The kitchen island was first introduced to home kitchens in the 1970s. Now, they are almost a necessity in any modern kitchen. However, not every kitchen island looks like furniture. Some of them are rather plain and stick out, but it is always the goal of an interior designer to make the kitchen islands look like a piece of furniture rather than just a butcher block on top of a cabinet. There are several ways that kitchen islands can be designed so that they look like furniture.
First, you want the materials of construction for the kitchen island to indicate that it is a piece of furniture rather than a butcher’s block. For example, the bottom of the kitchen island should be stained or painted to match other pieces of furniture in the kitchen or other rooms of the house. The kitchen island is often located in a part of the kitchen that opens out into another room so it is important that the façade that faces the other rooms in the house is as decorative as possible. In addition to the bottom, the counter top on the kitchen island can also help to contribute to its furniture qualities. Marble has a lot of color and texture and looks more like what you might find on the top of a piece of furniture than Formica or tile.
A second trick that kitchen island designers use to make kitchen islands that look like kitchen furniture is to put the island up on legs rather than have the cabinetry go all the way to the floor like the other cabinets in the room. The simple act of putting the kitchen island on four decorative legs can go a long way toward making the island look like a piece of furniture.
The piece of furniture that many designers are trying to personify in the kitchen island is the kitchen table. To that end, many kitchen islands double as breakfast bars or eating counters. To facilitate this double use, the kitchen island may have two levels. The level that is closest to the other rooms in your house that can see the island and farthest away from the work triangle for the cook, is usually higher than the rest of the kitchen island. The higher surface on that part of the kitchen island hides the rest of the island work area so that the island resembles a table more than a work surface for someone preparing food or washing dishes.
Another piece of furniture that a kitchen island designer may be trying to go for is a sideboard or buffet. In order to make the kitchen island look like a piece of storage furniture, you will want to have storage areas on the side of the kitchen island facing the rest of the house. For example, you might install a wine rack or a small storage shelf area that is accessible by someone other than the cook who is working behind the kitchen island. The entire kitchen island might look like a wine rack if you set it up correctly. Most people will be distracted by the wine and will not notice that the island is actually a kitchen work space.
Kitchen islands that look like furniture are a great way to get some of the specialized storage and functionality in your kitchen that you have always desired. The point of making the kitchen island look like furniture is so the kitchen is a more inviting place where your guests are comfortable gathering. Gusts are much more likely to gather around a handsome kitchen table or buffet than a cutting board or sink.