Barrier islands are a great way to divide a large space, as well as incorporating a functional worktop area that can be used alongside the other parts of a room. These work especially well in kitchens because as most chefs will know, cooking often benefits from getting as much worktop space as possible.
The large island also helps to direct the flow of traffic around the kitchen work space, offering more room to nearby community seating areas. They also make great use of bar stools that are placed on one side of the island, allowing people to sit and chat with the cook as well as providing an extra dining space.
Barrier islands are especially useful when the delineation of the cooking and eating areas of the room is hard to do, in this case a barrier island is the perfect answer. The islands themselves are normally made of wood, but there are varieties of different materials used to make the top.