Everywhere I turn, a friend or co-worker is starting a kitchen reno. (Good sign — the economy must be getting better if so many people are willing to update their homes!)
One of most common questions asked of me is: “Should I do an island?” And it is asked in such a way that tells me they don’t want to put one in, but somehow feel obliged. To which I say, despite seeing some pretty beautiful islands, that it seems the harvest table is back.
This is a lovely kitchen by French architect Joseph Dirand. And you must admit, this is a pretty spectacular island. It isn’t too big (some islands are so oversized they make actually working on them ridiculous). The almost Shaker-like trim fashioned out of marble is a clever design detail, too. You can really imagine this put to good use.
But compare it with this kitchen by designer Steven Gambrel. The palette is similar; the marble is similar; sheesh, even the floor is similar. But the difference lies in the use of the old farmhouse table instead of an island. And I think it is used to great effect. The worn wood warms up the space — it is a nice counterpoint to all that grey/white marble. It could be used for anything from a prep station (as seen above) to a casual dining table with a mix of chairs pulled around, or even a place for kids to do homework comfortably, while mom or pop are cooking. Double or triple duty — always a bonus! And there is just something about it that begs you to linger in this kitchen.
I often think that while we try to reinvent the wheel, the old ideas have so much heart — this is about a family or friends gathered in the farmhouse kitchen, actually spending time together. And whether you have a big farmhouse kitchen or not, isn’t that the vibe you want in your life?
Still deciding? Get inspired by even more kitchen island photos.