The kitchen island remains the most practical element of kitchen design. Here are six styles to inspire …
Reports of the death of the kitchen island have been greatly exaggerated. It is alive and well – and just too damn practical and useful to be expunged from the canon of kitchen design. And it can also be a beautiful thing, whether a vast, showstopping marble island in a generous space, or a slim and stylish freestanding table in a smaller kitchen. It can integrate sinks, appliances, have recesses for storage or books – a well-designed island can significantly increase the storage space available – or overhang, counter-style, to accommodate a row of bar stools for casual dining. Many islands simply provide much-needed extra preparation space, a boon for the cook and the entertainer.
Islands can also be a brilliant space for people to gather in an informal way. A large island with comfortable bar stools for the whole family feels more relaxed and sociable than sitting at a table. Or it can become that all-important perch for your guests to enjoy an aperitif while you chat and prepare lunch or dinner.
You can keep the design of your island in line with the design of the rest of your kitchen cabinets or use the opportunity to have a little fun, giving the island a different treatment to the rest of the kitchen. To add interest and to avoid having all materials the same, you could paint the island a tonal colour or a completely different colour, or add a contrasting countertop – marble if the rest of the counters are wood, say, or stainless steel if the rest of the counters are Silestone. While having the countertops at the same height – and eyeline – is important to some clients, a slightly higher island can be more comfortable for sitting – so do bear that in mind. And you might want to consider handle-less doors on the seating side – this storage should be reserved for items you don’t need constant and easy access to.
All photographs GAP Interiors
In this beautifully designed kitchen, the sophistication of super-sleek, handleless cabinetry and integrated Siemens appliances is offset by warm brick and painted details. This island is a cooking space for a keen cook. There is no recess for seating, but you can still draw up a stool to watch dinner being prepared.
A Bulthaup kitchen with integrated Gaggenau appliances is a lesson in perfectly engineered restraint. A teak overhang provides spaces for three smart stools upholstered in white leather.
A foursquare kitchen island with in-frame Shaker-style doors and Formica countertop is pleasingly simple. With its integrated sink, this is a space for preparation.
This vast kitchen space requires a big statement kitchen. Traditional cabinets with a high-gloss paint finish are paired with a marble countertop. The long island has a generous seating space with integrated storage and wine fridge.
In this period house, a completely original take – rough, industrial-style cabinets with visible hinges and a sleek island with integrated sink, multiple drawers and a seating area.
Contrasting mid-blue paint differentiates this stylish island from the rest of the kitchen, with its pale, stone-coloured cabinets, Silestone countertops, integrated Siemens ovens and industrial-style lighting.
For even more kitchen inspiration see THE GLOSS 30 Best Kitchens Guide through this link.
Sign up to our MAILING LIST now for a roundup of the latest fashion, beauty, interiors and entertaining news from THE GLOSS MAGAZINE’s daily dispatches.