A Kitchen Peninsula: Better Than an Island?

February 11, 2015No comments

Maple base cabinets and peninsula and white shaker wall cabinets in this kitchen with peninsula u shape

This peninsula enhances work space and seating in an open compact kitchen.

Is your home space-constrained? Do you like to keep guests close, but out from underfoot? Do you want to get every inch of countertop out of your kitchen layout?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, consider replacing your island or kitchen table with a peninsula. Typically, the peninsula will yield more counter and more seating than an island. Unlike a table, the peninsula will serve triple duty, providing seating, counter-height work space, and a friendly boundary for guests.

When planning your layout, custom cabinet options you can discuss with your designer include doors on the front and back of cabinets, increased or decreased depth, glass doors, angle end cabinets, and furniture-look trim.

kitchen peninsula in white cabinets with bookcase end, decorative door panels on back and ogee molding in toe kick
Bookshelves, door panels on the back and ogee toe kick effectively create a furniture look.

We’ve said it before: the difference between “nice kitchen” and “Wow!” is in the details. Trimming this peninsula with furniture detailing, including open shelving, ogee molding in the toe kick area, supporting pillars and decorative door panels on the back created a beautiful focal point and perfect transition from kitchen to dining.

bi level peninsula at an angle to the wall
Bi-level angled peninsula creates a great serving bar.

The 42-inch high outer countertop on this bi-level peninsula provides an excellent serving bar while serving as a visual barrier to the working level. Notice how our Dayton cabinets complement the craftsman style entry door.

kitchen peninsula with cooktop, stainless range hood and pillar with crown molding.
Peninsula with pillar replaces wall between kitchen and dining areas.

Who wouldn’t love to spend time at this cooktop, with an open view of the patio. A neatly trimmed pillar supports a beam, the last trace of a load-bearing wall. Note the banks of drawers across the peninsula, ample space to store pots, pans and utensils, and furniture feet under the sink base.

kitchen peninsula with glass door cabinets and deep crown molding
Cabinets above the peninsula are modified to have glass on both sides

Combining our peninsula modification (doors on the front and back of the upper cabinets) with glass inserts allows light to flow freely through the space, easy access to cabinet contents and a clear view of displayed treasures.

cherry cabinets in kitchen with peninsula facing out
Full-height doors on the back of this outward-facing peninsula offer full access.

This outward-facing breakfast bar lets snackers enjoy the view through living room windows. Note the peninsula cabinets have full-height doors on the back, making it easy to access contents, even in the inside corner.

Not one but two peninsulas and an island in this spacious kitchen

Note the detail in this spacious kitchen. The island and peninsula ends and back are finished with applied door panels and ogee molding in the toe kick area. The island sports two pot and pan drawer bases and butcher block countertop, while the two peninsulas are at 30° angles to the sink base.

Do you have a favorite peninsula feature? Do you know of anyone who replaced an island with a peninsula? Share your story.

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