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 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.
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.
Whatever time of day it is, there's always someone using the kitchen as a refuge of sorts. That's why it is only fair that the kitchen be given special treatment, beginning with no less than a makeover. A kitchen makeover is a great way to customize your kitchen according to the needs of your family.
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