French-Style Kitchen Islands
French-style kitchens come in many styles and forms. The key to finding—or designing—the perfect French kitchen island lies in the nuances.
This spacious transitional kitchen mixes traditional white cabinetry and a maple-top island with modern stainless steel appliances and fixtures. The result is a crisp, clean kitchen with simple yet stylish appeal. Design by Thomas A. Conway
Ideal for hosting parties or cooking for two, this functional kitchen features an arched vent hood, detailed cabinetry and alcoves built in above the stove to hold spices, oils and other flavorings for convenient cooking. Design by Gail Drury
The dark wood cabinetry, neutral tile backsplash and beige walls help make this cozy kitchen a warm and inviting atmosphere. A built-in wine refrigerator is the perfect accompaniment to bar seating and provides additional countertop space for entertaining. Design by Beth Haley
Designer James Howard turned a small, cramped kitchen into a sleek and pleasing space by adding an earth-toned splash of color. The tan and cream backsplash complements the light cabinetry while adding an additional element of warmth. Both under-cabinet lighting and recessed lighting reflect off the backsplash and cabinetry, creating a vibrant and lively kitchen.
Sage, orange and yellow serve as a pleasing color combination in this tropical kitchen. To spice up the country, rustic wood furnishings and balance the two varying design styles, designer Amy Bubier added a sleek and contemporary dining table with simple upholstered chairs, as well as modern light fixtures and accessories to create a dynamic and vigorous atmosphere.
Designer Ken Kelly didn't leave out a single detail when creating this kitchen masterpiece. The ceiling's peacock feather detail draws in the room's hues, from the colorful tile flooring to the eclectic backsplash and bold blue walls.
Dark wood cabinetry and tan tile flooring are immediately brightened by a flourish of natural light and neutral beige walls. For a crisp, clean look, designer Velvet Hammerschmidt cleared off the countertops and kept the decor to a minimum. This allows the contemporary light fixtures and colorful breakfast nook cushions to claim the spotlight.
To spice up the cherry wood cabinetry in this sophisticated kitchen, RMS user kasint integrated customized tin inserts on the range hood and island soffit. An oversized island provides just the right amount of space for setting up a small buffet during a party or casually dining on bar stools.
This earth-friendly kitchen features Lyptus cabinetry, a sustainable tropical hardwood, and concrete countertops for a natural look that's also good for the environment. RMS user sandradinohio added stainless steel appliances, chairs and accessories to modernize the space while still providing familiar traditional elements.
Whether your inspiration is a Parisian bistro (think black-and-white color scheme with a subway tile backsplash and industrial-style pendant lighting) or French country (light-colored, furniture-style cabinetry with an antiqued or distressed finish), you'll want to find just the right balance to pour on the European charm. Thick butcher-block countertops, for instance, evoke the nostalgic appeal of 20th-century French butcher shops.
Metallic accents, like wrought-iron detailing, brushed or polished hardware and brass accessories are not only great decorative options—they also add an eye-catching layer of dimension and old-world authenticity.
Bistro-style kitchens are more contemporary in feel; the overall effect is generally more striking and dramatic than a French country kitchen, which is all about comfort and a worn-over-time appeal.
Regardless of which French expression you're inspired by, be true to your style, and make sure the color, texture and shape of the kitchen island are consistent with the rest of your kitchen.
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