It’s the country living idyll – a gorgeously rustic kitchen scheme, lovingly filled with natural and worn textures, characterful displays of artisanal crockery, wooden platters and garden-fresh flowers, and of course, a generous farmhouse kitchen island for all to gather around after a busy ole’ day out and about.
Kitchen island ideas come in all shapes and forms but when you're working with a rustic farmhouse scheme, there are lots of different design you can bring home to set off your vision.
Perhaps you’re an advocate of the Insta-famous Cottagecore trend that champions a bucolic lifestyle, timeless look and nostalgic romanticism; or maybe you prefer a Scandi-style slice of modern country pie with a fresh, streamlined aesthetic? Whatever your take on farmhouse kitchen island ideas, the heart of the home will only benefit from this special addition, sure to create a sociable hub for family and friends.
Cozy and styled farmhouse kitchen island ideas
Sam Moseley, co-founder at Grain & Frame (opens in new tab), says: ‘Farmhouse décor is all about celebrating the beauty of natural materials. It’s fuss-free, functional décor where nothing is too polished or staged; instead it’s all about creating a modern yet lived-in look that exudes warmth and comfort.’
Enhance your farmhouse kitchen ideas further by celebrating the beauty in imperfection with a unique and considered island that the whole household can enjoy.
1. Look for elements of craftsmanship and heritage
A key look in all kitchen ideas is authenticity. Add warmth and coziness to your kitchen with an island that features rustic and painted finishes for subtle contrast and added tactility. Beautifully aged or reclaimed wood with oodles of varied grains, adds instant texture and natural pattern, whilst a color painted contrast lends a modern twist and freshness. Keep your remainder scheme in a palette of breezy country neutrals, accented with wood platters, crates and stools for a bright and airy farmhouse aesthetic.
Grain & Frame: Sam Moseley, co-founder at Grain & Frame (opens in new tab), comments: ‘The key to achieving a classic farmhouse kitchen island is all about using reclaimed wood, which we absolutely love. Paired with fresh, neutral tones, this style really lets the wood do the talking.’
2. Bring your island to life with open shelving
Country style kitchens should exude warmth and character by the milk bucket load! Max out kitchen island storage whilst adding to the charm of your farmhouse scheme with styled ‘shelfies’ of sustainable mason jars filled with healthy grains, wooden platters and beautiful woven baskets.
Al Bruce, founder of handmade kitchen company Olive & Barr (opens in new tab), offers his top tips on how to create a timeless, farmhouse-inspired kitchen island with rustic materials, charming details, natural materials, and exposed features: ‘The almost-defining trait of a farmhouse kitchen is that dreamy pared down feel with closed lower cabinets and lots of open shelving.'
'They give you a chance to display those unique bits n’ bobs that create a rustic farmhouse feel: decorative plates, cast iron pots, mason jars filled with dried, your rustic wooden bowls and utensils, anything and everything. Not only will the addition of open shelving make your space feel lighter and brighter, but you’ll also have more opportunities to bring your personality to the forefront.’
‘Everyday pieces don’t have to be ordinary. For a kitchen refresh, style utilitarian wire storage with sustainable mango wood boards and handcrafted artisan ceramics. Pair with recycled glassware and handwoven storage baskets for a stylish and organized space,’ say the design experts at Nkuku (opens in new tab).
3. Color me happy
Farmhouse decor schemes don’t have to be neutral - fact! Elevate your interiors with a bold kitchen island color choice that will inject your entire space with mood-enhancing energy. If you want your island to stand out from the crowd, keep existing cabinets in either a lighter tonal variation of the hero shade, or a calm neutral. Or, for the maximalist thrill-seekers amongst us, coordinate all fixtures in the same shade for a unified, statement aesthetic. Woven seating and pendant designs add delectable contrast to frame the island, whilst a pretty tiled backsplash update adds playful spirit and pattern pops for that farmhouse fun-factor.
4. Integrate wine storage into your island
If your island is a sociable hotspot for entertaining, keep fruity grape varieties within easy reach with a stylish wine rack idea to neatly organize and store bottles. Not only will you free up space in the main kitchen area, but you can make an attractive display out of your vintage editions, breaking-up a solid island design, and making it the toast of the town for wine tasting soirees. For a fun DIY kitchen island idea, get creative and have a go at making your own.
5. Natural textures beg to be touched
Homes are evermore becoming ultra-tactile, as we crave a deeper connection to a simpler way of living and the natural world (an antithesis to the fast-paced, screen-obsessed, digital world!) Perhaps the most sensory-driven space of the home – and ticking all of the smell, taste, look and feel boxes, the pastoral kitchen is big on bringing natural textures into the space. Choose an island with shades of grainy goodness to add depth, interest and texture in abundance.
Paul Jenkinson, founder and managing director of kitchen brand, LochAnna Kitchens (opens in new tab), comments: ‘Rich textures in the kitchen are becoming extremely sought after. In the same way that we are seeing bolder, brighter colors enter the kitchen, interesting shapes, textures, and patterns are also in demand. This is a trend that lends itself to individual expression as there are so many different ways to bring texture into your space; whether you want to keep it all natural or create the perfect basis for a pop of color, using wooden-style cabinetry in your kitchen design is a great sustainable design choice.
6. Create a sociable hub with bar stools for a relaxed atmosphere
‘The kitchen really should be the heart of the home; in order to make the most of your kitchen space, invest in an island that will play an essential part in creating a sociable hub for family and friends,’ says Naomi Dean, Furniture and Showroom Designer, Harvey Jones (opens in new tab).
She continues: ‘A centrally located island allows you to prepare food and entertain guests simultaneously. An island can also be used as a breakfast bar that will encourage families to eat together in an informal and relaxed setting. The addition of kitchen island seating like bar stools, will add to this relaxed atmosphere, providing a space for kids to do their homework whilst grown-ups prepare meals. Consider the height and design of your bar stools as flatter stools can be hidden under your kitchen island, creating a streamlined kitchen space.’
7. Turn-up the ambience with charming lighting
As the main attention-grabber in any kitchen, it’s only right that your farmhouse island be accessorized with the perfect, kitchen lighting design. A statement pendant hung above your island, draws the eye up, enhancing the space, whilst adding to the grandeur of the main event. If your island is large, consider suspending a trio of the same design for balanced impact.
Al Bruce, founder, Olive & Barr (opens in new tab), advises: ‘Of all the ways to add a pinch of rustic charm to your kitchen, getting creative with your lighting is probably the quickest, easiest and most-effective. From adding filament bulbs to your industrial-style fixtures to hanging Mason jar pendant lights above your island, to illuminating your prep space with a reclaimed patina light shade that matches the materials used in the rest of your space, the lights you opt for a great way of adding a touch of country charm to your kitchen.’
8. Extend your island with a breakfast table add-on
Enjoy seasonal feasts and fresh-from-the farmer’s market, relaxed brunches with a built-on breakfast bar or kitchen table, that invites all to flock and hunker-down for the duration. Farmhouse kitchen islands tend to be a hive of activity, so encourage all to get involved with the prep side of things, before serving-up sharing platters of yumminess in the same spot – efficiency gold star! You can even double-up the table area as a home-working station during the week.
9. Opt for farmhouse chic with a monochrome palette
For a modern take on a farmhouse aesthetic, try a smart and oh-so chic monochrome or white kitchen scheme, oozing contrast, depth and timeless appeal. Coordinate a charcoal island, cabinets and wall paneling with smooth marble work surfaces (primed for pastry and pie making,) and a must-have ceramic farmhouse sink, accented with burnished bronze hardware for a luxe finish.
Ben Burbidge, managing director, Burbidge Kitchen Makers (opens in new tab), comments: ‘Pairing soft beveled doors with contemporary cool tones ensures a shaker style kitchen is at home in any house, from an open plan country estate to a compact city apartment. To guarantee your room remains on trend for years to come, complement your design with timeless fixtures; such as low hanging pendant lighting and vintage bronze taps. For those keen on bold color, consider a uniform, monochrome look and opt for one shade across cupboards and walls.’
10. Incorporate a sink into your farmhouse island for added functionality
To sink or not to sink, that is the question..? But, in action station farmhouse kitchens where it’s all about the power of the produce and free-range roaming, the addition of an island sink ups the functionality even further, streamlining the cooking process. So save yourself the hassle of running here, there and everywhere, and prepare, cook and clean all in one spot! You can even have a natter whilst doing so, instead of being relegated to the back of the room, back-facing.
11. Pave the way to your island with natural flooring
Complement your farmhouse island and kitchen with natural stone tiles that are hard wearing, whilst adding instant, warming tone and texture underfoot.
Isabel Fernandez, Director at natural stone flooring business, Quorn Stone (opens in new tab), discusses neutral colors as a leading tile trend for 2022: ‘A big kitchen flooring trend for 2022 is buff sandstone tiles – offering the ultimate neutral with soft pale wash tones and unique texture. Sandstone, like limestone, is a hardwearing and practical option ideal for kitchen tiles, the texture also provides grip underfoot. Buff coloured tiles complement the much-loved modern country look and work with an array of different paint colors. Our Abbey (opens in new tab) and Priory (opens in new tab) sandstones are suitable for both indoors and outdoors and capture this on-trend buff, neutral palette perfectly.’
What is the appeal of farmhouse kitchen islands?
Sam Moseley, co-founder at Grain & Frame (opens in new tab), says: 'One of our favorite things about farmhouse décor is how you can really make this look your own. It’s a very popular décor trend that mixes really well with other modern styles - you can play around with the amount of country inspiration you want and mix it with other styles such as industrial or traditional, to create a space that’s completely individual to you.' Whether you want to go full out on a farmhouse decor scheme or simply add a touch of this trend to your space for a little interest via a kitchen island, it's a relaxed look that is sure to work in lots of different homes.
What colors work for a farmhouse kitchen island?
Al Bruce, founder of handmade kitchen company Olive & Barr (opens in new tab), advises using a neutral palette for a pleasing farmhouse aesthetic: 'Pale grays, white, cream and black with wooden accents to tie it all together into a wonderfully rustic space that looks as perfect in the depths of winter as it does when the summer sun pours through the windows. That’s what a neutral colour scheme does for a space.'