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I call this a semi-recessed square leg. Even though the legs technically project from the panel, it creates the illusion of them being semi-recessed into the panel like a pilaster column in a wall. There's a panel connecting the two legs at each end, and this panel is slightly recessed from the legs in order to give the legs a three-dimensional look. If you set you panel flush, it defeats the purpose of having legs.
These legs are wide enough to simulate the door style, and they also have a bit of molding at the top and a base trim that projects a bit from the face of the leg. The stone countertop has been designed to follow the projection of the leg, and has a profiled edge, adding another level of detail that makes this island feel like a special furniture piece.
Tip: There's no rule to how much you should recess the panel, but I typically do 1/4" to and 1" max.
Contemporary round metal legs are semi-recessed into a wood island in this kitchen. Here the legs appear to lift the cabinets off the floor and make this island feel more airy and less heavy.
Very simple semi-recessed legs with a subtle furniture bevel along the edge make these legs look square at the top and notched as you move downward. Here a beadboard recessed panel rather than a door-style panel helps to maintain the modern country simplicity of this kitchen.
This island is similar to the previous one, but it has three legs on the side elevation — two flanking the recessed door panel and a third supporting the overhang (also connected by a apron).
The shaped apron below the countertop connecting the simple, square legs on this island really makes a statement. This is the sort of detail you might find on an old farmhouse table and I love it on this island. I also love that the cabinet section is still held up off the ground and legs flank both sides of the cabinets — this is the sort of design choice that might eat into the storage a few inches, but well worth the sacrifice.
Large, simple square legs are unembellished on this island, except for the furniture base trim along the bottom of both the legs and the island cabinets.
Tip: Proportions are important to consider — the size of the leg should complement the size of the island. There's no fixed rule to this, but I find that most legs fall between 3" and 7". When they get into the 8"-12" size, the island needs to be very large and the legs will look more like columns.
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