Kitchen island ideas for every home style

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Our kitchen island ideas will help you choose the perfect central unit. With the move towards larger, open-plan kitchen extensions, the kitchen island has become an essential feature. It can be long and slim, running parallel to the work area; neat and round in a compact room; or big and broad, housing a sink and appliances.

An island unit has lots to bring to a kitchen design scheme. It can provide extra prep space and form a boundary between the cooking zone and the living/dining area. A shaped island unit can also help direct the flow of traffic away from busy hotspots.

Almost all kitchen islands incorporate seating – even the smallest space can usually accommodate an overhang of worktop and a pair of bar stools, although more of us are opting for long kitchen islands with integrated low-level, table-style seating at one end.

Functions aside, the change of pace offered by a kitchen island often encourages a variation in material. You can afford to be braver here with a bolder finish or colour, or perhaps a more expensive material that would be prohibitive across an entire room. An island will define a kitchen, forming a division between dining and living spaces. For this reason, at least the facing part of the island should be in warm and welcoming materials to make a transition from efficient kitchen surfaces.

For a show-stopping centrepiece look to luxury materials, from deeply veined marble and mottled granites to exotic timber veneers and gleaming mirrored glass or burnished metal. There’s a trend towards more textured materials, think raw or rough-sawn wood, honed or flamed stone tops, as well as a contrast of colour or finish between the island and the rest of the kitchen. And don’t forget kitchen island lighting – it can turn a good-looking unit into a showstopper of a kitchen centrepiece.

Want more design inspiration? Take a look at these showstopping kitchen ideas and our pick of the best kitchen storage ideas

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