Well, I may have exaggerated a little bit in the title when I said balmy, perhaps warm and cozy would be more descriptive. Kitchen islands are a great place to hang out. You can either help the chef prepare the food or simply provide moral support while sitting at the counter. In my childhood home, down in Louisiana, you were expected to do both, whether you were one of the family, or a first-time visitor. Weekend cooking was a group effort which generally involved making delicious food. As adults we cut up the ingredients while entertaining the cook, and perhaps enjoyed festive beverage or two.
Islands are also a wonderful place for kids to sit and do their homework, while mom or dad cook and try to help with those difficult homework questions.
It is rare for us to design a kitchen which does not have an island. Sometimes there is more than one. We include everything from sinks to microwaves, refrigerator drawers to appliance garages, in our islands. Unless the kitchen is very small, we always try to include seating. Although peninsulas work well too. Occasionally instead of what we would consider an island, our clients decide to have a farm table. That can work just as well.
Anyway, enjoy your daydreams about your favorite tropical island, while cutting up shallots at your favorite kitchen island.