Kitchen islands work best in larger L, U or G-shape kitchens. If the kitchen is too small, the kitchen island will become an obstruction and hinder easy movement. The best custom kitchen islands for small to midsize kitchens are a portable butcher block or kitchen cart for food prep or extra storage.
Regarding colors and designs, kitchen islands can be made from a number of different materials. The framework is usually wood, but the main visible surfaces could be metal or even stone - granite is a popular substance used for counter tops. Stainless steel is also good, but try to avoid aluminum if possible, because that is very soft and easily cut and scratched, and the metal oxidizes to a dull finish.
What can we expect to pay for an island during a remodel? This one is too hard to answer because there are simply too many choices. A "ready to install" stock island you can purchase in a home store with connections for drainage and power can run about $800. A custom concrete countertop island with sink, cooktop, and wine refrigerator can easily eclipse $10,000.
One of the biggest pluses about kitchen islands is that most of them contain extra storage space for all of the paraphernalia that is so necessary in a kitchen today. A kitchen island cabinet can be just the solution to the problem of "Where am I going to put that?"