Transforming Your Design With a Kitchen Peninsula

February 11, 20152 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, adding a peninsula will yield more counter space 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. In addition to increased or decreased depth, glass doors, angle end cabinets, or 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.

Furniture Detailing

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

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.

cooktop peninsula with pillar, stainless hood and drawer bases

View From the Cooktop

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.

Upper Glass Door Cabinets

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.

Face Out

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

Extended Island

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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Showing 2 comments

  1. PamelaB Reply

    I love…& have a peninsula with cooktop facing out. Found myself cooking much more with this design. Who really wants to face a wall for all that time?
    My kitchen would be considered a U I think & I find it incredibly efficient & convenient. Especially since it’s set up so I finally have a left handed flow and feel comfortable.
    I don’t know why more houses don’t have this setup. Especially with a breakfast bar opposite.
    Have been looking for another house & am beginning to realize if I want this again, I’ll have to build. (and I do want this)
    Plus when my kids were small we could work opposite each other when teaching them kitchen skills. Love the comradery & ability to talk while working.
    We still work this way when they’re back in town.
    Plus the peninsula faces a nice sized dining area.
    So it’s great for conversation…helping with homework when kids were little.
    I can’t express how much this kind of arrangement supported our entire family. And friends. Me.

    • Dan Jones Reply

      Thanks PaneleaB fo the comments! Many times a peninsula is the only way to go when you don’t have the space for an island, which takes up considerable floor space on all four sides. Good luck on your new project!

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