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.
The dimensions and placement of your kitchen island will depend on the shape and space available in your kitchen. Professionals say that the island should be positioned at least 36" from existing cabinets and 42" from the range, refrigerator or dishwasher to allow plenty of room for opening doors and easy maneuvering around your workspace area. The height of your kitchen island can vary to suit your individual needs. If you can't make up your mind on that one, a multi-level island might be the solution.
Regarding colors and designs, kitchen islands can be made from a number of different materials. The framework is usually wood, but the main visible surfaces could be metal or even stone - granite is a popular substance used for counter tops. Stainless steel is also good, but try to avoid aluminum if possible, because that is very soft and easily cut and scratched, and the metal oxidizes to a dull finish.
Additional kitchen island ideas are to consider using shelf space on the sides of your kitchen island for cookbooks, collectibles or storage. A built-in TV works here, especially if it faces the family room. Or a microwave may work well for heating up after-school snacks and cooking foods quickly.
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