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Sophie Warren-Smith

These 8 small kitchen island color ideas will transform even the tiniest hubs

Sage green kitchen island with marble top.

Considering a revamp? Small kitchen island color ideas expertly chosen for compact spaces are a great way refresh the heart of your little kitchen without zapping light or making it feel tighter that it already is.

These eight gorgeous options, straight from our color theory and design pros, include a little something to suit all tastes, including bright primaries and pretty pastels, to either match, contract, or accent your existing cabinetry. 

Work these colors into your kitchen island ideas and watch your space come to life.

Small kitchen island color ideas

Carefully picking your island color scheme adds a lovely string to your small kitchen ideas bow, bringing character and style to the hub of your home. 

It's also a budget upgrade that can change the look of your entire kitchen. Where our experts have suggested products, we've curated matching buys from trusted retailers.

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Fresh white

(Image credit: Demi Ryan)

Perhaps one of the most obvious colors to choose for a small kitchen island is white, and it certainly has its place. It will make the space feel lighter and brighter and a marble-effect countertop looks fabulous set against crisp white. 

"A light, neutral color like gray or white can work well for a small kitchen island," says Michelle Murphy, owner and principal at Demi Ryan. "These colors help create a sense of spaciousness and airiness, visually expanding the limited space of a small kitchen. Try adding a detail to the end panels of the island for a custom look."

For a white that's not too harsh, we recommend Lick's White 01 Matt, which has subtle grey undertones. You can also add decorative accents to your white kitchen, such as this coordinating decorative bowl from Banana Republic

2. Inky blue

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Over the last few years navy kitchens have certainly clinched the top spot in kitchen color charts, but now it's time for navy to move over. 

Pigmented blues are in, and this intense Titmouse Blue from Farrow & Ball, pictured above, is a great example of how to use a darker blue to create a contrasting, but not claustrophobic look on your small kitchen island. 

Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball explains, "If your kitchen is all one color,  adding a secondary color to the island can elevate the look and give the whole room a new appearance. 

"Islands tend to benefit from a darker color to the surrounding cabinetry but it’s up to you whether to go tonal (i.e. a color scale up from existing cabinetry) or for a completely stand-alone complementary color."

3. Sunshine yellow

(Image credit: Maestri Studio / Nathan Schroder)

For a truly uplifting space, consider incorporating a stunning yellow kitchen idea to make your small kitchen island color eye-catching and a beautiful focal point in the space.

Eddie Maestri, principal architect and owner of Maestri Studio explains his color choices in the compact kitchen pictured above. He says, "As a space that is often referred to as the heart of the home, I wanted the kitchen to truly stand out. In this case, I love yellow and wanted the island to be the central focus."

Once you've picked your small kitchen island color, you can then thread it through the rest of your scheme.

Eddie adds, "I found the lemon wallpaper years ago and saved a swatch, knowing I would use it in my “one day home.” The lemons were perfect for this 70s-inspired pattern-on-pattern kitchen, and the blue and yellow worked so well to pull off the yellow island as a statement piece."

4. Pale gray

(Image credit: Living with Lolo / Life Created)

Another great interior design idea is to pick a tone from the color spectrum the rest of your cabinetry is painted in. 

In this case, pictured, two shades of gray  add a beautiful contrasting feel in a contemporary kitchen with Scandinavian roots.

"Grays provide a versatile backdrop that complement various countertop colors, allowing for easy coordination with the overall kitchen design," says Michelle Murphy. 

For similar grays, try  Benjamin Moore's Wool Peacock CSP-25 on your cabinets, and Seattle Gray 2130-70 for calming small kitchen island color ideas.

5. Woody neutrals

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens / Ellei Home)

Your small kitchen island color ideas needn't come from paint alone. Matching or complementary wood finishes can make your compact space appear larger than it is by visually blurring the lines where one element ends, and another begins.

"If your aim is to make your kitchen look bigger, it's a good idea to keep the colors and materials similar, so soft light woods and flooring and similar color walls and cupboards. This will have more of an impact than just painting your walls in a light color," advises Helen Parker, creative director, deVOL Kitchens

Target's Costway Bamboo Kitchen Trolley Cart Wood Rolling Island will give you a natural wood feel. 

6. Blush pink

(Image credit: Naked Kitchens)

There's something incredibly charming about having a blush pink painted island — who doesn't love a pink kitchen — and this color really suits a small design, especially when used as an accent color.

Team your pink island with a white countertop for a fresh feel, and use accessories in a similar pink shade throughout the rest of your small kitchen for cohesion in your scheme.

7. Sage green

(Image credit: Victoria Holly Interiors / Lauren Engel)

Did you know that green kitchens are on trend right now? Green is a happy and rejuvenating color and if you pick the right shade, you can paint both your cabinetry and small kitchen island in the same tone for a cohesive look.

The beauty of mid-greens such as sage, pictured above, is that it works in all sized kitchens and also looks fabulous paired with fresh white.

Helen Parker advises, "I think color is a completely personal choice and a decision that should be primarily based around the atmosphere you want to create, rather than trying to make a small room look big."

For a similar shade of green, we adore Lick's Green 02 Matt, a lovely soothing sage green. 

8. Jet black

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Black might not be your first thought when it comes to small kitchen island color ideas, but black kitchens can be impactful and certainly successful.

Using black on your island, whilst contrasting with white or colored tableware stored in open drawers can create a beautifully dramatic, bold look. Add matching decorative touches, such as the black Smeg Kettle available from Saks Fifth Avenue elsewhere in the kitchen to tie it all together.

Helen Parker adds, "However small a room is, if you want moody and atmospheric then go dark, bold, or busy."

Whilst our experts' island color suggestions come with years of experience in designing small kitchens, there's ultimately no fast right or wrong color. It boils down to what you want and will enjoy seeing everyday.

Helen adds, "There is a sense that big is better, but in actual fact, a small richly colored kitchen can be the most alluring of spaces, holding a certain charm and beauty that is hard to achieve in a large space. Small means intimate, it means cozy and glamorous and petite, these all conjure up something quite special and not a feature to be disappointed by."

Next, explore impactful kitchen island pendant lighting ideas, or delve into minimalist kitchen island ideas.

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