As the size of kitchens in both new build construction and renovation projects continues to soar, so does the popularity of countertop islands in our kitchen. This hardworking entity serves as a prep area for meals and parties, unpacking goods, showcasing our garden’s spoils, as a perch for our family and friends while we work away in the kitchen and of course the practicaliy they provide with their ample storage. They are incredibly versatile elements—whether built-in or movable that in effect often serve as a kitchen’s hub and social center. If in fact your kitchen does NOT have a built in cabinetry style island, don’t fret. These following options will provide you with that stunning “unfitted” look, giving your kitchen personality, sex appeal and needed functionality. First determine if you have adequate room in your kitchen for an island as you will want to make sure the flow in your kitchen is functional and that the piece actually enhances your usage of the space (try to keep 42 inches between the unit and any surrounding object to ensure that the island doesn’t obstruct traffic flow). Make sure to think HOW and WHY you need and want the Island. Is it just for storage? Is it for seating? If you have a modern space you can go more traditional to warm up the Design and the same goes for a traditional space, don’t be afraid of adding a more modern aesthetic. Remember that an island’s purpose determines its placement. Is its function to divide the kitchen and living areas in an open-plan house or to delineate working and eating zones? If you want to utilize the unit for baking, make sure it provides easy access to the stove, sink, and refrigerator. If you will employ it for buffets, keep the public side open. Your island should marry your needs of both form and function while also making a design statement about who you are and HOW you use your Kitchen. Here are some of my favourites:
The French Kitchen Island by Crate & Barrel
This French Bisto styled beauty is topped with Carrara marble and anchored by a cast-steel and aluminum base in an antiqued finish. It measures 54″ l x 36.5″ h. x 28″ w.
French kitchen island, $999. crateandbarrel.com
The CANAL Console by Jayson Home & Garden
This French Chateau styled island has reclaimed style pine board shelves and a stunning hand wrought cast iron base. Perfect as a room divider to separate large open styled spaces. Measuring 70″ l. x 33.5″ h. x 21.25″ w.
Canal console, $1,195. jaysonhomeandgarden.com
The Kitchen Rolling Cart by Wisteria
Sleek, simple and modern but with a soft touch, this rolling cart style kitchen island by Wisteria is made of mango wood, iron, and kota stone (the counter top) and is the perfect utilitarian piece for the kitchen. It measures 60″ l. x 35.75″ h. x 24″ w.
Rolling console cart, $899. wisteria.com
The BOOS End Grain Butcher Block Work Bench by Williams-Sonoma
This clean lined, heavy duty island is designed by John Boos & Co. The top is hand crafted from industrial strength blocks of maple and provides ample storage both closed and open. Measuring 60″ l. x 36″ h. x 28″ w.
Boos End-Grain Butcher Block workbench, $2,099. williams-sonoma.com
The Belmont Kitchen Island by Crate & Barrel
A mixture of retro and modern, this island is inspired by cottage design. It is made of sustainable solid rubberwood and features a drop leaf table for extra seating or just companionship while you make the Turkey dinner. Measuring 44.25″ l. x 36.5″ h. x 20.5″ w.
Belmont White kitchen island, $499. crateandbarrel.com
The Reclaimed Wood Kitchen Island series by Restoration Hardware
A truly stunning and signature piece that is hand crafted from reclaimed pine salvaged from century-old buildings in Great Britain. This magnificent piece would make a gorgeous island for both modern or traditional spaces adding warmth and visual texture while as well being a great surface to showcase prized possessions. It would also make a great room divider. Measures 96″ l. x 36″ h. x 40″ w. and can seat up to 10 people.
Salvaged wood island, $2,695. restorationhardware.com
Stainless Steel Tables by your local Restaurant Supply Outlet
Clean, simple, modern, cutting edge and cool….and did I mention they are naturally anti-bacterial and very well priced. They come in a variety of standard sizes from 3 feet to 8 feet and 24inches wide to 30 inches, with or without drawers. They work beautifully in modern kitchens but as well add a sense of drama and edge to more traditional spaces. The great thing with them is they are VERY hard working and totally multi purpose. I use mine as an outdoor table for parties in the summer.
Prices vary according to size from $25o. to $800. Contact your local Restaurant Supply Outlet