One way to avoid a generic look is to be creative on the island.
There’s nothing wrong with the default rectangle or square islands we’re accustomed to seeing in kitchens. But creating variations on an island theme can raise a kitchen to a unique and memorable status. One of the most distinctive kitchen island shapes is designer Bill Litchfield’s long oval carousel [top and below]. At first, I though the entire thing was on casters and imagined it might revolve! Then I realized it looked that way because the legs of the table sit on a footed platform instead of directly on the floor.
Clearly, someone wanted space to stow the low stools, which this arrangement provides. Yet the presence of the plinth makes me wonder how comfortable it is to try to sit on a while actually using the table and whether it’s necessary, when seated, to lean forward?
This is the first I’ve seen of a small, circular open island in an antique style. While that seems a bit divorced from the look of the perimeter cabinets, the shape offers maximum mobility and provides a good deal of storage – all within view. The eating bar to the left is clearly the spot to sit down. But this island-in-the-round is a clever solution for a working space or stand-up gathering space, as well as a surprisingly practical one.
Interior storage floating in the grid is a great idea on this island. Had I designed it, I would have included a pot shelf around the bottom instead of open posts so at least tall items could be placed below. The pull-out looks to be a garbage bin with a cutting board just above. Since it’s not on the working side of the kitchen, the likely use is prep station or landing spot clearing plates. Other special features here include the dutch door, handsome range niche with a gracefully arced vent hood cover, and the hint of a second island.
An industrial steel wagon turned into the base of an island is just our cup of tea here at Atticmag. This one is similar in concept to the kitchen with the steel buoy work table Allison found last fall. What I like about this one is the raised top that might permit the inside of the wagon to be used somehow. Matching it up with an industrial pendant light helps give an edge to a white kitchen that otherwise could be looking a little dated.
In a tiny country-style kitchen with a mustard-colored Aga that manages to match the color of the reclaimed pumpkin pine wide-plank floor, vintage industrial wood and cast iron table salvaged on a roadside adds considerable personality in addition to working well as an island or a table.
Antique butcher’s block with crenolated aprons always make me drool, especially in distressed green paint. This island reminds me of the French pastry table kitchen, too.
A rough-hewn island/work table on wheels also can double as a serving cart. What makes this one unique is the way it is integrated into the dark and dramatic look of this kitchen which has a certain slickness but upon close examination a real DIY quality as well.
For this kitchen island in the home of Canadian designer Ingrid Oomen, a pair of dining room table bases were repurposed. In a video, Ms. Oomen explains how the curvy lines of the bases helped keep the space looking open and the room looking larger than it is. The video also gives additional views of several unique aspects of a kitchen with a superabundance of charm.
(Sources: litchfielddesigns, lonny, desdemyventana, desiretoinspire, coastalliving, southernliving , thewhitehousedaylesford, house&home)