Curved Kitchen Islands Are a Top 2023 Kitchen Design Trend

While it can be a storage space and a spot to enjoy your breakfast, a kitchen island is also a design statement. Farmhouse-style islands add rustic charm, while painted islands can provide a splash of color to an otherwise neutral kitchen. Like any other home decor element, styles change with the times, and the latest kitchen island trend will give your kitchen a modern edge—literally. Curved islands are a popular new way to elevate a kitchen and give it a more custom look.

The organic shape of a curved island ushers in a softness that’s in stark contrast to the mostly linear hard surfaces such as cabinets, backsplash tile, and appliances throughout the rest of the kitchen. It also offers much versatility, from a symmetrical oval shape to a one-sided curve, that helps maximize space and provides a solution for a tricky floor plan. So if you’re looking for a way to give your kitchen a refresh and add function as well as a touch of high-end style, see why design experts say curved islands are the latest kitchen trend.

  • Matthew Quinn is a kitchen and bath design expert and the CEO of Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio with a location at ADAC Atlanta and Nashville.
  • Ashley Montgomery is the principal designer at Ashley Montgomery Design.
  • Jenn Pablo is the owner and principal designer at Jenn Pablo Studio.

What Is a Curved Kitchen Island?

Curved kitchen islands come in various shapes, styles, sizes, and materials, but essentially they all have one thing in common: Rounded edges. This may mean the entire countertop has a pronounced oval shape, or you may find a half-moon shape at one end of the island. For a more subtle version of the trend, curved edges can be added to an otherwise rectangular island.

Interior designer Matthew Quinn explains the roots of this kitchen design trend. “Amorphic islands and kitchens are a trend influenced by Mediterranean architecture where walls seamlessly transition to cabinetry,” he says. “The material choices of the walls and cabinetry can take this concept from traditional to modern.” As is common with trends, they are typically seen in more than one industry at the same time and Quinn confirms the same is true for this trend. “These same shapes are also trending in furniture, cars, and fashion accessories”, Quinn adds.

Courtesy of Matthew Quinn / Emily Followill

How to Incorporate a Curved Island Into Your Kitchen

A curved island is a unique design feature that doesn’t just introduce an unexpected shape. Tt can also be an efficient and practical way to maximize kitchen square footage. If you are working with a challenging floor plan, particularly an open concept plan, the fluidity of a curved island helps make use of space that would otherwise go unused. If you have little ones in your home, you’ll also appreciate the safety aspect of a curved island as opposed to sharp edges that can pose an injury hazard.

One of the main benefits of a curved island is that its rounded shape allows for more flexibility when it comes to seating—both its arrangement and the number of bar or counter stools that it can accommodate. It also provides a good opportunity for built-in seating. Build a plush bench into the island and pair it with a round or oval table that echoes its curve for a stylish eat-in kitchen where friends and family can linger in comfort over a delicious meal or steaming cup of coffee. The built-in bench is a great vessel to add a pop of color and pattern through a fun fabric choice, as well as style and elegance with a tufted detail. If you’re concerned about keeping the fabric clean, there are stain-resistant materials available specifically designed with eat-in kitchens in mind.

Courtesy of Ashley Montgomery Design / Lauren Miller

Designers Say This Trend Is (Maybe) Here to Stay

When it comes to the longevity of the curved island trend, designer Ashley Montgomery says it will stand the test of time “I do believe that curved islands are here to stay, they have a way of softening a kitchen which can otherwise be very straight and linear,” she says. She notes that the curved detail takes an island from a standard kitchen fixture and immediately elevates it. “Adding curves helps give the island its own presence and act more like a piece of furniture in the space rather than just a utilitarian work space”, she explains.

While some experts see curved island being incorporated into kitchen designs for years to come, designer Jenn Pablo views it as more of a fad. “There are many well designed kitchens that do a beautiful job of adding soft organic lines to a space by installing a curved island,” she says. When it comes to its lasting power, however, she’s not so sure. “Personally, I think this growing trend may become dated in a few years. I think clean, straight lines are a bit more timeless.”

To ensure that a curved kitchen island stands the test of time, Quinn’s advice is to mix the organic shape with linear elements for a layered look. “Incorporate these fluid shapes with more classic shapes for a timeless design,” he says. Weaving in popular trends with classic elements is the best way to give them lasting power and to create a space whose layered design results in a more stylish final product.

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