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Kitchen Island Vs Peninsula: Which to Choose?

For most homeowners in Singapore, a kitchen island is a natural choice. We often see them glowing through the pages of interior design magazines and we want them for our own homes. We learn that they can be multipurpose, great for socialising and getting the family together.

An island encourages social interaction in the kitchen.

Design: Fineline Design

Unlike the island, which opens on all four sides, the peninsula opens only on three sides. Typically attached to a wall or a counter, the peninsula is often overlooked in lieu of its more popular cousin, only used as a last resort when one has exhausted all means of including an island in the kitchen. However, there are times when having a peninsula is actually a better choice.

Is a peninsula a better choice for your kitchen? Here, a shorter peninsular ensures there is enough passageway into the cooking zone.

Design: Icon Interior Design

To help you make your decision between an island and a peninsula for your kitchen, here’s a list of questions you should ask yourself:

1. Do you have the space?

The most important question to ask is how much kitchen space you have. Islands tend to need more walkway clearance, since it’s open on all four sides. Including an island in a small space might mean you have to sacrifice either the passageways in and out of your kitchen or your countertop space. Forcing one into a limited area can also make your kitchen feel cramped and restricted.

Open on all sides, an island needs more clearance in your kitchen.

Design: UNO Interior

A peninsula, on the other hand, helps to free up more room for a larger counter and a smoother passageway. In general, make sure you have a passageway clearance of about 80 to 100 cm on all sides.

A peninsula counter frees up passageway space and gives you more countertop room.

Design: Story of Us

2. Do you want your kitchen to be its own distinct space or opened up to the rest of the home?

A peninsula is great for demarcating zones in an open floor plan, making the area of the kitchen separate from the rest of the home. It’s a good choice if you want to maintain privacy in the cooking space. Including a raised counter on your peninsula can also hide the mess and noise of your kitchen. Conversely, an island feels more open and is a natural social hub, inviting people to mingle around the space.

A raised counter on your peninsula or a peninsula at bar height can help to block off the noise and mess in the kitchen.

Design: Dots ‘N’ Tots Interior

3. What is the purpose of your kitchen?

Is your kitchen just for cooking or do you also use it to dine/work/monitor your kids’ homework/entertain? For the former, a peninsula works well enough.

A peninsula helps to streamline your activities in the kitchen.

Design: Free Space Intent

But if you’re creating a multifunctional kitchen, then an island would be more suited for your myriad of activities. An island is perfect for entertaining as it lets you continue interacting with your guests while you cook. With the island more open to the rest of your home, your storage also doesn’t need to be restricted to kitchenware either. Consider using the space under the counter to store books or other knickknacks.

Your island storage doesn’t need to be limited to kitchenware.

Design: Fineline Design

4. What look are you going for?

You might want an island because it gives you a proper focal point for your kitchen. Or you might want a peninsula because you want a kitchen that looks like a distinct entity, set apart from your home.

A gorgeous marble island will be the focal point of any kitchen.

Design: The Monocot Studio

A peninsula feels more a part of your kitchen than an island would, helping to tie the look of your cooking space together.

Design: Fineline Design

Do you favour the peninsula or the island for your kitchen? Tell us your choice in the comments below!


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