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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.