As the kitchen evolved from a work space hidden from guests to the place where everyone wants to congregate, the kitchen island became a must-have for many homeowners.
It’s easy to understand why: An island doesn’t just provide an extra work surface and add space for storage and appliances — it creates an area where family and friends can pull up a seat.
“No matter how large your home is, everyone tends to gather around the kitchen island,” said Jessica Nicastro, an interior designer based in Los Angeles. “Any party that you have, your kitchen island is the central meeting point. It also acts as a buffet, a homework center for children and a breakfast table.”
Workstead. “Oftentimes, I find it very confusing when you see a big island with lots of seating bordering a huge dining table with lots of seating. To me, it feels superfluous. But at the same time, I know it’s fun to sit at an island while someone’s cooking.”
To decide what works best for you, she said, consider how much seating you really need (especially if there’s a dining table directly beside the island), as well as how much space you require for kitchen essentials. In smaller kitchens, it might be better to forgo room for stools and maximize storage space.
At Ms. Brechbuehler’s former home in Gallatin, N.Y., she and her husband and business partner, Robert Highsmith, designed an island without seating. Instead, the island has a sink and dishwasher on one side; on the other side are deep storage drawers accessible from an adjacent dining area.
Worrell Yeung designed, a cantilevered section on the side of an island has room for two stools, with plenty of space elsewhere for storage. “We like activating the ends of islands, where it can function more like a desk or a work space,” said Jejon Yeung, a partner at the New York-based firm.
For another Manhattan loft, the architects designed an island resembling an enormous block of Ceppo di Gré marble, with two voids — one on the front and one on the side — that offer places to sit.