A kitchen island is a very useful thing to have, great for adding extra work space and storage and maybe a spot for friends to chill when they're hanging out in your kitchen. But besides all that, if you plan it right, an island can also be the centerpiece of your kitchen. Check out these nine kitchens, which elevate the island from a humble block of cabinets to the star of the show.
The brass-and-wood kitchen island of this Brussels loft, spotted on Milk Magazine, includes both closed storage and open shelving for a beautiful collection of dishes. Above, the design of the wood-clad range hood turns a utilitarian object into a work of functional sculpture.
This kitchen from Design by Us might be almost boring, were it not for the scene-stealing gold island. (The herringbone wood floor is pretty great, too.)
The kitchen of this Paris apartment, spotted on Marie Claire Maison, features an island clad in grooved marble — beautiful to look at, and also, I imagine, fairly enticing to touch.
The eye-catching island in this kitchen from Inside Out is made from recycled basketball court flooring.
In the kitchen of this Brooklyn brownstone, spotted on Dwell, the island is clad in a sumptuous black marble, setting up a beautiful contrast with the all-white palette of the rest of the kitchen.
In this stylish Copenhagen home from Nordic Design, an antique chest of drawers forms a unique and particularly lovely island.
This gorgeous island in a kitchen from Blakes London, which initially appears to be a solid block of marble, conceals a sink, stovetop, and two ovens, so it's hardworking as well as beautiful.
Sadly, this image is an architectural rendering, which means that this kitchen does not exist in real life, but only in the mind of the designer (the very talented Cgarchitect). But I couldn't resist including it, because it's just so pretty, definitely dreamy enough to inspire a real-life kitchen.
The open island in this kitchen from Bailey McCarthy provides a perfect place to display attractive housewares — and is also pretty attractive all on its own.