Kitchen Island or Peninsula?

Lay on shaker kitchen design

Kitchen Island or Peninsula?

This is a decision that comes up in most of our kitchen design consultations. The first thing to be clear on is the difference between the two. As the name suggests, a kitchen island is a free standing space with four exposed sides. A peninsular is attached to a wall or unit, and has three exposed sides.

Depending on the size of the space for your kitchen, this decision might come down to what is most practical in the layout.

Kitchen island

The kitchen island is the most popular choice when customers start seeing their new kitchen design come together.  Without even trying, a kitchen island creates a statement focal point in the space.

What we love most about kitchen islands

The feature we love most about an island is the ability to use it as a contrast to the rest of your kitchen design. Because it sits as a separate entity, there are no rules when it comes to colours and finishes to give you a fabulous contrast to the rest of the kitchen! Change up the worktop, add a butchers block, use a completely different colour on the furniture to the rest of the kitchen, whatever you do to differentiate it from the other units, you will love the result.

Check out this recent project for a dramatic colour contrast between the island and the rest of the kitchen.

Be practical

Perhaps the most important point when deciding whether to have an island is to check if you have enough room in your kitchen to work and cook around it. Make sure you always have at least a 900mm gap between your island & units in order to move around your kitchen easily.


A peninsula will serve the same purpose as a kitchen island but because it extends out from a wall or unit, rather than being stand alone, it is more popular in smaller kitchens.

What we love most about peninsulas

We love incorporating a peninsula into the design to create a natural border between your kitchen and dining areas. An island does tend to make a space feel fully open plan, so if you want to create some definition to the area, a peninsula is a great way to do this.

Check out this recent project to see a peninsula used in a new open plan extension space to seamlessly separate the kitchen from the rest of the living area, without compromising on the sense of light and space.

Be practical

If your kitchen footprint is on the small side or space saving is important, a peninsula will be a far better design solution for you.

No compromise

The best thing about choosing between the two is that there really isn’t a compromise! Both islands and peninsulas can serve a number of functions. You can build in more storage, create more worktop area, an eating area and incorporate appliances such as sinks, ovens and hobs.

Whatever you choose, you will love the sociable area it naturally creates in your kitchen. Pared with a couple of bar stools, friends and family can’t but help congregating here!

We’re still designing and happy to do design consultations over video call or on the phone. If you’re thinking about a new kitchen and would like to discuss which might work better in your space, schedule a call on info@kitchensbespoke.co.uk.

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