You're preparing for a kitchen remodel, and you've got a pressing question that demands an answer: Should you install a kitchen island or peninsula? Both features have advantages, so you might find yourself going back and forth about which to choose.

To help you decide, consider the layout of your kitchen and the way that you use the room. The following island versus peninsula guide can help you make the best choice for your kitchen.

Comparing Islands and Peninsulas

The key difference between kitchen islands and peninsulas lies in how they fit into your layout.

An island is a freestanding unit with four open sides. The cabinets and counters may match the ones along the walls, or they might use a contrasting material or color.

A peninsula, on the other hand, is open on three sides, but the fourth side connects to one wall. The peninsula design is usually a continuation of the counter and cabinet design that's along the walls.

Despite the differences between islands and peninsulas, these two fixtures still share many similar characteristics:

  • They can increase the amount of work and storage space in your kitchen.
  • They work in open-concept kitchens.
  • They allow you to face guests or family members as you prepare food.
  • They can incorporate a seating area.

Must-know Tips for Kitchen Islands

Freestanding islands are highly sought-after kitchen features, and there are good reasons for that. These fixtures give kitchens a modern look, they create eye-catching centerpieces for rooms, and they're practical.

Because an island is open all around, you can put all four sides to good use. For example, you could have cabinet doors on one side and shallow shelves for holding cookbooks on another side. The third side might hold a towel bar or a paper towel dispenser, and the fourth could have a spot to tuck in a couple of barstools.

Some islands have the space to hold appliances, such as a wine cooler or a dishwasher. You might even want your island to house a prep sink or an electric cooktop.

Your island can use the same design scheme as the rest of your room, but it's also a great place to incorporate contrasting elements. For example, if your main cabinets are charcoal gray, your island could be made of white cabinets. You could install a butcher block countertop for your island even if the rest of the room has granite countertops.

An island may be the best solution for your kitchen if you:

  • Have a large room with plenty of open floor space.
  • Want the improved traffic flow that comes with being able to walk all the way around the island.
  • Want to give your room an eye-catching focal point.
  • Are interested in increasing your home's resale value.
  • Are torn between two different colors or styles for cabinets and countertops and want to use both options.
  • Want clear and open access to every inch of your extra workspace.

Although islands are incredibly popular, they're not the best fit for every kitchen design. If your room is on the small side, you may not have the space to install an island. Squeezing one into a too-small room may end up being more of a burden than a blessing.

To learn more about the space required for kitchen islands, check out the following video:

Handy Info About Kitchen Peninsulas

Although peninsulas don't necessarily have the trendy reputation of islands, they're just as practical and versatile. In fact, you may decide that a peninsula is the best option for your home.

Peninsulas use up less of your kitchen's floor space. This makes them ideal for small rooms. Including a new peninsula in your remodeling design may require only minimal adjustments to your current floorplan.

While islands can be good for barstool seating, peninsulas can be even better. You may be able to fit chairs along the length of the peninsula and place one more seat on the end.

Peninsulas can also give you more storage space because you have the option to include an upper level of cabinets that hang from the ceiling above. These can reduce the open feel of your kitchen, but they do provide more space to store kitchen gear.

Just like with an island, you can use a peninsula to house shelves, drawers, small appliances or a sink. In fact, opting for a peninsula instead of an island may give you the space to include more of these elements.

Alternatively, you could install a bilevel peninsula in which the side facing the kitchen is lower than the side facing the next room. If you enjoy entertaining, you can use this as a bar or a serving counter.

Think about including a peninsula in your kitchen renovation if you:

  • Have a small kitchen.
  • Want plenty of extra seating.
  • Aren't interested in using contrasting countertops or cabinets.
  • Want overhanging cabinets for additional storage.
  • Enjoy entertaining and need a place from which to serve food or drinks.

Just keep in mind that peninsulas can limit traffic flow since you can't walk around them on both sides. In addition, you may end up with some dead counter or cabinet space around the area where the fixture meets the wall.

In certain layouts, you may not have to make the kitchen island or peninsula decision at all. Instead, you may be able to include both elements. For example, in a large U-shaped or G-shaped kitchen, you might have space for a small island between the peninsula and the back wall.

Of course, in most kitchens, you'll have to make a final decision about whether you want a kitchen island or peninsula. After reading through this guide, you hopefully have a better idea about which approach is best for your layout. For additional help, set up a free design consultation with the professionals at NDA Kitchens.