It is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where food, laughter and stories are shared. And with the growing popularity of open floor plans and the “great room,” more and more time is being spent there. Which is precisely why the Kitchen Island is a crucial component of any design plans or remodel.

10 Kitchen Islands To Inspire

Kitchen islands provide storage, casual seating, prep space, a place for built-in appliances such as dishwashers and microwaves. They are plumbed, they are wired and they are incredibly convenient for those who cook or entertain frequently. The sizes, styles and materials for kitchen islands are so plentiful, it’s tough to know where to start! Which is why we’ve rounded up ten that range from the traditional to the extreme. Each is beautiful with its own unique style and features. Let these inspire you and enlighten you as to what they can bring to your home.

1. Arclinea’s Principia Fumé Oak Island

When it comes to functional elegance, it’s hard to beat the new Principia kitchen island by designer Antonio Citterio for Arclinea. Sophisticated yet not intimidating,  it pairs a grained wood in a “rough” finish with stainless steel in innovative colors generated with Arclinea’s own technological process.

Add an Emperador marble worktop, a Principia integrated handle and hood in PVD Bronze and the island is not only stunning to look at, but has all the technology necessary for today’s chef and has plenty of dedicated storage.

photos courtesy of Arclinea

2. Concrete Islands From Dade Design
Looking for something that’s utilitarian yet makes a substantial stylish statement? Concrete can do that for you.

This concrete island is a collaborative piece from Dade Design and Bulthaup, Vienna. Together they designed the kitchen leaving it to the Dade crew to professionally bring it to life.

Other technical challenges in the mold making process are beautifully presented here; the unique concrete basin as well as the round forms on the dropped end panels paired with the unique way in which they are jointed.

Despite looking massive, the concrete weight of Dade Designs’ kitchen products are reduced significantly by various manufacturing techniques and formed using their own brand of UHPC concrete. Below is another example of one of their concrete islands mated with an extended wooden table for in-kitchen dining that is clean and contemporary look.

Dade Design is a leader in the production of concrete kitchens and concrete kitchen countertops. Their three arguments for concrete kitchens? The quality of Swiss craftsmanship, surface coatings and the trust of numerous retailers.
photos courtesy of Andy Keel & Dade Design

3.Varenna Poliform’s Sharp by Daniel Leibskind

Sharp, designed by Daniel Leibskind, is an architecturally-inspired kitchen product for the Italian company. Not for the timid, it’s an edgy style for those who love to have plenty of space and admire a strong silhouette.

Focusing on a relationship between the functional areas and the dining area, this solution combines dramatic and powerful shapes with the value, advantages and colors of Corian.

Varenna Poliform
photos courtesy of Varenna Cucine

4.EcoSmart Bioethanol Fire Box inset Islands

There’s no limit to what a kitchen island can provide. These islands accented with inset EcoSmart Bioethanol fire boxes offer more than just a place to prep food or to eat.

An innovative design, they turn the kitchen into an inviting place to gather and give it the look and warmth of a ‘home’ even in a more modern environment.

The fire boxes are smoke and soot-free and can be integrated into just about any type of cabinetry or stone. What a wonderfully unexpected option.

EcoSmart Fire
photos courtesy of Eco+Smart Fire

5.The LEGO Kitchen Island by Simon Pillard and Philippe Rosetti

If DIY projects are your thing, consider creating a LEGO kitchen island! This whimsical kitchen island came as an idea to Parisian design duo Simon Pillard and Philippe Rosetti five years ago, when Pillard put 500 blocks and a day’s worth of work into building a Lego-legged chair.

The design duo decided to give the chair a colorful companion and covered their own island – a simple wooden block – with 20,000 LEGO pieces to turn it into a vibrant and creative kitchen centerpiece. The impact is undeniably fun.
photos courtesy of Simon Pillard and John Rosetti

6. Modulnova’s Light Island With Extending Peninsula

If you find that you’re more comfortable with a slightly more subtle look than brightly colored LEGOS, consider this contemporary style island from Modulnova which has endless customization options. With the ability to choose from various woods, glasses and lacquer finishes, this piece can be designed to suit almost any style kitchen.

The Light Island shown has base units and a worktop in satin Cendre glass; mitre-folded, 1.2 cm thick side panels and base unit rear finishing panel in satin Cendre lacquer.

The extending slatted wood peninsula top is 8cm thick, in Rovere Puro and is also available in the other wood finishes: raw oak, raw walnut and open-pore lacquered raw oak and in various sizes.

photos courtesy of Modulnova

7. The Wills Company Island with Translucent Fused Glass Top
Proof that a kitchen island need not be massive to offer convenience and style, this clean white island is outfitted with a deep stainless steel sink, tons of storage space, a built-in range and is topped off with a custom-made fused glass top by Lucid Glass Studio.

The unfussy and clean, contemporary design is a perfect fit for those who want an airy, light feeling without sacrificing the necessary functionality. Details like matte stainless steel drawer pulls compliment the appliances and don’t show fingerprints.

Oval on one end, the interestingly textured (but smooth on top) deep glass surface hangs over the island’s edge, offering a space where one can sit.

It’s just one of many of the many possible tailored design solutions offered by The Wills Company.
photos courtesy of The Wills Company

8. Cesar’s Restyled Elle Island

When it comes to wow factor, it’s hard to beat Cesar’s restyled version of their Elle model island designed for this year’s Fuorisalone exhibition. Giving the Elle island a shiny makeover, the extraordinary high polished piece was outfitted with rovere termocotto doors and with a marvelous Grey Saint Laurent marble worktop.

The spiffed up island was showcased in the Cesar Flagship Store in Italy during the exhibit, wowing people with the contrasting materials and colors that enhanced the monolithic and textured appeal of the island.

Cesar offers many wonderful kitchen designs.
photos courtesy of Cesar

9. The Velvet Elite Island From GD Arredamenti

The aesthetically pleasing Velvet Elite from GD Arredamenti is about as tasteful as a Kitchen island can get. Characterized by an ergonomically designed opening system with a flat groove and thick doors whose profile, cut at 30°, allows opening without any need for external handles. This gives the island a streamlined effect and the combination of materials gives it a sense of sophistication that is timeless.

The Velvet Elite island is also distinguished by the transversality of the materials and the finishes available for the doors and accessories which are plentiful. Options include brushed Oak wood in 3-layers, natural or painted in 7 finishes, brushed Larch wood in 3-layers in 3 finishes, Canaletto Walnut in 3-layers, 5 special types of veneered wood also available with an ultra-gloss finish, veneered Oak available lacquered in 7 colours or painted in 11 colours, lacquered in 24 gloss or matt colors and special lacquer available in 5 tactile effects.
GD Arredamenti
photos courtesy of GD Arredamenti

10. The Ocean Kitchen by Robert Kolenik

We promised you a gamut of kitchen islands that extended to the ‘extreme’ and the Ocean Kitchen by Robert Kolenik of Kolenik Eco Chic Design is most certainly as far from ordinary as one can imagine.

The island is a made-to-order,  kitchen counter with mechanized (hydraulic) stove top surface and sink that sit upon a giant fully functioning aquarium complete with filter.

As you can see the surface lifts so that the fish (or any aquascape) can be tended to:

You could even keep live lobsters in the tank. Then you’ll always have fresh seafood on hand!
Kolenik Eco Chic Design
photos courtesy of Robert Kolenik and If It’s Hip, It’s Here

We hope our curated round up of Kitchen Islands has whet your appetite. Bon Appetit!