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housepeepers
I have an IKEA butcher block "island" that works great in my small kitchen and the warmth of the wooden top is a plus.
   
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TM N55
Don't forget that Catskill makes wonderful sturdy islands with many sizes to choose from. An old sewing table (no drawer type) from garage sale works wonders and place a large cutting board on top. You can store things under it such as a nice basket with a lid and fill it with appliance not used often or recyleables.
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smtp
on several kitchen renos i opened all the "large" doors, oven-fridge-dishwasher, then taped out the remaining area and set ordinary boxes within the taped area. after working in the kitchen for a few days with this faux island, i was able to build the perfect sized islands in all 3 cases. in two instances the kitchen was the selling point of the home. you can go as big or as small as you like, however at 6' tall i find the biggest is best = less walking, easier reaching of utensils, etc.
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