5 Fabulous Kitchen Islands
+ 1 Make-Ahead Recipe
The island has become a mainstay in today’s kitchen designs. With both form and function, the island boasts endless possibilities from prepping and serving food, offers an abundance of cabinet storage, and creates a place to house appliances. And let’s not forget extra seating. If your island has become the catchall for stacks of mail and the car keys (we are all guilty of this!), take a look at these drool-worthy kitchen islands which may just ignite and inspire you to channel your inner Marie Kondo and toss things that don’t bring you joy.
This Lake Martin home by Tom Adams and Adam Gerndt and Defining Home features a massive island topped with a single slab of marble creating a prep and eating surface that fits seamlessly with the kitchen’s clean, white palette.
Our 2014 Birmingham Home and Garden Inspiration Home kitchen has plenty of things to love: custom cabinets with paneled door fronts, matching pendants from Inline Lighting over the island, marble countertops and a very cool backsplash from Triton Stone Group. Barstools from Stock & Trade conceal extra storage compartments.
Twin Construction and interior designer Shea Bryars teamed up to design this Homewood kitchen that offers plenty of space for a couple who love to cook. A single sheet of marble from Triton Stone Group covers the island in a beautiful, durable surface and provides the perfect contrast to the dark wood cabinets below. Large doors and deep drawers offer plenty of storage.
The island in this house by Embassy Homes hosts a deep sink and the homeowner’s favorite touch: the X-design at the end of the island. "I saw one just like it in a magazine that featured Tom Brady’s kitchen and knew I had to have it," she says. Backsplash: Triton Stone Group. Countertops: Premier Surfaces. Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson. Appliances: AllSouth Appliance Group.
Discreet appliances are a signature of Cantley & Company kitchens, and this one Cindy Cantley designed with Interior Designer Aimee Belden is no exception. A pair of freezer drawers is tucked conveniently into the island, along with two compactors, one for trash and one for recycling. The vent hood over the range is disguised behind a gentle archway, adding architectural interest to the space. As with all of Cantley & Company’s cabinetry, appliances don cabinet fronts to blend seamlessly into the design.
And now that you’ve cleared the clutter from your own kitchen island, try out this tasty make-ahead flank steak recipe from Leslie Byars Register, author of Leslie’s Party Diaries.
Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
This recipe can be made ahead, or at least prepped in advance, to simplify the weeknight dinner madness or to ensure a more relaxing weekend at the lake or beach.

6 garlic cloves
2 large shallots
1 jalapeño pepper
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
3 cups fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups parsley
3/4 cup oregano
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 (2-pound) flank steak
Garnish with cilantro and grilled mini sweet peppers

Roughly chop the garlic, shallots, and jalapeño, and place into the bowl of a food processor. Add vinegar and salt; pulse 3 to 4 times (max) until evenly chopped. With a knife, roughly chop next 3 ingredients, and add to food processor. Add oil, and pulse 2 times; stop and stir mixture to ensure even chopping. Pulse 2 to 3 more times until coarsely and evenly chopped. In a large ziplock bag, evenly coat flank steak with 1 cup of the chimichurri sauce. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove flank steak from marinade, and pat dry. Grill at medium-high for 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining 2 cups chimichurri sauce. Serves 6.

Learn from Leslie: Grill the mini sweet peppers for 10 minutes while grilling the steak.

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