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If space allows, every modern kitchen should have an island. It makes it easy for the family to prepare food together, creates an invitingly warm atmosphere, and becomes a great place to gather. The kitchen island is also an easy way to incorporate additional storage with shelves, drawers, or cabinets underneath.
A less well-known, but equally functional alternative to the kitchen island is the peninsula. It’s basically the same thing, with the main difference being that an island is completely standalone, while a peninsula is attached to another row of cabinets. Before you decide between a peninsula or an island for your own renovation, there are a few things you need to consider.
One of the biggest design challenges you may face when remodeling your kitchen is the available space you have. Most people wrap the cabinets around the kitchen’s perimeter, but you need a fair bit of space to install even a small island. Keep in mind that an island is in the middle of the kitchen, so you’ll need at least three to four feet to walk around on all sides.
If space is an issue and you still want the island, a peninsula can be a better solution, especially in long and narrow spaces or open floor plans. It can connect to cabinets at your chosen end of the kitchen, and be as long or short as space allows.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s only natural for family members to gravitate to this special space. While an island is a great central point for everyone to meet, it can also create a lot of congestion which can be frustrating when there is a rush to get dinner on the table.
Opting for a peninsula instead of an island will limit family traffic to one side and make it easier for the “head chef” to prepare food. It can also separate the cooking zone from the dining area. The peninsula can still be a focal point for the family, and with the addition of a few bar stools, it can be a great place to congregate in the morning for breakfast.
While a peninsula can give you a larger storage corner, there is a downside. Large corners in kitchen cabinetry are often challenging to access. You may end up shoving things to the back and be reluctant to retrieve them when needed. One great solution to the corner cabinet problem the a lazy susan.
If you’re in the process of remodeling your kitchen and have your heart set on an island in the middle, don’t overlook the functionality and charm of a peninsula. Unless you have a wide, expansive space, the peninsula is worth considering.