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.
A kitchen island can be a good option for those who live in a small home or apartment where there is no dining room available. If you also plan to use this furniture piece as a dining area, make sure that the seating is comfortable enough for eating.
Decide how you will use the island. Before getting the seats, it is important to know how you and your family plan to use the island. If you love entertaining guests who come to your home, you may only need stools for a more casual setting. If you have children and they are going to use the island to do their homework, then you need a lower counter and seating area.
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.
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