Space and Design are Important : You need around 3 feet of walking space around the island unit, and you must be sure that the drawers and doors in the cabinets have room to open. If you keep to the 36 inches then you should be OK. The only dimension that must be stated is that of the counter height. Ideally it should be the same as the rest of your kitchen units. If not, then it is not a disaster, but can be disconcerting when you are working on the various surfaces at varying heights.
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.
Your first consideration when deciding on a which type of kitchen island you'd like should probably be how you plan to use it and their functions are as varied as the wide range of design options. They can be a utilized as a food preparation area, a baking center, a serving spot for an informal meal or buffet and the perfect setting to sit and nibble a snack or sandwich. An island even can provide a quiet spot for children to do their homework, close to mom while she gets after school snacks or dinner together.
One of the biggest pluses about kitchen islands is that most of them contain extra storage space for all of the paraphernalia that is so necessary in a kitchen today. A kitchen island cabinet can be just the solution to the problem of "Where am I going to put that?"
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