7 industrial kitchen island ideas for a rustic yet refined scheme

These industrial kitchen island ideas are stylish and sleek

Industrial kitchen island ideas like this are so chic. It has a light wooden kitchen island with three wooden chairs in front of it, two copper pendant lights above it, and a brick wall behind it
(Image credit: Future PLC / Holly Jolliffe)

We think industrial kitchen island ideas are perfect for those looking for a contemporary look that's still filled with plenty of character and functional space.

We've asked interior designers for their favorite ways to bring this look in, which is very easy to do. Contemporary lighting, waterfall countertops, and open shelves are just a few of these easy, yet elegant ideas.

If you're searching for kitchen island ideas and want a style which oozes sleekness, industrial is a brilliant choice.

Beautiful industrial kitchen island ideas

From bigger fixtures to clever kitchen island style ideas, there are so many ways to bring in industrial design.

Our experts have recommended specific features throughout, which we have curated matching picks for wherever possible.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Try open shelving

An industrial kitchen with a black and white kitchen island with open shelves, a brick wall behind it with white and black and countertops below it, and a metal walkway above it

(Image credit: Future PLC / Brent Darby Photography Limited)

Embrace the aesthetic by incorporating open shelving and exposed storage into your industrial kitchen island design. 

“Use shelves made from reclaimed wood or metal grids to showcase cookware, glassware, and decorative items,” suggests Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design. 

This not only adds practical kitchen island storage space but also enhances the overall industrial feel of the kitchen.

2. Go for statement lighting

An industrial kitchen with a light wooden kitchen island with three wooden chairs in front of it, two copper pendant lights above it, and a brick wall behind it

(Image credit: Future PLC / Holly Jolliffe)

Draw the eyes of your guests to your industrial kitchen island by choosing bold kitchen island lighting.

“Statement lighting in metallic shades and with striking shapes will not only illuminate the workstation but also give a touch of style and elegance,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

You can either go small or big depending on the size of your island and how dramatic you want to go. For those looking to go all-out, we really love the Rotaire Chandelier from West Elm for it's unique, sleek look.

3. Mix materials

A white kitchen with blue cabinets, a black kitchen island, and black dining table and windows

(Image credit: Annie Garner / Maren Baker Design)

One of the defining characteristics of industrial kitchen island design is the use of reclaimed materials. 

Nina says, “Incorporate a kitchen island crafted from reclaimed wood paired with metal accents, such as iron legs or steel countertops. “This combination adds rustic charm and industrial vibes to your kitchen, creating a visually appealing contrast of textures.”

You could always DIY this yourself — or if you’re not the crafting kind, the George Oliver Gunas Kitchen Cart from Wayfair is one of the most stylish portable kitchen islands we’ve seen.

4. Pick darker colors

A dark industrial kitchen with a white marble countertop with black cabinets and three black bar stools in front of it, and a gray wall, countertops, and a tall cabinet behind it

(Image credit: Smile Kitchens)

Moody shades are some of the hottest interior design trends for the year, which work incredibly well as kitchen island colors.

“When creating industrial kitchens with islands, I like to go for islands in darker shades such as black, dark brown, and navy blue,” Arem explains.

For those with an existing kitchen island, you can always paint yours this shade to give it a gorgeous makeover, or be bold and paint the ceiling to match.

Alternatively, you can always grab an island that comes in one of these colors, like the highly-rated Costway Rolling Kitchen Island Cart from Walmart.

5. Choose concrete countertops

A kitchen with a concrete countertop kitchen island with a wooden base, three brown bar stool chairs in front of it, three globe gold pendant lights above it, and black cabinets in front of it

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

For a smooth kitchen island look, consider installing concrete countertops. 

Nina says, “Concrete offers durability and a contemporary aesthetic, perfect for achieving an urban loft feel. I recommend the concrete surface with contrasting elements like black cabinetry or stainless steel accents.”

For anyone who doesn’t want to commit to a full concrete countertop, the Modern Eco Planter from Pottery Barn will add the material without the need for a complete makeover.

6. Decorate with metallic accessories

An industrial kitchen with a black tall kitchen island, three bar stools, two copper pans on top of it, and a large black window with bricks around it

(Image credit: Peppermill Interiors)

One of the quickest ways to give your industrial kitchen island style is by picking metallic cookware, fixtures and appliances such as the best coffee makers.

“The sleek surfaces of coffee machines, electric kettles, and faucets will add a polished feel to your kitchen island,” says Artem. “Place these strategically around your kitchen island, so they become stylish accessories as well as helpful tools."

We like the idea of mixing and matching modern and retro-style pieces (we love the look of the highly-rated Smeg Drip Coffee Machine from Amazon) for an eclectic finish.

7. Work in a waterfall

A black marble waterfall kitchen island with a brown base with a wine shelf, two wooden stools, and light pink cabinets and windows behind it

(Image credit: Simon Taylor Furniture)

One of the most versatile counter styles, waterfall kitchen islands are perfect for bringing in an industrial style.

“A waterfall countertop is classic and contemporary, as the surface material extends down the sides, making the countertop look seamless,” says Artem.

This is also one of the most stunning modern kitchen island ideas. Keep the surfaces clear like the picture above to really make sure it pops.

Trying just a couple of these will help transform your cooking surface into an industrial kitchen island.

“Whether used as a focal point for cooking, dining, or socializing, industrial kitchen islands offer versatility and functionality for modern culinary spaces,” Nina finishes by saying.

And, if you’re looking for something a touch more rustic, farmhouse kitchen island ideas may be more your vibe.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.