Kitchen & Cooking

This Designer Took 'Kitchen Island' Way Too Literally

Robert Kolenik's unique aquarium island is stylish yet functional.

Designer Robert Kolenik's 'Ocean' concept brings the sea to your kitchen Credit: Robert Kolenik

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Ever wonder what it would be like if your kitchen island were more like an actual island? Well, if you act quickly, Dutch designer Robert Kolenik might be able to help you out.


Kolenik's new Ocean Kitchen is a limited-edition, made-to-measure project that’s as gorgeous as anything else in his impressive portfolio of luxury home designs.

It’s essentially a giant freshwater aquarium that doubles as a kitchen island. The entire countertop is a single unit, so you don’t lose any surface area, though obviously you won’t have as much room for storage. That said, spatial efficiency is a big part of the design.

The aquarium uses mirrors to make the tank look bigger than it actually is, and it's shaped like a giant L. That leaves room for a non-aquarium corner that includes a functional cooking area complete with a built-in sink and gas cooktop. Under the counter, one cabinet houses a water filtration system, while the rest are host to plumbing and gas lines, as well as traditional storage for pots and pans.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Kolenik’s design is how easy it is to maintain. The entire countertop lifts straight up into the air at the touch of a button, giving you direct access to the water (and fish) below—no flaps or hidden doors required.

Are visions of a huge personal lobster tank swimming before your eyes? Because they certainly are for me.

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