Just as kitchens are one of the hardest-working rooms in the house, islands are the hardest-working elements in the kitchen. These multitasking units provide additional space for food prep (a bonus, especially when you have more than two cooks in the same household), they provide a perfect place to pull up a stool and grab a bite to eat (some islands even have built-in tables), they house appliances, and they contain abundant storage. Need I say more?
Artika kitchen island. Photo courtesy of Pedini USA
And now you can have a little fun with them too. Because they come in an abundance of shapes, sizes, and colors to fit kitchens small and large, islands make a big design statement. Check out these not-so-ordinary islands (and remember that cool usually comes with a high price tag—think $20,000–$40,000):
Z. Island. Install this ultra-modern DuPont Corian Z. Island in the center of your kitchen, and you’ll think you’ve been launched full-speed into the future. Boasting a built-in Mac, this island turns your time in the kitchen into a multimedia experience—listen to music, browse the Internet, or watch the news as you make spaghetti. Heating membranes integrated into the Corian countertop keep food warm. And if you can’t stand the smell of onions pervading your kitchen, program the island’s scent diffusion system to send your favorite scents wafting through the room.
Bamboo Slide. If you crave extra storage, but your kitchen lacks space, the petite Bamboo Slide from Brave Space Design might be the answer. The expanding unit manages to squeeze in extra workspace, a cutting board, two hidden cubbies, and even a wine rack. And because it’s mainly made of sustainable bamboo, it’s an eco-friendly island too!
Diva Island. Photo courtesy of Diva de Provence
Diva Island. Everything you want is packed in one unit with the Diva Island. Sound too good to be true? With up to four ovens and eight cooking components (plus warming cabinets, a huge sink, drawers, and prep space), the fully customizable Diva Island by Diva de Provence proves you really can have it all. And with a vibrant red or yellow base, stately claw feet, and gold-like accents, it’s sure to turn heads.
Compacta. Sure, the Compacta island from Artificio gets its name from its clever space-saving design, which incorporates a fridge, sink, freezer, and pantry. But it’s the contemporary white, black, lime green, and gray acrylic panels that line the island’s exterior (and open to provide storage space, nonetheless) that make it stand out among the crowd.
Integra kitchen island. Photo courtesy of Pedini USA
Integra. Gone are the days when kitchen islands were strictly square or rectangular. One of the hottest island shapes today? Round. That’s what makes the Pedini Integra island so cool. The U-shape island is perfect for kitchens with a minimalist design scheme, and it corrals appliances and storage into one space to keep clutter at bay. Like the Integra? You’ll also love its relative, the Artika, which boasts a sleek white polished laquer finish.
The Hampton. I love traditional kitchen design. That’s why this Hamptons-style island from Canterbury Design—complete with a dishwasher, trash/recycling pullout, and farm sink—caught my eye. Black honed granite countertops add a smooth touch, while the tiered design encourages cooks and guests to mingle—and hides cooking messes.
Want to check out more islands? I love scanning the Clever Islands section on kitchens.com. I’m curious: Which island is your favorite? And if you could custom-build your own island, what features would it have?
The Home Know-It-All