Introduction: Thanks to mixed materials, ingenious accessories and undercounter appliances, kitchen islands have become visual focal points that serve as both workspace and gathering place. Islands have become the norm in new kitchens for good reason. They’re multi-taskers, capable of storing pots and pans, concealing appliances, serving as an anchor of the work triangle and taking the place of the kitchen table. Especially useful in kitchens with open floor plans, islands can open up a dialogue between the kitchen and the living room, the cook and the guests.
"This kitchen occupies a large space, and the homeowners wanted the island to become a part of the adjoining family room. The far end of the island is a counter-height eating area that's rounded to make it more sociable. I like eating areas to be rounded, so the family can look at each other rather than eat at a straight snack bar where they sit like frogs on a log. Across from the chairs is a fireplace wall that brightens up the whole space."
Photo: J.H. Peterson
"The opposite end also features a rounded top with radius cabinetry for prep and serving. Between those two is the sink, with a dishwasher and pullout wastebasket for clean up. The raised cabinet provides a backsplash, hides the sink and gives dimension to the island. There are coordinated light fixtures-a larger one over the eating area and pendants above the rest of the island. The chairs coordinate with the chairs that are in their informal dining room, and the radius doors and black countertop of the raised cabinet are repeated in the family room and entertainment center."
Designer: Val Stuessi, CKD
Crystal Kitchen Center
Golden Valley, Minnesota