Whether you are planning a full kitchen remodel or just a partial redesign, the kitchen island will be the literal center of the action. A beautifully designed kitchen island is the place where your family will gather for meals and quick snacks, where your kids will do their homework and where your guests will stop by to chat and share your home.

The great thing about a kitchen island is that it can fit just about any budget. Whether you are pressed for cash or have money to burn, you can create a kitchen island you – and your family – will be proud of. Here are 4 kitchen island ideas to get you started.

#1. Search the Local Thrift Stores for a Budget Kitchen Island
If your budget is limited, you can install a great kitchen island for far less than you might have thought. In fact, the key to a great budget kitchen island may be as close as your local thrift store or furniture consignment shop.

Just look for a used cabinet that has seen better days – one you can pick up for a song. Then sand it down, refinish the surface and transform it into a killer kitchen island. You can even use the built-in shelves for extra storage and pick up a few inexpensive bar stools to make your brand new island more comfortable.

#2. Add Drama with a Contrasting Color Scheme
There is no hard and fast rule that the kitchen island has to be the same color as the rest of the room. In fact, painting your new kitchen island and finishing it in a contrasting color can make it more attractive and add beauty and drama to the room.

If your kitchen is painted in a dark color, consider refinishing the kitchen island in a lighter shade or painting it a sparkling white. You can do the opposite if your kitchen walls as light and bright – a black granite kitchen island in a sea of white will be a wonderful sight. Grants Painting is a cabinet refinishing company that spray finishes all of our work. Benjamin Moore Advance can be brushed and rolled and still achieve a great finish.

#3. Build Beauty with a Butcher Block Finish
There is nothing quite as attractive as a kitchen island with a stunning butcher block finish. Butcher block kitchen islands are not exactly cheap, but you can find some great deals from time to time.

If you cannot afford to outfit the entire kitchen island with butcher block, consider using it in the center or at the ends and finish the rest in a less expensive material. The contrasting materials will add drama and beauty to the island, and you can keep more money in your wallet.

#4. Make Your Kitchen Island More Useful with Variable Counter Heights
If you have a bit more space and a larger budget to work with, you can make your kitchen island more versatile with variable counter heights. Building a kitchen island with one side for the adults and a second shorter surface for the kids will encourage the family to eat together and enjoy their meals in one place.

Having a shorter counter height can also make meal preparation easier and give you additional space to spread out while you cook. The kids can also use the short side of the kitchen island to do their homework and provide a safe and sturdy home for their tablets, laptops and other electronic equipment.

The desire to add a kitchen island is one of the most frequently stated reasons for remodeling the kitchen. If you are looking for a way to make the room pop and give your home a great new look, the ideas above can help you create the island of your dreams and give your family a brand new gathering place.

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