There’s a reason every great party seems to end up in the kitchen. It’s just nicer to hang out around the island with family and friends — not to mention the food! Here’s a roundup of our favourite hardworking islands, made festive for the season.
For designer Ingrid Oomen, founder of the design firm Qummunicate, holiday decorating is an exercise in restraint. In her kitchen, an all-white beauty with abundant bistro-style marble, subway tile and clean-lined cabinetry, branches hang from the ceiling thanks to hard-to-spot florist’s wire. Mismatched ornaments feel homey, but keeping them in a strictly edited palette of blue, white and silver keeps the look cohesive.
A white-on-white kitchen feels warm thanks to caramel-hued countertops and wood flooring. The homeowner wove a simple bough through the wrought iron light fixture that hangs over the island for a subtle infusion of holiday style. A cluster of mercury glass candle holders sits on the island, adding sparkle to the space.
Instead of setting a fruit bowl or mini tree on the island, consider replicating this pretty vignette: dig out your fancy china — or scoop some up at an antique shop or thrift shop — and arrange several pieces under an antique cake dome. It will add visual interest, and having the pretty pieces in plain sight will remind you to use them!
A mod grouping of wire pendant lights draws attention to the marble-clad island, where homeowner Miranda Ogilvie, a home stager and design consultant, often sets out a casual buffet for guests. Cool vintage barstools add character to the eclectic space, while jars of homemade tomato sauce make for tasty decorations.
In the kitchen of her Toronto Edwardian, designer Betty Theodoropoulos adds natural texture, and breaks up the expanse of Statuario marble, with a small piece of butcher block. An orchid has high-low charm when potted in a chic silver punch bowl and accented with a gnarled branch.
At designer Grace Castaneda’s weekend home in Creemore, Ont., crisp white cabinetry and butcher block counters set the country chic tone, while an open cabinet in warm maple replaces the old uppers.
This mod Vancouver home, designer Sophie Burke’s own abode, is great for entertaining thanks to its open concept set-up. A huge island feels airy thanks to its clean lines and thin Corian countertop. Sophie stuck with mostly natural decorations, creating candle holders out of bark-wrapped mason jars and setting simple sprigs of greenery in larger jars decorated with twine and pinecones.
One clever way to bring holiday cheer to the kitchen is with a DIY branch tree. Gather lightweight branches from the backyard, arrange them in a pretty vase and decorate with bulbs in different sizes and hues. Perched on a hardworking island, as in this airy, contemporary space, it adds an eye-catching hit of pretty.
The vibe at this cosy chalet is rustic and welcoming. A sturdy island separates the kitchen from the living area, provides storage (we love the woven baskets, which wrangle clutter and add a hit of natural texture to the space) and is the perfect spot to linger with a cuppa on a snowy morning.
Get more holiday decorating ideas.