Welcome to vol. 2 of Kitchens with Character.  In my last post, we examined 6 kitchens made extraordinary with wallpaper.  Today, let’s take a look at delightfully surprising kitchen islands.  Since the island is a large mass that sits in the middle of this formerly utilitarian space, it only makes sense that, as home decorators start to turn their attentions kitchenward, the island becomes a breeding ground for bold experimentation.  Following are 8 kitchens, in which, the island is the focal point.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

Jean-Louis Deniot composed designed this unexpected kitchen island with stainless steel, blackened, and mirrored panels.  The result is a chic patchwork of lustrous surfaces that simultaneously blend in and stand out in this neutral-hued kitchen of grays and metallics.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

In this kitchen, the island echoes the backsplash and totally steals the show.  Gold, silver, and gunmetal mosaic tiles compose and up-to-date, oversize floral pattern.  Stunning!

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

Meghan McCain’s favorite piece in her apartment is her kitchen island.  I can see why.  Instead of an ordinary boxy island, she had a custom table from Phillips Collection built to appropriate portions.  The free-form piece is Brutalist-inspired but with a lustrous, mother of pearl-like finish.  It utterly breaks the mold.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

What happens when two designers decide to spend their lives together and share a home?  That home becomes impossibly cool and stylish.  And, in the case of Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, their kitchen is no exception.  In particular, their kitchen island is clad in perfectly patinaed brass, radiating warmth in the largely black and white space.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

Here’s an easy hack (and one I might soon employ): just paint it!  Peach may be an unexpected color choice for this kitchen bar, but it certainly draws the eye.  As an added bonus, it also makes those barstools pop.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

This kitchen island may be a more traditional choice, but still makes a statement.  Painted black, pinstriped in white, and adorned with glamorous brass hardware; one can’t help but be drawn in.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

Industrial, Brutalist, organic…  It’s difficult to nail down this kitchen island, the handiwork of Jeffrey Alan Marks.  Regardless, it’s undisputedly the focal point of this Sonoma kitchen and beautifully crafted to boot.

Kitchens with Character vol. 2 | Surprising Islands | Motley Decor

The mirrored island in this kitchen reflects light and adds a dose of panache.  It’s an unexpected by welcome compliment to the blue cabinetry.

If you’re in the process of trying to infuse your kitchen with a bit of your sparkling personality, I hope this post inspired you to take a second look at your kitchen island.  If not, I’ve got more kitchen design ideas coming your way.  So, don’t be shy…subscribe!