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What Color Island Goes With Oak Cabinets?

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Who doesn't want that small space in the kitchen where you can gather and have conversations? You may have conceived the idea of having a kitchen island not only as a place of gathering but to make a design statement. Yet you wonder what island color will complement the warm and soft tones of your oak cabinets. We did in-depth research to help you out with the best answer.

Any color coordinates well with the warm tones of the oak cabinets. But these specific kitchen island colors stand out from the rest:

  • Soft gray
  • Off-white
  • Sage green
  • Vivid red
  • Black
  • Cool blue

Keep reading as we delve into the colors complementing your oak cabinets. Whether you are refurbishing your outdated kitchen island or painting afresh to contemporize your kitchen, it's all up to you. We're here to help you conceptualize your choices so let's get started!

Kitchen in newly constructed luxury home, What Color Island Goes With Oak Cabinets?

Understanding the Colors

You can never underestimate the usefulness of colors, as they will make or break your kitchen. Some would say that honey oak cabinetry doesn't complement well with any furniture. On the other hand, oak wood has soft and subdued orange and yellow tones that work well with any color as long as it does not clash with the wood.

The natural characteristic of oak wood is it has different temperaments of shade. Depending on the style and concept, your kitchen island color should depend on the shade of your oak shade choice. Your cabinet may not only have a natural yellow-orange tone but there may be a varying shade of natural white oak or red oak.

Redesigning your kitchen island can be a coordinate-or-contrast task to pair off an oak kitchen. You can choose to match your cabinets with your island if that is your preferred choice. If it suits your taste, remember your kitchen will still look as it is.

Soft Grays

Whether you go for an industrialized and modern style or a cozy, homey vibe, you can never go wrong with choosing a soft gray color. It is a lovely combination between the warm tones of oak and the cool hues of gray. The neutrality of gray islands can completely transform your kitchen.


Modern kitchen with oak cabinet

White, being tagged as the most versatile color, has a unique ability to create anything extraordinary out of a simple canvas. Since white is a rudimentary color, the vantage point of the kitchen area is the oak cabinetry, making it stand out among the rest. It not only creates space but also balances the contrasting colors of your kitchen.

Sage Green

Professionals would suggest green as a kitchen island color for any wood cabinetry it complements. If your focal point is your kitchen island, it's best to match your oak cabinets with the ideal sage green island. Its naturally earthy hue matches the already woody shades of oak. 

Vivid Red

Red has the intensity to overpower anything it matches. However, applying the color to a kitchen island creates a contemporary, upbeat kitchen. It beautifully harmonizes with the wooden tones of oak while creating a strong visual impression.


Kitchen with oak wood cabinetry and center island

If the goal is to create drama in your kitchen, you are in the right color. This bold and dark color revives the wooden nature of your cabinetry to modernity and exclusiveness. This bit of spectacle in your kitchen is a breath of fresh air from the usual neutrals and whites.

Cool Blue

If the goal in mind is to recreate a rustic visual in your kitchen, the cool tones of blue are the answer. The cheerful hues of blue make any kitchen island look time-worn and primitive yet liven up the space into the desired kitchen of your dreams. Achieving an ingenious impact is possible by refurbishing your salvaged wood and antique pieces of furniture into a rough-hewn kitchen island.

How to make a kitchen island stand out

A white renovated kitchen with a waterfall granite island

The goal is to make the kitchen island your main star and the focal point. The center of attraction has to have a different appeal than the rest of the furniture. Whether custom-made or bought, kitchen islands, like any area, create exclusivity.

Here are kitchen island ideas to emphasize your kitchen island's character:

Go big on color

While it is a safe option to choose neutrals, whites, and grays, going bold on colors is a great idea. You can choose to have it in cool or vivid tones, whichever is the case, as long as it makes your kitchen island stand out.

Use budget-friendly centerpiece

Get creative with your kitchen island. Even when on a tight budget, unleashing a beautiful kitchen island is not a difficult job. To put it simply, employ a centerpiece that makes your kitchen island pop. You could go for a bowl of fresh fruits or a vase of handpicked flowers. Whatever works for you, go for it!

Get this lovely flower vase from Amazon.

A little corbel won't hurt

Transform the kitchen island into an excellent piece of furniture by adding a beautifully embellished kitchen corbel. A little spiral design adds a dramatic flair to your exquisite kitchen island. It makes your island stand out with personality.

Check out this corbel from Amazon.

Choose antique

A time-worn kitchen island that creates a fresh look in your kitchen space is not a bad idea. A rough-hewn kitchen island with a rustic appeal is another uptake to an unconventional design in your kitchen.

Make it a focal point

The goal of having a kitchen island is not just to have a set of other storage but to make it the center stage of your kitchen. All other furniture may look excellent with their given specifications, but a kitchen island is another thing.

Create an island with legs

At present, kitchen islands are used as working stations. While that may be true, a little room for small gatherings is formed here on the island. Give it some legs and spare a bit of room. It does not only expand your countertop but creates rapport and space for your family and friends in one sitting.

Check out these bar stools from Amazon.

Design with a waterfall counter

Beautiful kitchen in new luxury home with island

Kitchen islands are designed to be the center of attraction to any kitchen space. To add to its already excellent appeal is the addition of a waterfall countertop on top of your island cabinet down to the floor. It's all up to your chosen preference. You can top it with granite or tile, or whatever works for you.

Should the kitchen island be darker or lighter than the cabinets?

Kitchen in luxury home with oak wood cabinetry

The color you choose for your kitchen island should maintain the warmth, enhance the feel and not compromise the overall concept of the kitchen space. The safest pick doesn't always guarantee your kitchen to achieve your dream concept. The wisest decision is to pick a color that adds value to your home and makes the kitchen space more prominent and valued.

Light colors, being versatile colors, complement well with dark shades of furniture. It creates space and doesn't overpower your other furniture pieces. Its design is specifically for smaller areas so as to create a spacious room.

The dark tones add drama to a contemporary concept. Pairing it with warm and lighter shades of cabinetry would give an edgy yet elegant look. Whatever you decide on the color of your kitchen island, you should come up with a contrast with your chosen colors and styles.

Can you use cabinets as a kitchen island?

Modern kitchen and living room overlooking a backyard

The answer is an absolute yes! You can use base cabinets or a kitchen cabinet. You can also add butcher blocks, granite, or tile to complete the look.

Why does everyone want a kitchen island?

It's a work of art that is efficient and aesthetic. A drab kitchen can look sophisticated with the addition of kitchen islands. It is more than what meets the eye.

Homeowners put up kitchen islands for social benefits. It is conveniently useful for brunches, work station, or small family gatherings. Its addition to the kitchen creates a sense of privacy for everyone.

In Closing

The color choice for your kitchen islands can create symmetry and balance in your kitchen space. Its contrasting colors make a bold statement of character and integrity in the overall vision of your home. Choosing the right color is not hard to do as long as you know your preferences.

Light shades match well with dark tones just as the dark tones compliment lighter shades. Playing the part of picking the right colors to marry off the island to the cabinetry is the only complicated part. The rest goes down smoothly.

Your choice and preferences matter, making the kitchen a part of you and your home.

For more inspiration, read through these other posts:

What Color Floor Goes With Oak Cabinets?

Should Wood Floors Be Lighter Or Darker Than Cabinets?

How to Decorate a Kitchen Island the Right Way