Fancy an island unit that’s a little out of the ordinary? Be inspired by this characterful selection
An island is a useful addition in many kitchens, but don’t feel you have to go down the standard, rectangular-block route. There are lots of reason for going off-plan – from suiting the shape of your kitchen to experimenting with a different material. Take a look at these unique kitchen islands for inspiration.
This user-friendly shape makes the most of the room’s proportions and would work well in a smaller space, too. When you’re considering kitchen island ideas for small kitchens, a curved design leaves plenty of space for people to move around the room, and doesn’t eat into the floor space like a linear style would.
This semi-circular design also creates a nicely sociable feel for those sitting on the stools to chat to the cook, rather than all being perched in a straight line.
Add a rustic finish
The wood cladding here gives the island a totally different look, proving how versatile timber can be. Recycled planks have been used to cover the unit, giving a rustic effect that works well with the utility-style fixtures and fittings in the rest of the kitchen.
Something like this would be fairly straightforward to replicate on the front of an existing island, too.
By illuminating the inset base of this island, the designers have made it appear to ‘float’ in the middle of the kitchen. The island has become an eye-catching centrepiece that, along with the unobtrusive hob, looks futuristic against the traditional parquet flooring.
Split in two
In a big kitchen, it can be tempting to fill the space with one large, central island. But if this feels too overwhelming, how about breaking it in half to create two separate work areas, as the homeowners have done here? The curved gap between these particular islands also provides another handy access point to the oven and sink.
Carve out display space
Add some personality to an island by factoring in a display area. Attractive crockery, cookbooks, pots and pans, or glasses – whatever you want to show off can be arranged on the cut-out section of an island like this one. Alternatively, go for an open-fronted style with shelves for an even bigger display area.
This would work as well on a smaller island – just adapt the idea to suit the size of your space.
Style it in stone
A huge slab of black marble makes for a mightily impressive central island in this kitchen. A composite material such as Corian can be used to clad an island for a similar effect, or you could try covering the top or sides only for a more budget-friendly option.
Make it modular
If you want your island to serve lots of functions, why not add bespoke elements to the basic unit? Here, a table section at chair height forms an ‘L’ at the end of the island, while a shelving unit on the other side provides a useful storage area for crockery.
A multi-functional island is the focus of this extension
Swathe in copper
One way to avoid a standard look is to use an unusual material. Stainless steel, brass and copper would all work really well to elevate a kitchen island into a standout piece.
Here, copper cladding creates a luxurious reflection of the parquet flooring and contrasts with the bright white worktop.
Suit your surroundings
What could be more fitting in a coastal home than a boat-style island? It’s quirky, yes, but also surprisingly practical, with the mast providing ‘sail’ shelves and the ‘deck’ functioning as a work surface.
Consider whether there are any standout features associated with your own home that could be echoed in your island style to give a unique look like this.
Clad in slick wood
How’s this for an unusual island? OK, it’s not technically a kitchen island – in fact, it’s a drinks counter – but the idea would work equally well in a cookspace. The unit has been given a trendy cocktail bar vibe with smart wood panelling in narrow vertical strips. The sophisticated finish is complemented by the unusual brass worktop, under-counter lighting and smart black stools.
See more island seating ideas
What do you think of these kitchen islands? Have you seen any other unique designs? Share your ideas in the Comments section.