According to a survey from architect Duo Dickinson in This Old House Magazine, so-called kitchen islands are increasing in popularity.
Kitchen islands facilitate cookery and even socialising, as they match the overall decor of the room and provide a focal point during social gatherings. Fitting a cooktop to a kitchen island is also on the increase.
Mr Dickinson told the Around the Home website: "The kitchen island has become the icon of the modern kitchen – the 21st century equivalent of the old-fashioned hearth. Its easy to understand why: islands work."
The advises a multi-levelled feature to homeowners looking to customise their kitchen extensions, while also adding a sink and additional storage space and drawers so as to ensure everything is right where its needed.
The units can be made more fashionable and personalised through increasingly elaborate worktop finishes, or by falling back on classic high-end materials like marble and granite.
Homeowners should bear in mind, however, that marble worktops should be cleaned regularly owing to their porous qualities.