Safety First! You are better off without it if you are using up all the free space in the room. Your kitchen should be spacious and you should never feel restricted in your movement - in fact it can be dangerous if you are. Yes, a kitchen island is good to have, but not if your safety and freedom of movement are compromised to accommodate it.
If you have a big island that can accommodate many people, consider using full benches. The benches can be with or without backing to allow for more comfortable seating.
The kitchen is perhaps the most visited part of any home. Here is where hearty meals are lovingly prepared and shared over pleasant conversation among family and friends. Here is where kids sneak off to eat ice cream in the middle of the night. Here is where couples end their rendezvous with microwave snacks just before dawn. Here is where cups of coffee are savored and papers are read every morning.
If you have doubts, you could always ask a professional designer to go over your kitchen space and make a recommendation or, if you want to save money, you could visit friends who have a kitchen islands and make the necessary comparison. Moreover, you can choose for your kitchen island to be in an L, U, or a G shape.
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