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 wish to have granite or marble as island top, do ensure that you have invest in a much more studier base that is capable of support the heavy weight of these material. The granite top can have box shape cuts at certain areas to include a sink, a grill and an electric stove. Below the island top one can add pipes to supply water to the sink or electricity to the appliances. The shelves can be polished or painted differently from the top to get a splendid looking kitchen isle.
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.
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!
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