Kitchen Islands vs. Peninsulas

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If you’re looking to add some structure and extra space to your kitchen, you might be thinking about a kitchen island or peninsula. While these two features are similar, they are different in form and function, so choosing one over the other depends on your kitchen and your needs. 

What Is A Kitchen Island?

An island is a free-floating structure in the kitchen that isn’t attached to any other part of your countertop. This is a great solution for lots of homeowners because it allows natural movement around the feature and access from all sides.

What Is A Kitchen Peninsula?

A kitchen peninsula is often attached perpendicular to the main L-shaped countertop. It usually juts out about one-third or halfway to the opposite wall, creating a U-shaped countertop space. While an island may have a different design or aesthetic than the main countertop, a peninsula tends to merge seamlessly with the rest of the countertop.

winthorpe design build kitchen islands vs peninsulasBoth islands and peninsulas are great solutions for your kitchen. They can give you more counter space up-top and more room for storage below. But how do you decide which one is the better solution for you?

Kitchen Island Features

  • Space. The nice thing about islands is they give you a fair bit of wiggle room in terms of spacing. Play around with where you want it to sit before you commit. An island provides wider passageways for traffic and social gatherings.
  • Style. You can keep your island consistent with the look of the rest of your countertops, or you can change it up. Your kitchen island is an opportunity to have fun with style while staying true to the design aesthetic. It can stand out as an accent piece or blend in.
  • Social. Somehow, guests always seem to gravitate towards a kitchen island. It’s a great spot for loved ones to gather around while still having a place to put drinks and nibbles. Nothing says ‘party’ like a kitchen island loaded up with snacks!

winthorpe design build kitchen islands vs peninsulasPeninsula Features

  • Workflow. Peninsulas are great if you need extra space for cooking or baking. Everything is within arms-reach, and you can easily move from one zone to another without interruption.
  • Consistency. If you’re after a seamless look, a peninsula may work well for you. Stone and solid countertops can create a smooth, continuous workspace without breaking up the visual flow.
  • Utility Placement. Peninsulas are useful if you plan to add another sink or an electrical appliance underneath. A peninsula continues the existing lines and wiring from the main hub of the counter and can save you money and effort in the long run.

Requirements and Concerns

So, what’s the right choice? There are a few things to consider before making your pick. What are your priorities when it comes to your kitchen? How much space do you have to work with?

If you have a kitchen that’s on the smaller side, a peninsula might be your best bet. Because an island is separate from the rest of the counter, you’ll need more space for the island itself and the walkways in-between. For islands, walkways must be a minimum of 36 inches wide for non-working spaces, and at least 42 inches wide for working spaces. 

While peninsulas are much more space-efficient, they can create ‘blind cabinet’ zones. Because of the 90-degree angle that attaches the peninsula to the countertop, it might be challenging to get at the cabinets below. But there are plenty of ‘blind cabinet’ space solutions that can solve this problem.

When designing, keep the ‘kitchen triangle’ in mind. Your workspace consists of three points: the sink, the fridge, and the stove. Everything in your kitchen must be accessible, and you should be able to navigate through it safely and efficiently. 

Cost Differential

Kitchen peninsulas and islands run around the same cost, although islands might be slightly less. A peninsula can involve a bit more patching and wall work. Because islands are independent from the rest of the counter, it’s easier to install them, although that can change if you’re choosing to put in a sink or a cooktop.

Ultimately, there isn’t one hands-down choice that’s better than the other. It’s all about your personal preference and the shape and size of the space you’re working with.

If you’re looking to install an island or peninsula in your kitchen, we would love to help. Our kitchen designers can help you make the best choice for your space, giving you a finished product that exceeds all expectations. Reach out today, and let’s get started.

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