inside, no doubt. But it isn’t just the weathered-wood cabinet doors, old-school utility ladders, and copper pot–clad ceiling racks that give us that cozy, familiar feeling. The island is at the heart of it all. 

Not only is it the place where deep conversations with guests begin, but the structure takes up so much visual space that it’s what drives the room’s whole aesthetic. Every detail, down to the countertop material and the end panels, is what makes a farmhouse kitchen feel farmhouse. For inspiration for your own space, look no further than these nine ideas.

The Old-Meets-New One

wood and marble kitchen islandPin It
Photography by Tessa Neustadt; Design by Amber Interior Design

Amber Lewis complemented the rustic vibes of this kitchen’s reclaimed French limestone floors with modern European-style solid oak cabinets. The V-groove detailing, copper-brass pendant lights, and cup pulls deliver an old-world look, while the breezy Calacatta marble countertop keeps it modern. 

The Classic Utilitarian One

black farmhouse kitchenPin It
Courtesy of Champalimaud

Nothing is more farmhouse-y than using a table as your island—especially when you are living in Tuscany. Look underneath this surface’s rustic wood slab and you’ll find a metal cart base, making it easy to move the structure out of the way when you need more space to entertain. 

The Sneaky Storage One

beige stools at counterPin It
Courtesy of Studio McGee

Islands aren’t just there for good looks and extra countertop space. Designate drawers and cabinets on the stool-side of the structure (this one by Studio McGee has six!) so you have a spot to store all things holiday related, as well as occasional entertaining-ware. 

The One Going Green

green itchen islandPin It
Photography by Alexandra Ribar; Design by Leanne Ford Interiors

Don’t be afraid to paint your farmhouse island like Leanne Ford did. Sage and olive are in right now (the cabinet color is one of Reform Kitchen’s top-selling hues of the year). The swatch is classic and cool, especially when you’ve covered your stools to match.

The One That’s Like Sunshine

yellow kitchen islandPin It
Photography by Alexandra Ribar; Design by Leanne Ford Interiors

Or there is always sunny yellow. Grooved, paneled sides elevate this Leanne Ford–designed space to Cotswolds cottage status. This take is all about exuding warmth, so it’s okay to mix up dark soapstone countertops with a touch of butcher block. 

The Splurge-Worthy One

gray kitchen islandPin It
Courtesy of DeVol

Note to self: You can get your open shelving fix in the form of an island. This bespoke space designed by iconic British cabinet brand DeVol (the company’s small base cabinets alone go for $860) features open shelves and nooks for displaying cookbooks, pitchers, and other small treasures.

The Black and White One

black and white kitchenPin It
Photography by Alexandra Ribar; Design by Leanne Ford Interiors

For the modern farmhouse, look no further than this high-contrast scheme. Cover the island with a superdark paint color (think: Farrow & Ball’s Railings) and then leave everything from the waist up white, including the countertops. Oversize drum pendant lamps and Shaker-style doors ground the graphic setup. 

The Beaded One

wood island with green cabibetsPin It
Photography by Katie Charlotte; Design by Cortney Bishop

A dash of white paint did right by these island cabinet doors, helping highlight not just the grooves but also the grain of the wood. It’s a solid work-around when you want a weathered look without the quirks of antique cupboards. 

The Handy One

blue kitchen islandPin It
Photography by Lindsay Salazar; Design by Becki Owens and Jamie Bellessa

The towel rack isn’t the most clever thing about this dusty blue farmhouse island. Do you spy those slide-out baskets? The woven feature keeps with the rustic tone of the room but adds a layer of practicality that’s essential when things get cooking.

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