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Kitchen Island or Peninsula: Which Serves You Best?

Balboa Island and the Palos Verdes Peninsula are both beautiful destinations. Great weather, scenery, and they are both full of fun activities for almost everyone.

Some will prefer the former and other will prefer the latter, for their own reasons. 

It comes down to a decision about which destination serves you best.

This is also true when it comes to deciding between installing a kitchen island or peninsula. 

Ask the majority of homeowners who spend a good amount of time in the kitchen, which they would prefer, a kitchen island or a peninsula, and they would more than likely prefer the island. 

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They are said to provide more space for food prep, open up floor space -- perfect for working in the kitchen and entertaining guests -- and they offer placement for additional appliances and storage.

In short, a kitchen island has been thought of as more functional than a peninsula. 

Despite the island preference, there are instances when a peninsula may be preferable. Kitchens that are too small for an island will do better to stick with a peninsula. (Although it is not impossible to put an island in a kitchen with limited space.)

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Here are two deciding factors when choosing between a kitchen island or peninsula, or both:

Lifestyles Matter 

A very important factor when considering a kitchen island or a peninsula is the stage of life that you are in. By thinking about your lifestyle, the decision becomes a little easier to make.

Do you have children growing up who will be doing homework and working on school projects? A peninsula may be the better option, as the children will be closer to the kitchen -- where you may spend most of your time -- but they will be on the other side of the counter. They will be out of your way, which will make the kitchen an efficient place to work.

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On the other hand, if you are an empty nester, the island works wonderfully because there is plenty of room and you may not be in the kitchen often. Entertaining company is that much more enjoyable because everyone can be in the kitchen for the evening, enjoying each other’s company and at the end of the night everyone goes home -- as opposed to children who will be in the kitchen the next day!

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Kitchen Layout and Size Considerations

Another deciding factor between a peninsula and an island is the layout and size of the kitchen. 

Because a peninsula is fixed to one wall, it is better suited in smaller kitchens where an island simply won’t fit -- or complement the kitchen layout. Acting as a natural divider to separate the kitchen from eating space, the L-Shaped kitchens work exceptionally well with peninsulas as do open plan layouts. 

Peninsulas may be the most practical option for small kitchens -- U-Shaped or L-Shaped.

Kitchens with islands should have sufficient space for cupboard doors to be opened. The island itself should have at least 120 cm of clear space wrapping around it. For a kitchen island that will double as a table, be sure to factor in added space for chairs and for people to move around without being too cramped. 

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If you have enough space, you might even consider having both a kitchen island and a peninsula.

That just might serve you best!