Kitchens can be tricky. It's easy for form to trump function in what's supposed to be the most functional room in a home. From the looks of our very active 'Kitchens' Pinterest board, it seems that everyone is looking for ways to make the heart of the home a harmonious marriage of beauty and practicality. The kitchens featured in our July/August travel issue master this balance, and our loyal pinners took note. The surprising component these kitchens had in common, all the way from the Hudson Valley to India and France? Why, an island, of course.
Along with her dining and living spaces, Laurence Doligé's kitchen is plunked down in the sand surrounding her thatched bungalow, and features a dark island with plenty of storage and a deep sink—proof that even the most unusual kitchens can benefit from a floating workspace.
Moving westward to the French countryside, designer Julia Leach uses a white table as a convenient prep station in her rustic kitchen, maximizing counter space and upping culinary efficiency.
We end our worldwide kitchen island journey in upstate New York, where dad duo David Land and Rumaan Alam utilize an island style found in many American homes. This one is big enough for kids to pull up a stool and partake in messy pancake mornings, or for thirsty adults to host a casual get-together with friends—both of which we would love to be invited to, if they took place in this homey space.