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.
Precise Measurement : Precise measurement of the overall footprint of your kitchen isle is crucial as the material that you are going to order or buy will solely depend on these set of measurements. Remember to cater enough room for people walking in and out of the kitchen. Measurement for each of the core components of the island is another part of the game that need to be perfect especially for those structures that will need to be integrated together to form the main framework of the kitchen island. Make it a point to record the measurement on a notepad or digital gadget, never write it down on a piece of paper that may get misplaced.
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.
Another alternative is to have a custom island designed just for your needs. Kitchen design experts can help you come up with an island that will fit perfectly into your space and also have all of the components you really want to have. You can add a cooktop, a sink, or even a built-in microwave oven which can free up a lot of your counter space. Both a cooktop and a sink built into an island can help the cook become more a part of the festivities when you're entertaining if the island is used as a room divider between the kitchen and other living spaces.
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