Kitchen Island Tables

Add a simple table area to your kitchen island with these design tips.
Wood kitchen cabinets

Wood kitchen cabinets

kitchen after

Photo by: BBP


By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

While a kitchen island can certainly serve its purpose as an additional spot for storage or food preparation, some pieces are also intended to be a place for gathering friends and family. In fact, many kitchen island tables shirk their typical duties in favor of diner-style seating and a casual dining environment.

Entertaining Kitchens

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Ultimate Entertaining Setup

Equipped with large sliding glass doors that open to an adjacent patio, this kitchen has an ideal layout for indoor/outdoor entertaining. Professional-grade appliances accommodate preparing large meals for guests. Design by Iliaja Karlusic of HBA / Hirsh Bedner Associates

Photo By: Designer, Ilija Karlusic

Impressive Kitchen Features

While top-of-the-line appliances aren't a necessity in an entertaining kitchen, a few special features will both impress your guests and provide easy access to food and beverages. This kitchen is outfitted with a convenient wine cooler, double ovens and a curved island where guests can gather.

Photo By: Designer, Vanessa DeLeon

Dual-Purpose Kitchen Island

This kitchen's L-shaped island offers ample workspace for more than one cook and provides a raised bar area where guests can gather. The glass cabinets showcase decorative dishware and provide easy access for serving guests. Design by Gail Drury of Drury Design

From: Drury Design

Photo By: Designer, Gail Drury

Center of Attention

Vibrant blue cabinets and glittering light fixtures make this dynamic kitchen the life of the party. State-of-the-art appliances make whipping up meals a cinch, while the spacious bar can be used to serve food and beverages. Design by Alia Meyer of Jessica Hall Associates

Photo By: Designer, Alia Meyer

Electronic Entertainment

For parties centered around sporting events or movies, a television in the kitchen is a fantastic feature. In this lively kitchen, the wall-mounted television is ideally placed so it can be viewed from both the bar and the seating area. Design by Lori Dennis of Dennis Design Group

Photo By: Designer, Lori Dennis

Gourmet Entertaining

A comfortable, efficient kitchen is a must for a serious cook who entertains both casually and formally. Bulthaup cabinets, high-end appliances and a carefully planned layout provide efficiency, while treasured heirlooms and antique French tiles make this space an inviting center of the home. Design by Van Tullis of Van Tillis Interiors, LLC. Photo by Hyunjung Bay

Photo By: Designer, Van Tullis

Functionally Zen

With a subtle blend of contemporary European elements and soothing Asian accents, this kitchen offers a tranquil setting for entertaining. An island with a cooktop allows the host to whip up meals while focusing on guests. Design by Troy Adams of Troy Adams Design

Photo By: Designer, Troy Adams

Cork Flooring for Kitchen

Cork flooring in the kitchen helps to muffle sound and cushion tired feet -- a welcome feature for both cooks and guests. Caramelized bamboo flooring in the adjacent family room meets the cork in a sweeping curve that enhances the openness of the space. Design by Amy Bubier of AB Design Elements LLC

Photo By: Designer, Amy Bubier

Dramatic Setting

A coffered ceiling creates an inviting space by adding depth and interest, while the kitchen's open layout and large bar area make it ideal for entertaining. Design by Ken Kelly of Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Inc. Photography by Ric Marder

Photo By: Designer, Ken Kelly

Ample Seating

This entertainer’s dream kitchen features professional-grade appliances for meal preparation and a 25-foot long peninsula that seats eight. Design by Shane Inman

Photo By: Designer, Shane Inman

Some hybrid kitchen islands marry the concept of additional food preparation space with extra seating for dining. These models typically are designed with one side serving as a working space, while the other half is used as a table space.

However, a new wave of kitchen island tables has been popping up in kitchens, looking instead like tables with extended legs rather than places for taking care of food preparation. Some of these table-like islands include shelving or cabinets below, while others nix the storage space in order to provide more leg room.

These kitchen island tables allow for more seating room, creating a casual space for dining within one of the most popular rooms in many homes. An overhead chandelier and decorative centerpiece will add to the feeling that the table is meant for entertainment rather than the overflow of work that can sometimes occur in a kitchen area.

And don't let the table aspect of the island keep you from sometimes using it as a work space. Instead, protect the top with place mats and cutting boards before relying on it for extra room to chop vegetables or mix together a fresh salad.

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