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The open layout of this kitchen is anchored by a large island with a three-section top -- teak in the middle flanked by two slabs of Pietra Grigia stone, which resembles slate. Besides holding two sinks and providing an expansive work space, the island extends the kitchen's storage capacity with drawers and cupboards in the base. A countertop overhang also creates a seating area for eating casual meals and doing homework.
Repainting existing cabinets leaves room in the budget for eye-catching splurges, such as this luxurious marble countertop featuring a double-ogee edge. On the back of the island, a rectangle of molding adds a darling detail to the mint-color island base. Instead of modern barstools, opt for ones with vintage-inspired style to add character to the space.
The sleek lines of this kitchen island put a modern twist on a traditional apron-front sink. Rather than creating a separate eating area, the homeowner decided to incorporate a bar-height table into the island. In addition to its dining capability, the island's two sinks make it the high-style, hardworking hub of the space.
In a narrow space, choose a slim island that keeps walking aisles open. This island serves as a prep area, a bar, or a buffet -- but not as a spot for in-kitchen dining. To prevent a narrow space from becoming congested with guests or family, design the island without a countertop overhang.
A movable worktable with a butcher-block top serves as an island in this kitchen. The island's portability allows it to be used as extra counter space, a prep area, a bar, or even a buffet table. Drawers and a shelf below boost storage in the small kitchen. When not in use, the island nestles into a storage unit along the wall.
A simple, tablelike island with an open base is an attractive alternative to an island with bulky base cabinetry. With its curly-maple top, this distressed, dark green-painted table may recall another era, but its function is totally modern: The designers bolted down its legs to add electricity to the piece, so it's easy to use mixers or other countertop appliances on this prep surface. The island also doubles as a welcoming kitchen table for casual meals.
This U-shape island provides easily accessible space for meal prep and dining, while keeping traffic out of the cook's way. An African iroko wood countertop brings warmth and contrast to the white kitchen. Glass-front cabinets at the end of the island offer a convenient space for storing and displaying dishes.
You don't need to break the bank to create an eye-catching central feature. Repurpose an old table into a kitchen island with character. This old table gained new life with simple updates that include wrapping beaded-board panels around the sides, painting it white and light blue, installing new hardware, and topping it with a soapstone counter.
Even a narrow island can make a big difference in the style and function of a kitchen. A French antique, this small table offers extra prep space in a kitchen where space is too tight for a full-size island. It also contributes to the old-world theme set by the stone range hood, tile floor, and distressed cabinetry.
For more versatile island function, consider pairing a large, permanent island and a smaller, mobile one. When placed against the installed island, this black-painted cart extends the counter space, but it can be easily relocated for convenient use elsewhere. Open shelving below adds visual interest and offers a convenient storage area.
This cheery green island seats two people for morning coffee and casual meals. When prepping meals at the island, open shelves near the range keep mixing bowls in easy reach.
When visualizing your new kitchen, try starting with an inspiration piece. A hand-painted vintage Italian ceramic bowl served as the inspiration for this kitchen's color scheme. The cobalt paint on the stately, furniture-like island pops against the rich wood tones. Built-in shelving on one end of the island houses cookbooks and dishes. Richly detailed woodwork continues the room's traditional style.
A stunning pewter-topped island is the centerpiece of this French-inspired kitchen. The decorative edge on the countertop adds an unexpected twist to the black base. To add seating, the homeowner pushed a custom walnut table against the island. The elegant table adds dining room formality to this in-kitchen eating area.
Measuring just 3x4 feet, this small island is still roomy enough to gather around without crowding the modest-size kitchen. On the other side, cabinets and drawers offer extra storage. Here's a tip: An ideal island is proportioned and shaped to fit the room. If a kitchen is long and narrow, the island should typically be the same.
This two-tier, walnut-veneer island includes an elevated bar topped with Calacatta marble and a lower zone designated for cooking. This design helps hide kitchen clutter from the dining area and also protects people seated at the bar from splatters. The sleek countertop materials and minimalist barstools play important roles in the kitchen's contemporary feel.
There's more than meets the eye when it comes to this island, which includes an oak-topped snack bar styled like a table. Within the island are drawers for prep gear and vertical storage for cookie sheets. The painted finish matches art tile in the nearby family room, and the shapely legs match columns on the home's front porch. Functionally, however, the bar is all business: It was designed to fit the family's laptop computers -- all five of them.
With a built-in sink and storage nook on the opposite side, this versatile island accommodates both food prep and family meals. When the food is cleared away, the island becomes a convenient work space for homework and bill-paying. Beaded-board paneling adds cottage charm, while the granite countertop makes the island the centerpiece of the kitchen.
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