By Samantha Grose, designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

A beautiful and functional kitchen island can easily be one of the most popular and utilized parts of your house. Entertaining, cooking, taking care of your to-do list, eating alone or with family, or working on projects, are all popular uses of this beloved kitchen staple. Read on for some of our favorite island designs and ideas to make the most of yours!

Multi-Level Island

Multi-Level-Kitchen-Island-Designs3

Bar height seating along the edge of an island is a great way to add a subtle divide between your workspace (that isn’t always pristine!) and an open great room. Often, islands provide a large extension of functional countertop when they include a sink or cooktop. Hiding kitchen work from the view of the dining room can make a big difference when entertaining. (photo: JP&CO design) Visit Houzz.com for more examples of JP&CO’s work

Antique Table Turned Island
Antique Table Turned Island

Turn a flea market find into a beautiful and functional space-saver in your kitchen. Consider topping it with oversized kitchen pieces like the large ceramic pitcher that decorates the antique butcher’s table above. (photo: Source)

Island on Display
Island on Display

Opt for glass doors that allow your interesting serving bowls, vases, or art to turn a typical kitchen island into a striking visual display. Switch out the contents of your island for special occasions, seasons, and holidays for a new feel or special detail. (photo: Source)

Don’t Be a Square

semi-circular kitchen island

kitchen island with rounded bar

Consider a semi-circular island to give the center of your kitchen the best of both worlds. This design offers twice the tabletop space, while still maintaining the crucial kitchen half of the design. (photo #1: Source, photo #2: JP&CO design)

Personalized Details

twin cities urban kitchen

Adding simple details like base trim to the island to make it feel more like a piece of furniture make for a simple yet upgraded look. And for comfort while preparing consider raising the height to 38” tall instead of the standard 36” – you would be surprised the difference it makes when baking. At JP&CO, we often opt for a “furniture” look like the one pictured above. (photo: JP&CO design)

A Note to Parents

kitchen island with built in stove

Islands also make a great place to hide a microwave because microwaves are a more kid-friendly appliance. Stowing a microwave below the countertop is a much more convenient location for kids.

Selecting a kitchen island with a workspace at a uniform height (including the sink) makes for a great space to cook and do projects with kids. Clean-up is simple and there’s plenty of room to spread out your supplies. (photo: JP&CO design)

Samantha Grose, Associate AIA, Allied ASID Designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO

Author: Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.

Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.

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Written by Samantha

Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the...
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