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6 Great Kitchen Islands

If the kitchen is the heart of your home, a great kitchen island is the heart of your kitchen. Here are 6 very different options that can add both style and flexible functionality to your kitchen design.

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This kitchen’s long narrow profile needed a solution that would double the counter space without making the kitchen feel crowded. Salvaged tree trunks cut into blocks to show off the circular grain create a distinctive counter surface.

Island insight: Sometimes two is better than one. A large island can overwhelm a narrow space. A matching set of narrow profile rolling islands can keep the open flow feeling, while still giving you the option to connect them up for a larger working surface when required.

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Indonesian hardwoods, zinc wrapped counters and tube steel frames create a Bali meets Eastside Industrial vibe in this eclectic kitchen.

Island insight: If the island is on wheels, not only is it more flexible, it avoids the cost of installing electrical outlets to meet code. Locking castors are a great solution for a sturdy cutting surface that also doubles as mobile bar or sideboard when company comes.

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A french bakery inspired this unique island, which mixes the charm of built-in zinc flour bins and the easy practicality of  integrated electrical outlets with traditional turned-leg styling to create a timeless piece that will work hard but blend in seamlessly to this turn-of-the-century home.

Island Insight: the cords for the electric outlets are cleverly hidden in one of this island’s hollow legs, allowing the piece to look like a piece of furniture.

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At the other end of the spectrum, straightforward materials and a smart design can make for a deceptively simple solution that maximizes functionality without sacrificing style.

Island insight: Sometimes all you need is a great piece of marble and a simple steel frame to make an island that’s easy on the eyes and hard to improve upon.

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If your space allows for a more substantial solution, this marble-topped island with integrated breakfast bar creates a social focal point and a seamless relationship between the island and the traditional cabinets of the kitchen.

Island insight: Kitchens serve social functions as well as practical ones. A great island can gather the tribe as well as store your kitchen essentials.

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An island can also be a great place to add a splash of color to your kitchen. The traditional turned-leg styling and substantial profile of this island gets a modern twist with a jolt of warm brick red. Drawers provide sleek storage options while the open hardwood shelf creates space to display your most prized kitchen essentials.

Island insight: Built-in sliding bread boards expand the working surface even further without adding to the footprint of the piece.

A kitchen island can (and should) be as unique as the home and the family that inhabits it. Whether you need a jolt of color, a social focal point, a place to display of your treasured kitchen essentials or flexible counter space that doesn’t block the flow of the kitchen, the perfect island can become the hard-working heart at the heart of your home.

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