Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling - Ideas and Estimates

Kitchen Geography: Island or Peninsula?

by Allison E. Beatty
KitchensAndCabinets.com Columnist

An island is a popular addition to many kitchens, and one that can be easily added during a cabinet refacing project. But it's not the only option for gaining storage and seating space; some kitchen layouts are more conducive to peninsulas. Here's how to decide.

Consider the Layout

Your kitchen design should be the determining factor in whether you add an island or peninsula. If you are refacing your cabinets, chances are you are keeping the same cabinet layout. To figure out which configuration will work, ask yourself:
  • Is there room in the middle of the kitchen for an island? You'll need at least two feet by four feet, but preferably a few extra feet in each direction.
  • Do you have space along the side of the main kitchen area where a peninsula would fit?
  • Which design will leave you enough walking space around the kitchen?

Functional Aspects of Kitchen Design

Whether you add an island or peninsula, you'll need to leave plenty of room for walking around it and opening cabinet and appliance doors. Kitchen designers typically recommend leaving at least 42 inches around an island for traffic flow. With a peninsula, you'll just need that space on the outside of it.

Consider Granite Countertops

The new space you add can become a large meal preparation space or a place for entertaining. As such, consider adding the upscale look of a granite countertop. Granite is sold in a variety of colors, ranging from cream to black with multi-colored speckles. Among the advantages of granite are:
  • Classy look
  • Durable material
  • Resistant to heat. (You can set a hot coffee pot down without worrying about it burning the countertop.)

New Cabinetry Design

Whether adding a peninsula or island, consider designs and materials that will add a nice contrast to your cabinet refacing choices. If you are refacing with light wood, for example, consider a dark cherry for the island or peninsula. This will make that new area stand out and create an interesting focal point.

About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer who has been writing home improvement columns for 15 years.