An island with surfaces at different heights solves some common kitchen challenges. Although standard counter height is 36 inches, a small cook or someone who needs to sit down will find it too high, while a tall person may find it too low. A three-level island offers options.
It also provides the opportunity to have a table-height (30 inches) place to eat even if the kitchen doesn’t have room for both an island and a table. Even better, diners can face each other around the table instead of sitting in a row pointed in the same direction.
The top level of the island is likely to be 42 inches tall, or standard bar height. It’s a good place to locate a microwave or warming drawer—tucked out of sight, but not so low the appliance becomes difficult to use. Display flowers or other décor on the countertop.