Space and Design are Important : You need around 3 feet of walking space around the island unit, and you must be sure that the drawers and doors in the cabinets have room to open. If you keep to the 36 inches then you should be OK. The only dimension that must be stated is that of the counter height. Ideally it should be the same as the rest of your kitchen units. If not, then it is not a disaster, but can be disconcerting when you are working on the various surfaces at varying heights.
If you are not looking just for resale value, and we assume many of you will actually want to use your island, just think if the main uses for the island before construction. Will it be a place for the kids to eat breakfast or a baking center for your wife who like to make pies and cakes? The design should really follow the function when it comes to an island. For example, if you are tired of not being able to put hot pots directly on your countertop, install granite on your island, where placing a red hot pan should be no problem.
Countertop material for the island doesn't have to match the rest of your kitchen countertops as long as it is harmonious with the room's overall design. You may want to splurge on solid surfacing here, for example, and use laminate on the other countertops. A butcher-block countertop is ideal for chopping, while granite or marble works well for baking purposes and for rolling pastry dough.
The next thing to focus on is the materials you'll need, which include everything else aside from the measurements. Plumbing and electricity should be covered properly before you proceed to decorate your kitchen. The kitchen island design's main purpose is to make the kitchen a wonderful place for family gathering. With this in mind, you can choose the appropriate furniture, appliances, and accessories.
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