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.
Mind Your Head : If you are hanging anything from the ceiling, make sure that there is sufficient clearance so that people do not bang their heads on a skillet or frying pan! Clearance is all-important with kitchen islands, because there is not a lot worse than having a kitchen that is severely restricted in space just to accommodate an island. The island should complement your kitchen, not dominate it.
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.
Home improvement stores offer lines of cabinets that include kitchen islands, so you can design your entire kitchen to match. Stock cabinets contain drawers, cabinets, and bookshelves that are easy to reach, unlike some of your high cabinets. You can store a host of materials in a small area that used to be nothing but wasted floor space. Of course, you don't want to add such a large kitchen island that you make your kitchen impossible to move around in. After all, the idea of adding a kitchen island cabinet is to make your kitchen more efficient, not create traffic jams.
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