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Modern Kitchen Islands: Think Geometry and the Unexpected

by Susanne Clemenz

Sleek. Efficient. Airy. Bold. These adjectives are more true of modern kitchen islands than of their country or traditional cousins. Modern units, whether custom kitchen islands or store-bought, have certain visual and functional elements in common with each other.

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Achieving A Modern Kitchen Islands Style

  • Purpose: The visual form of the island is often dictated by what needs the island will fulfill that the kitchen presently lacks. Enclosed storage for large pots? Breakfast seating for two? A bar/prep area complete with a sink?
  • Materials: Materials for a modern kitchen island vary tremendously. A butcher block top may be the only touch of wood amid oceans of stainless steel. A glossy granite top offsets low-luster wood. The island may be an open stainless steel cart that moves your meal from kitchen to patio. The whole island may be wood, metal, or laminate.
  • Design elements:Geometry prevails, but not without some surprises. How about a trapezoidal or partly undulating shape, or stainless steel blocks separating the work surface from the cabinet below? The lines of modern kitchen islands tend toward a light, unornamented look, even if the colors are often dark blocks. An airy look is augmented by having 3 to 4" legs rather than having the island sit on the floor. Colors are often neutral--black, white, silver overall with just a splash of color. Monochromatic schemes work well.

Add one or two accents--a set of leopard spotted glass pendants, an asymmetrical clock, an art glass vase on the window sill. These touches personalize the overall look and may even add humor. Start planning your modern kitchen island today.

About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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