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.
If you are looking to do a complete kitchen remodeling for yourself, or for maximum resale value, don't neglect the kitchen island. Once just a place to pull up some stools so the kids could eat before running to the bus, the island and it's function in the kitchen has changed quite a bit in the last 10 years.
For those remodeling and looking for an "open" feel where perhaps the wall or half wall separating the kitchen and the dining room is taken down, a strategically placed island acts as a subtle room divider mentally separating the kitchen from the dining room but with a much more open feel.
Home improvement stores offer lines of cabinets that include kitchen islands, so you can design your entire kitchen to match. Stock cabinets contain drawers, cabinets, and bookshelves that are easy to reach, unlike some of your high cabinets. You can store a host of materials in a small area that used to be nothing but wasted floor space. Of course, you don't want to add such a large kitchen island that you make your kitchen impossible to move around in. After all, the idea of adding a kitchen island cabinet is to make your kitchen more efficient, not create traffic jams.
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