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.
A kitchen island is not a new concept, since they were known back in the medieval days when knights were bold. They are assuming increasing popularity in today's kitchens, particularly in larger homes where the kitchen is more than just a small cooking area compressed into an area somewhere between the dining room and the garden shed!
You may only have a limited space and you think that seating will only make your kitchen look crowded. However, it does not mean that you can't have seating. For a room with limited space, you can use smaller stools. To save space, you can also choose chairs that you can store in a closet when you do not need them.
Take the opportunity to make your kitchen island mutli-functional because there's lots of options to choose from. Just about any appliance can be built into it including cook tops, under-the-counter refrigerators, sinks, dishwashers and trash compactors. Deep drawers provide a place to store bulky cookware and pullout shelves allow for more easy access.
small kitchen island with wine rack
small kitchen island on wheels
small kitchen island cart