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10 Great Kitchen Islands

by Sofia Tuovinen

It’s always fascinating how social changes can affect the way we want to live and use the space in our homes. One of the most noticeable changes in recent decades has been the shift from separate kitchens to a preference for open-plan layouts. While cooking used to be confined to a space that was isolated from social activities, time in the kitchen is now seen as one of the social highlights of home life. With new preferences that blur the line between cooking and living spaces, the kitchen island has developed into a much desired and loved part of every spacious or open-plan kitchen.

Kitchen islands can offer everything we want from our modern day kitchens, from generous counter space and storage to seating for family members or guests who want to join the fun. They also give us more opportunities to be creative with our kitchen designs. These 10 great kitchen islands all add something special to their respective spaces and prove that options for creating unique focal points are endless. They do have one thing in common though — they truly make these kitchens feel like the heart of the home. —Sofia

10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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Julia and Adam’s kitchen in Brooklyn has an open and spacious feel about it, and the island has been described as “the life raft that everyone clings to.” It does have it all — storage, seating, plenty of valuable countertop space and a lot of charm.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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There’s no reason to confine tiles to a backsplash. In Light Lab’s spacious kitchen, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel chose to add a geometric pattern to the island with Fireclay Tiles. The tiled facade, marble backsplash, concrete floor and brass details create a unique and contemporary space for creative coffee breaks.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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An L-shape island is a perfect way to divide up an open-plan space. In this Olivebridge, NY home, the sides of the kitchen island have been covered with stained strips of wood lattice for a "modern meets rustic" feel.
10 Great Kitchen Island | Design*Sponge
4/10
A kitchen island doesn’t need to be custom built to be the perfect fit. This New Jersey home features a mid 1800s work table-turned-kitchen island. The antique piece really adds to the vintage feel of this beautifully updated Victorian.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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In Jodie Patterson’s Brooklyn home, the kitchen is all about contrast and play between old and new. The modern island with its sleek marble countertop is the heart of the kitchen, yet gives visual room for the intricate details of the original cabinets.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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The simple concrete island in Cecile’s Barcelona home is as much a practical addition as it is a sculptural piece. The simple shape and textured surface emphasize the modern industrial feel of the kitchen.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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In this Brooklyn brownstone, a calm and cohesive space is created by painting the kitchen cabinets, island and lower part of the walls in the same color. The antique chandelier above the streamlined, concrete-top island creates a beautiful juxtaposition of rough and refined.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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A tricolor kitchen may feel daunting, but this Highland, UT home proves that using different colors for your lower and upper cabinets and island can create magical design moments. The textured stained wood of the island emphasizes the dark emerald green color of the lower cabinets, while the generous size of the marble slab creates a stunning worktop.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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The kitchen island in this Scarborough, Maine home is truly one of a kind. It’s repurposed from an old railway cart, with a bar extension added on by Sandy Macleod, a local artist. The mismatching vintage stools complement the industrial look of the island.
10 Great Kitchen Islands | Design*Sponge
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In this creative couple’s Park Slope home, a slit for knives was added to the sapele countertop of the self-built kitchen island. What a unique yet practical detail! The countertop perfectly matches the reclaimed wood of the open shelves, creating a light and natural feel in this open-plan space.

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Comments

  • These are all very inspiring! Love those yellow stools in that black and white kitchen. I do think it is funny how a couple have the wrong height of stools (pics 5 and 8). Bar height stools at a counter height island just don’t work. I know this because I made the same mistake in my first house, and suffered a lot of barked knees as a result. Don’t do it! Measure your counter height before you buy your stools!

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