Safety First! You are better off without it if you are using up all the free space in the room. Your kitchen should be spacious and you should never feel restricted in your movement - in fact it can be dangerous if you are. Yes, a kitchen island is good to have, but not if your safety and freedom of movement are compromised to accommodate it.
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.
Your first consideration when deciding on a which type of kitchen island you'd like should probably be how you plan to use it and their functions are as varied as the wide range of design options. They can be a utilized as a food preparation area, a baking center, a serving spot for an informal meal or buffet and the perfect setting to sit and nibble a snack or sandwich. An island even can provide a quiet spot for children to do their homework, close to mom while she gets after school snacks or dinner together.
Besides meal preparation, the kitchen can become a gathering area for family and friends if there is enough space. Since so much happens in the kitchen on a regular basis, getting the layout right is important. The kitchen island can serve as an additional eating area, and food preparation can easily be done there. In a large kitchen, the kitchen island can shorten the distances within the working triangle (sink, refrigerator and range or cooktop) and make it more efficient.
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