Kitchen Island vs. Peninsula

I love answering design questions from readers especially questions about kitchen design. If you don’t already know we have an exciting category on the blog called Just Ask where you can send in your design dilemmas for professional advice. Let’s talk kitchens!


Q.  My kitchen in NYC is small and long, the contractor said I could fit an island but I was thinking a peninsula, what do you recommend? Jenna 

A. Island vs. peninsula, this is always a popular topic. The first thing to consider is how much space you have; begin by laying out the perimeter of your kitchen, for tips on designing your dream kitchen click here. Next, evaluate the space left in the center of the kitchen and with painters blue tape create the shape of the island or peninsula on the floor by taping it out. This way you have the opportunity to walk around it and better envision the actual scale. The pros to the island are accessibility, the natural flow around it and general appeal.


I have to be honest, in a long narrow space I would recommend the peninsula because I feel like the island wastes valuable space, even though I visually like it. By attaching to the wall and creating a peninsula, I  like how the space is defined. You can also switch up your flooring when using a peninsula in case you are a tile lover.  I prefer to keep the flooring consistent but a natural slate is a favorite of mine. The final idea to consider is how you use your space. Do you love to entertain and need the flow around the island or do you want to cook for guests but keep them out of your space, its your kitchen which means its your call.

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  • Kate

    We had the same situation in our small beach house and the peninsula worked for us. These two examples are fabulous .

    • Cathy Wolfram

      The peninsula is a great option for small spaces, glad to hear it worked out.

  • Michelle Nahom

    We have a big island, but we also have a big kitchen. If it was smaller, I would definitely prefer the peninsula! I love the 1st picture that you showed!

    • Cathy from Adore Your Place

      Same with me Michelle :)

      • Michelle Nahom

        Cathy, did you get my email?

        • Cathy from Adore Your Place

          Hi Michelle just back from Ireland today and peeked at the blog comments only, checking email after sleep :)

          • Michelle Nahom

            Lucky you!! How wonderful! Just sent it last night…no worries…when you get a chance!