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Marble Counter Kitchen Island

The Evolution of the Kitchen Island: From Servant’s Prep Space to Virtual Schooling Desk—and Everything in Between

blue kitchen island with marble counter
The kitchen island has become a staple in modern homes, but it’s come a long way since its humble beginnings.

You may recall when kitchen islands went mainstream in the 1970s and 80s. As more time-saving—but space-taking—appliances joined us in the kitchen (microwaves, toaster ovens, bread makers, Kitchen-Aid stand mixers), counter space was at a premium. Simple butcher-block squares, sometimes on wheels, provided extra prep space and a bit more storage. Hardly a place to entertain, these islands were less paradise and more practical.

However, kitchens islands have been around much longer than you’d think. In the 1800s, kitchen staff used sturdy tables in the kitchen every day to prepare and plate meals. Much like you’ve seen in movies and TV shows like Downton Abbey, kitchen work was hidden away in the back or lower portions of a house, away from the home’s owners and their guests.

After World War II, homes shifted from containing compartmentalized rooms and grids of hallways to flowing open floor plans with sightlines throughout. The island became a logical way to show separation between the kitchen and other sections of the home. The mid-century mom could create nutritious meals while keeping an eye on the kiddos.

Now, kitchen islands are the hub of the room—and at times—the house. Large, granite-clad islands not only provide extra space to cut vegetables and arrange charcuterie platters, but they can house sinks, stovetops, microwaves, and other essentials while also providing extra storage. Centrally located and well-lit, islands provide the perfect space to sit and sip wine with your book club, gather the family for informal weeknight meals or apps on football Sunday, or display trays of food for buffet-style serving for holiday dinners and other special occasions.

This year, the kitchen island is an even more useful fixture in our clients’ homes. Modern-day islands are now equipped with electrical outlets and cellphone charging stations, making them attractive options for virtual schooling or working from home. Design options for kitchen islands abound, and the only limit for how an island can function in your home is your imagination. The design experts at Dakan Homes can build you a kitchen island—and a beautiful, efficient home to surround it. Contact us or give us a call at (732) 908-2010 to learn more.

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