March 1999
5 Hardworking Islands
These Multifunctional Examples
Combine Efficiency and Style
When the kitchen takes center stage as the principal gathering place for family and friends, the kitchen island comes under the spotlight. Designers and manufacturers have responded to the island's prominence, adapting it to serve a broad range of uses, from a simple work surface for food preparation to a multifunctional unit with areas incorporating cooktops, sinks, buffet counters, dishwashers, recycling centers, and storage compartments. The archipelago on these four pages illustrates some of the multipurpose magic that can be worked by a kitchen island.

Cleverly disguised to blend into a 1905 Queen Anne home, this kitchen island mimics a turn-of-the-century table, but it's really 1990s high-tech. The wrought iron and steel frame supports a cherry top with drawers on both sides; open-rack shelves at the ends provide readily accessible storage.

Tucked under the island is a roll-out recycling center with three pullouts?for trash, glass, and plastic?and a drawer at the bottom specially sized for newspapers; the cart boasts a chopping-block top and locking caster, which make it a work center as well. Though designed as a multifunctional work unit, the island has space for two stools on one side for those who'd rather chat than chop.