Pick a countertop for your island that matches your other counters or make it stand out by using a contrasting material. Also, your choice of cabinetry and decorative elements can make your island into a real quality item, similar to a fine furniture piece.
Know how much space you have. If you have a large kitchen island, then you can use full size chairs. For home owners who only have a smaller one, they may only use two seats. You should also decide the space that your guests can have. Sometimes, kitchen islands are merely used for decorative purposes rather than practical seating. So if you want to add seats, you should make sure that you have enough space in your kitchen for them.
Allow adequate countertop space on both sides (left and right) of the kitchen island if a sink or cooktop will be used. Include at least 15 inches of countertop space on each side, and if your kitchen is large enough, allow even more space. You can never have too much countertop space in a kitchen. Also, rounded countertop corners help protect everyone from bad bruises -- this is true about all kitchen countertop corners.
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.
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