I’m a big fan of kitchen islands. They’re not just an extra surface area to prep food, but a central hub and somewhere you actually want to hang out. I think it’s got something to do with the minute you plop something centre stage it just changes up the appearance of the space, lending an air for instant gatherings. It’s the same principle that means you should never have all your furniture shoved up against the walls!
Anything goes really, from huge slabs of end-grain bamboo (resistant to scratches and water) to marble, granite, zinc or even something off the shelf from IKEA your choices are pretty endless. Don’t let having a small kitchen put you off either. I’ve seen ingenious ideas like little metal thrift store drafting tables which serve as islands slapbang in the centre. Or even a little bar cart that can be wheeled in and out and tucked away when it’s not needed.
Check out the slide show – there’s freestanding islands designed by Nate Berkus. It’s so cool! Take that away and the kitchen just wouldn’t have the same dynamic. Mobile islands are definitely the way to go in small kitchens. Or for the most glam ever, look no further than Studio Ilse’s marble wonder or London architects Stiff & Trevillion. They collaborated with salvage specialists and interior designers Retrouvius to create this glam kitchen in London which I am obsessed over. I want to move in, like now!
When it comes to my kitchen island it’s not such a glam story, unfotunately. 13 odd years ago having spent a fortune on the renovation we had to go the simplest cheapest route. It’s a cheap carcass which I customised with extra-long MDF doors. They literally skim the floor which makes it feel more luxe and bespoke. We then painted out the doors, put a stainless counter top across and Bob’s your uncle (where did that phrase even come from?)! In order to up the style ratings I had to get creative so I added fancy vintage lamps to the counter, suspended a chandelier over it, added a couple of 50’s suede Italian bar stools and set the hugest faux fig on the counter. Suddenly it looks GLAM! So don’t fear if your island (or kitchen counter for that matter) isn’t your dream kitchen, you can always distract and deflect with accessories.