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Kitchen Island Design Ideas – Types & Personalities Beyond Function

By inventing the kitchen island, designers have clearly stated out that the kitchen is no longer a simple service area. Its traditional geometry consisted of counters with narrow working surfaces lined along the room walls. Well, no more. Today, the kitchen island is a centralized working area that deserves the respect and appreciation given to the artists’ or crafters’ table. Cooking is serious business, and furthermore, it’s an art.

A kitchen island is, above all, functional and spacey. However, just like the case of any piece of furniture, phantasies and personal tastes can come in to play, to illustrate the personality or preferences of the owners. Our rapid  modern world combines food with other consumables such as art, literature, fashion, conversation. The kitchen island is the place where you proudly cook – and gather. There is a large array of kitchen island layouts to be admired. Let’s see if we can assign them – and maybe ourselves – to a few consumer types.

The kitchen bookworm

Traditional kitchen island with storage and dining space / Indian inspiration

by Palmerston Design Consultants

Take a look at the eclecticism mixed into this furniture piece. A sleek marble countertop with utilities on a classical dark wood writing desk body including shelves to keep books. Ideal for a reader – or could it even be a writer? Comfortable bar stools with lean and some industrial heavyweight illumination to make sure you have the optimal light for enjoying a book with your Eclectic breakfast.

The fashionista

Ultra-Extravagant Kitchen Island by Brummel Cucine

The decadently extravagant kitchen suite by Brommel features an unbelievable kitchen island body. It combines the purist sleekness of contemporary materials with fluid and feminine Baroque lines for a sophisticated while stunningly simple model. Even the utilities can be hidden under the sliding countertop, leaving an insanely white and frigidly glossy furniture piece throned under crystal chandeliers. Artful or over the top? (via TrendHunter)

The refined barbarian

Rational kitchen design with cool island

Maybe it’s just me losing my head over rough finishes again but the combination of primal textures on this highly modern kitchen suite by Rational is a masterpiece of design. Dark wood with rough finishes combined with a maintenance-free rust-texture look countertop? Total culinary win. A place so cool and masculine that you might actually get your male partner to be proud of such a kitchen acquisition and even perform some cooking. I would suggest  leather rawhide and fur cushions, mead and game. Fine brazed venison with some cranberry gravy Scandinavian style. This kitchen deserves no less!

The pretty dreamer

Custom built kitchen island with glossy green counter

by RD Architecture

For lovers of shapes and colors wanting to uproot themselves from the vapid imagery of functionality: create the unexpected! Here’s a custom built kitchen island that is anything but rectangular. It is its own object, in vivid colors and relaxing shapes. If you have structural elements such as pillars or beams in the kitchen, do not leave them blank and solely functional. You can easily, with a hint of imagination, take them into the design and make them into something special. And while you build your custom kitchen  island, why not add some in built flower pots and plant them with some lush green for more well-being?

The elegant minimalist

Minimalist kitchen island with seating options

by Joel Kelly Design

Stripped of deco’s and straight to the point can be good: the chef needs his/her space. In addition, he/she may be a neat freak. Here is a minimalistic kitchen suite for very tidy kitchen types, putting everything back to its place when they’re done. When not in use, this kitchen may look like a study: in pensive expectation. But these elegant and comfortable chairs await conversation, as well as the minimalist but sparkling, very styled pendant glass chandelier as sole kitchen fantasy for a tinge of glamor while enjoying the tidily cooked meal.

The comfortable modernist

Mediterranean kitchen design with modern island


Ultra modern white glossy kitchen island

by Glenvale Kitchens

Contemporary furniture trends have used us to a mixture of functional and stylish: this is exactly what this kitchen is about. Sleek white combined with middle-hued warm wood is probably the most popular modern combination when it comes to finishes. There’s a hint of nature and the artifice of functionality – the best of both worlds in a comfortable kitchen layout, while the wire chairs bring some design culture into play. Notice how pretty much all kitchen islands use pendant lamps for lighting their exact surface in so called light isles. In this particular case, it is small and shiny designer lamps hung in irregular clusters, a very artful touch.

The gamer

Colorful mozaic kitchen island ideas

Here’s a whimsical kitchen theme for eating and clicking. Information and apps have invaded our pockets through smartphones and tabs in stillness or motion, so why not the kitchen island as well? You don’t have to be a computer freak to consume the quick online media or serve a simple and “retro” computer game. After all, a flat screen comes in handy everywhere.

The 8 bit kitchen island is vivid, fun and illustrates exactly this attitude, complemented by the imaginative coat rack with colorful balls. And if you could call anything a geek lamp, it would be Clusterlamp by Moooi.

The creative traditionalist

Traditional kitchen island with vintage feel


Everything about this kitchen space shows an appreciation for history. Classic candlestick chandeliers, a suspended light installation from the good times of the incandescent bulb, with no shade or decoration, a cow’s head statue probably rescued off a disbanded slaughterhouse building. Even the classic metal gas stoves suggest not only functionality, but also tradition.

Attention to detail and love of craftsmanship goes into such a design. The wooden vintage kitchen island is definitely a rescue or a heritage, kept minimally reconditioned as a tribute to history. Another homey accessory would be a rack of copper pans and vegetables hung to dry. If you have an eye for antiques and some sense of eccentricity, you can accomplish something just as good.

Which of our kitchen islands in this article, suits your taste?

Jeanne Paula

I write for decoist.

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