Western Living Magazine
The Design Files: Three Bedroom Looks We Love
6 Ways to Incorporate Colour into Your Home
Before and After: A Designer’s Own 1980s Rancher Gets a Fresh ‘Modern Beach House’ Look
6 Comfort-Food Dinners Perfect for Rainy Weeknights
The Twisty Cheesy Buns that Make -40°C Winters Worthwhile
This Super-Simple Ribollita Will Be Your New Favourite Winter Meal
Editors’ Picks: The Best Trips We Took in 2022
Victoria Might Just Be the Perfect Pre-New Year’s Getaway
Discover the Perfect Winter Getaway in Penticton
This Designer of the Year Finalist Just Launched a Gorgeous New Furniture Line
Protected: Looking For The Best Cooling Mattress? Douglas Delivers
Editors’ Picks: What We’re Reading Over the Holidays
Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
7 designer tips for crafting the ideal island.
The kitchen island is a magnet—the place where the kids beeline after school, where dinner party memories begin and late nights out end. So we’ve compiled seven intriguing design ideas from top-notch kitchens to inspire the centrepiece of your next kitchen reno.
This room is almost a square, so designer Juli Hodgson built the oversized island—over 11 feet long and four feet wide—to proportionally fill the space. Because homeowner Sally Douglas (seen here) and her husband, Mark Reid, have seven children between them (four of whom are still at home), a big island was important. “It’s where we spend all our time,” she says, “gathered around this counter in the kitchen, drinking wine and having a laugh.”MORE: A Modern Take on an English-Style Kitchen
“I’m a graphic designer, so I love things to be perfect and neat,” says homeowner Douglas. “And the thing this kitchen is teaching me is that the wooden counters I adore will stain and get marked and have chips in them. And I love that about the counter—it’s a living thing.”
If you want your kitchen island to function as a seating area, create seating on both sides to avoid the “soldiers in a row” factor, says designer Connie Young; otherwise, it’s hard to talk to one another and you won’t use the space regularly.MORE: Inside a Functional, Warm and Refined Kitchen
Instead of all-white quartz, opt for a speckle or veining, or a material with texture so guests won’t easily notice stray crumbs, spots or water marks.
“People have the perception that glass tables are very, very fragile,” says Young. “Glass is actually the most durable material you could possible use on a kitchen table. We chose the back-painted glass so it’s durable, but it gives that touch of glam to the space, too.”
“It’s like a magnet; everybody goes to the kitchen island,” laughs designer Nam Dang-Mitchell. Because of this Calgary room’s open layout, there was lots of room for an extra-large design—this one seats four mix-and-matched barstools, thanks to an inset on either side, and still provides plenty of built-in storage and a wet sink.MORE: See the whole Dang-Mitchell-designed kitchen here.
Are you over 18 years of age?