New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Kitchen Design Trends: What's Better, an Island or a Peninsula?

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Oct 10, 2011 @ 08:10 AM

Which kitchen style is better, a peninsula or island?

How to choose between adding a peninsula or island to your kitchen


We were recently asked this interior design question, through "Ask Andrea": 

"Hi Andrea, I'm thinking of remodeling my kitchen. What is the trend now peninsulas or islands? We currently have a peninsula and thinking of changing to an island."

And here's what Stanton Homes' on staff interior design expert Andrea has to say:

It is most important to consider the size of your kitchen rather than strictly following trends.

Kitchen Island Design

Island kitchens do seem to be the trend, but the reason they are the trend has to do with dimensions.

As houses have become larger over the past two decades, kitchens have become proportionally larger than they used to be.

In the progression of this change, it was discovered that as soon as you have one cabinet wall dimension of 12' or greater, that 45's into another cabinet wall, the functionality of the kitchen is improved if the third wall or " leg" of cabinets is an island rather than a peninsula.

This is because it allows you twice the access to the long wall that is 12' or greater, rather than just one access or traffic lane to access that whole wall and the other (probably shorter) wall.

Kitchen design is based on the work triangle of the number of steps between the sink, cook top, and refrigerator.  

Kitchen Island DesignKitchen Peninsula Design









  Kitchen Island Design                                                           Kitchen Peninsula Design


In larger kitchens, islands work better. In somewhat smaller kitchens, I prefer the peninsula.

Peninsula Kitchen Design

With a peninsula, you usually end up with more cabinets and greater square footage of counter top than when you cut up your space just to include a smaller island.

If you think about it, all you are doing in changing from a peninsula to an island is taking away a piece of the peninsula to create a walk way that you really don't need.

So, if your current kitchen is going to remain the same size after you remodel and your longest wall is shorter than 12', then I would stay with the peninsula layout if you want to ensure maximum counter space and storage for the square footage available.

Kitchen Tile Backsplash

Using updated counter-tops, back splashes, and lighting and even paying attention to smaller details like cabinet hardware and also wall color, should sufficiently create an updated and brand new look to your kitchen without compromising work space.

Good luck with everything and thank you again for your question--we love hearing from you and we love designing and building new kitchens for our homeowners every day!


Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina.

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Tags: Kitchen Islands, kitchen design trends, custom home design trends