New Islands Bring Function, Versatility to Kitchens
July 10, 2017 – HIGH POINT, N.C. – As beautiful as they are functional, standalone kitchen islands are attracting attention as one of the summer’s hottest home furnishings.
Today’s kitchens have advanced from the “heart” of the home to the “hub” of the home, especially in summer months, and with this evolution of activity comes a need for more working, serving, eating and just “hanging out” space. Families are finding that adding a kitchen island updates the aesthetic of the kitchen while also increasing valuable function to this core of family activity.
“With the rise in consumers preparing their own healthy meals and entertaining at home, today’s kitchens are the central gathering spot, and yet space is at a premium,” says Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president of the American Home Furnishings Alliance. “Many new homes feature a kitchen island, but now there is a solution for existing homes, as well. Furniture makers are creating function-packed kitchen islands that add valuable space, functional features and designer style. It’s a category we see growing for years to come.”
Available in a variety of styles and materials and sized to fit a range of spaces, standalone islands give consumers more workspace for meal preparation while updating the look of their kitchen. Features such as hidden drawer storage, towel bars, utility hooks, wine bottle storage and durable work surfaces make these islands multi-function workhorses. Those produced by furniture makers have the added appeal of furniture-quality finishes and styles that can blend with furnishings in adjoining rooms.
The Dripping Springs island from Hooker Furniture conveys a sense of authentic American character and is part of its Texas-inspired Hill Country collection. Finished in saddle brown, it’s crafted of flat-cut, rustic white oak veneer finished to appear seasoned over time. The island features three storage drawers and an open storage shelf on the bottom. One side offers a counter-height bar overhang while a stone top creates an attractive work surface.
Marrying modern and traditional, the Junction island from Hammary offers an urban farmhouse vibe. It combines industrial elements such as metal tubing and zinc accents with usable features such as working casters and a marble worktop. The result is a highly functional addition to any kitchen.
Klaussner Home Furnishings, Legacy Classic Furniture and Universal Furniture have all upped the ante on their kitchen island offerings by teaming with top celebrity chefs who know a thing or two about work spaces that make a kitchen hum.
Klaussner recently introduced its third collection of furnishings created in collaboration with country music singer, cookbook author and Food Network celebrity chef Trisha Yearwood. Named Coming Home, the latest collection combines industrial influences with vintage charm. The island features a “wheat” finish on two open shelves and two utility drawers. Matching counter-height stools slide up to the work surface overhang – a perfect spot for kids to cozy up.
Functionality is at the heart of the Complete Kitchen Island from celebrity chef Rachael Ray’s Highline collection with Legacy Classic. Its butcher-block top features an integrated trash receptacle with a removable cover. Other features include generous drawer storage, wine bottle shelves, two towel bars and an extended countertop that creates a bar.
For Universal Furniture, Paula Deen includes an informal kitchen island in her most-recent collection: Bungalow. Designed with a chef’s insight, it features a stainless-steel top – the professional’s choice for food prep and cleanup. One side offers generous storage with six drawers (including a drawer within a drawer) while an overhang on the other side creates a counter-height bar. Its turned leg styling and soft, off-white “Oleander” finish give it everyday elegance.
With the growing popularity of outdoor living spaces, the kitchen island is even finding a place as the hub of luxury outdoor kitchens. The latest offering from Gensun Casual Living even includes a fire feature in the center of the island.
“There have never been so many beautiful choices for creating a dynamic, versatile and comfortable kitchen, indoors and out!” concludes Hirschhaut.