House & Home

Super Cool Kitchen Island Ideas

Posted February 24, 2013 12:45 p.m. EST

A custom kitchen island is often the cornerstone of a kitchen remodel. In modern kitchen design, often everything in the kitchen is centered at the island, from the cook top to the dishwasher to the sink. Some kitchen islands even have dishwasher drawers built into them, or mini refrigerators. Intrepid DIY-ers are building their own radically inventive kitchen islands out of scrap materials, while high end builders are pulling out all the stops with kitchen islands that have everything, including the kitchen sink. If you are looking for cool kitchen island ideas, you've come to the right place.

Long, narrow granite island with butcher block table extension: This kitchen island design by Atlanta Design & Build, and Atlanta remodeling company, is truly multifunctional. Atlanta Design & Build made the most of a long, narrow kitchen by building a long, narrow kitchen island. The island has a built in sink, as well as a butcher block table attached to it. It functions both as a food prep space, and a comfortable breakfast bar. It also has a second, lower granite counter top attached to the opposite side, creating another multifunctional zone for food prep or eating. The way it is set up, with two lower table sections flanking a higher traditional kitchen island, mom could be preparing dinner, while the kids do homework on both ends of the island, and everyone has enough room to work.

End grain butcher block kitchen island with built in microwave oven and open shelving: This might be the coolest kitchen island I have seen. Imagine a huge, thick, chunky end grain Boos block. Situate it on top of a French-country-finished kitchen island with a built in microwave oven and tons of built in open shelving. It is as amazing as it sounds. Both distinctive looking (my jaw dropped at the end grain counter top) and a multi-tasker, this kitchen island design idea is a gourmet home cook's dream come true. You could roll out a pie crust big enough to feed a rugby team on this kitchen island, all while maintaining a classic style and true functionality. If you're building a kitchen island, talk to your electrician about installing an electrical hook up for a microwave in the island, like this one has. It is a major space saver.

Anthropologie-inspired gourmet kitchen island: Although the homeowner chose a gorgeous thick granite slab for the counter top on this long, narrow kitchen island, a design like it would work swimmingly with a concrete counter top. This long kitchen island could seat twelve people, making it functional as a banquet table and as a huge food prep area. For culinary whizzes, a long banquet table right smack in the middle of the kitchen is the perfect place to entertain. While you cook, your guests can relax at the island on tall bar stools. A long, narrow kitchen island like this, with an uninterrupted counter top, is the perfect space-saving solution for the cook who likes to entertain.

Concrete countertop with custom sinks: Custom concrete surfaces allow for an unbelievable array of aesthetic and functional options. This custom kitchen island was built by Burco Surface & Decor, an Atlanta concrete contractor. A custom tree design that is pressed into the counter top adds an earthy touch to this modern piece. Two sinks, one that's a fun, artistic shape, and one with an industrial kitchen spray arm, make this both functional and absolutely gorgeous. Kitchen islands like this one, made from custom concrete, are what remodeling dreams are made of.

Super modern multi-functional wood island with hidden cooktop: This block-shaped island is made of exotic tiger wood, with gorgeous striations. Let's start there. Hidden underneath the large counter top is a pull-out cook surface and huge sink. For entertaining, one can roll the cooking surface underneath the island. When full functionality is needed, family and guests can sit at one side of the island, while the cook works on the other. It's a truly modern, space-saving innovation. It's a little bit Jetsons, but stays down to earth with its natural wood finish.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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