Kitchen islands are the contemporary version of the old-fashioned kitchen worktable: a centrally located station at which to chop, slice, mix, roll, and knead. Today’s islands typically provide enclosed storage, as well as work space; some even house sinks, dishwashers, and other appliances. And of course lots of people also use their island as a place to eat. Some islands are freestanding pieces of furniture designed with work and storage in mind. Others are essentially an arrangement of cabinets that would ordinarily be built in, topped with a counter. Here is an example of how to make an affordable kitchen island by pulling together separate base units with decorative paneling.
One of my current commissions is an island for a new house designed by architect James Rosenbarger. The builder had included an unrealistically low allowance for kitchen cabinets and counters; the clients didn’t want the kind of stuff they could buy commercially for that sum.