Maximize natural light by having windows and skylights, and keep kitchen wall surfaces light in color to reflect daylight. Custom kitchen islands work great by using pendant or recessed fixtures to direct light onto the kitchen island and other work areas. Electrical codes will likely require that electrical outlets be located on the sides of fixed kitchen islands, not on the top, to prevent electrical shock.
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.
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.
Whatever style or theme you choose for your kitchen's makeover, make sure that it goes together with the area's size and color, as well as your family's interests and passions. For example, if your family loves the outdoors, you could fill up the kitchen with flowers and plants, use nature patterns in the tiles or counter tops, or display photos of your trips. Don't forget to have friends over and show them proudly what your family is all about through your kitchen island design.
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