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The Best Islands and Counter Tables for the Unfitted Kitchen Look

One of 2019’s big shifts in kitchen design is the unfitted look. In the extreme, it’s a kitchen where everything is flexible and moveable. Think a freestanding range, work stations, and cabinets on legs instead of fixed in place.

This style of kitchen reflects the way we live now, with multi-purpose great rooms, plus historic lofts and garages that get rehabbed into kitchens. But it also harkens back to historic kitchens at great manors such as The Breakers, which was built in 1895 by Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Even if you have a traditional kitchen with cabinets mounted on the walls, you may want to consider adding a free-standing island or cabinet. A beautifully designed piece, like the ones by Coquo in Montreal, will help your kitchen keep up as your tastes and needs change.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite islands – also called counter tables, bar tables, and consoles – to help you find a piece that fits your style.

Palate Counter Table

CB2 palate counter table wood and marble
CB2, $599.

Bring the casual coffee-bar look to your kitchen with a reclaimed wood counter-height table. With grey-washed acacia wood and a pale Banswara marble top, it’s a perfect work surface whether you’re rolling out a pie crust or catching up on email. Add counter stools and you’re ready to eat.

Strut Bar Height Table

Bludot strut bar height table in white
Blu Dot, $1499.

The team at Minneapolis-based Blu Dot are masters at creating modern furniture that works anywhere, from an edgy boutique hotel to a dining area at a leading Silicon Valley tech company.

Frame Aluminum Bar Table

Frame aluminum bar table
Lumens, $1980

Designer Ramon Esteve used polyethylene resin to create this sleek table that works indoors and out. Whether you choose one with black or white edging, pair it with Emeco brushed aluminum Navy chairs for a vintage-modern look.

20th C. Salvaged Wood + Marble Kitchen Console

This time-worn-looking island is quintessential Restoration Hardware. Choose this to instantly add gravitas to your kitchen. It’s also available in deep chocolate-hued or black-washed wood, but we prefer the light natural shade that works with so many kitchen color schemes.

Fanin Large Bar and Counter Table

This sleek number from Scout & Nimble raises the style quotient of your kitchen considerably. It’s a great option for compact kitchens where you need a multi-purpose surface. And it easily doubles as a buffet at your next party.

Chapman Rustic Loft Open Storage Kitchen Island

Make a statement with this burly peroba wood and metal piece from Kathy Kuo Home. We like the open cubbies for displaying cookbooks or stacks of plates and bowls. Plus the design works equally well in industrial, rustic, and Asian-themed kitchens.

Fanbyn Bar Table

IKEA fanbyn bar table
IKEA, $169

IKEA’s kitchen game has been strong for years, so savvy designers and homeowners know to check out their current offerings. The Fanbyn table, with its eucalyptus wood base and painted acrylic top, is a great value piece that’s under $200.

Elworth Kitchen Island

There’s something really appealing about anything you can use two different ways. This weathered acacia wood piece with a concrete top works handsomely as a kitchen workspace. But when you pull out the accessory table, it becomes the life of the party, with room for serving an array of dishes and dining.

Braccas Island

Coquo braccas island table modular kitchen
Coquo, $1259.

Coquo, a product design company based in Montreal, is all about modular and unfitted kitchens. The Braccas island, shown here with the Felix countertop, is probably the most distinctive piece in their range of customizable kitchen furniture. It works equally well in the center of your kitchen or as a side table for sipping tea.