An appealing alternative to the traditional kitchen island look: the modern-looking workbench.

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Above: German kitchen company Bulthaup makes the System b2 Workbench.

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Above two photos: A custom workbench in the London Loft of Ochre partner Solange de la Fouchardiere.

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Above: A sparsely outfitted kitchen; from the portfolio of Santa Monica-based photographer Lisa Romerein.

Berge

Above: The Berge kitchen in Southern Germany by Nils Holger Moormann.

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Above: Another kitchen workbench from Bulthaup.

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Above: A kitchen in Europe, via Style Files.