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 doubts, you could always ask a professional designer to go over your kitchen space and make a recommendation or, if you want to save money, you could visit friends who have a kitchen islands and make the necessary comparison. Moreover, you can choose for your kitchen island to be in an L, U, or a G shape.
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 kitchen is the heart of the home and you want it to be a room that is welcoming and cozy for family and guests. But kitchens tend to be busy places and can get messy and cluttered up pretty quickly with all of the appliances and gadgets, not to mention décor items, which can diminish the nice atmospheric state you're going for. One good solution is to install a kitchen island. Not only are they convenient as a means of additional workspace, but many are equipped with their own cabinets and drawers to help you prevent that untidy appearance.
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