In addition to seating 4 (or more), islands today are used to house "luxury" appliances that do not fit in the cabinet structure like a second microwave, second oven, wine refrigerator or even another cooktop. Islands many times are fully wired for electricity and have plumbing for a second sink. The base of an island can be used as a wine rack. The possibilities are almost endless.
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.
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!
For example, we have seen islands of concrete when the rest of the kitchen countertop is made of granite or another material. We have seen a black island used as a nice "dividing wall" to keep the kids away from a white kitchen.
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