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Island or peninsula: how to decide what’s best for you

Which of these kitchen favourites would work best in your re-design?
   Luke Arthur Wells  |  written on: 18-07-2019 12:30pm

It doesn’t take much of a delve into the world of kitchen planning to know what a kitchen island is, but what about a peninsula? Well, in the same vein of using land mass descriptions to identify layouts of a kitchen, it’s where a length of cabinetry juts out in the space, but is still attached on one side to the wall.

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Inspiration by Diane Berry Kitchens


The benefits this kind of design offers is much the same as an island - it gives you extra storage and surface space and also helps the kitchen to become a more social space, where you’re not just facing a wall to do your food prep. So why choose one over another when it comes to a kitchen design? Well, it all comes down to the size of your kitchen space and how you want it to operate.

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The key to using an island in a design is having the space around it on all four sides to ensure that movement is free-flowing. While you may be married to the aesthetic of an island already, in the wrong space, it can feel awkward and cumbersome to move around. Larger, open-plan spaces work best, but also rooms with square layouts, as opposed to more rectangular spaces.

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Inspiration by Simon Taylor Furniture


A peninsula is going to affect the flow in a similar way, but instead of creating a circuit, you’re guiding movement through a specific walkway. While an island is a great way to create spaces dedicated to specific tasks in an open plan kitchen, a peninsula has a more ‘broken plan’ effect, maintaining an open plan look, but really zoning the kitchen within a frame of cabinetry.

Like an island, a peninsula works best when it keeps cooking to one side and entertaining to another, offering bar stools for seating on one side, and then possibly placing a hob or sink on the peninsula work surface to give you a better view to the social space when working in the kitchen, or just leaving the space free for prep.

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Inspiration by LWK Kitchens


A peninsula does create a one-way flow of traffic through a space however, and where a family member or guest can nip past you in the kitchen while you’re cooking by circumnavigating the island, when entering the kitchen past a peninsula, it’s a much more cut off and discrete space you’ve created for your kitchen. This is possibly why I think islands are more popular, however, if you have the wrong shape room, or just don’t want to give up that extra corner of storage and work surface space, a peninsula should be the next best thing for your kitchen. 

Also read:
Real Home: ugly duckling turned industrial beauty

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Luke Arthur Wells


Luke is an interior designer, stylist and blogger at www.lukearthurwells.com. He’s a believer in understated interiors that don’t have to shout to be heard, and he’s currently practicing what he preaches renovating a Victorian terrace in Essex, where he lives with his partner and two pampered pups. When it comes to his design style, he loves new and interesting building materials, a carefully chosen white paint and he also has a weakness for coffee table books and a fresh bunch of eucalyptus.

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