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Kitchen island or peninsula – which is right for you?

To help you decide which option might be best for you and your kitchen, here are the pros and cons for having a kitchen island or for choosing a peninsula.

When designing a kitchen, choosing the right layout can be a big decision and one common conundrum facing many homeowners is deciding between having a kitchen island or peninsula. In this guide, we look at the difference between a kitchen island and a peninsula, and the reasons why you might choose either option.

If you have space to play with in your kitchen, you want to make sure that you create the best arrangement to work for you and your family. Opting for a kitchen island or peninsula often comes down to part logistics and part personal choice. Keep reading to find out more.

What’s the difference between kitchen island and peninsula?

First of all, let’s kick off by defining what we mean by a kitchen island and a peninsula. The names are a bit of a giveaway – a kitchen island is a standalone unit not attached to any other part of the kitchen worktops or cabinetry, while a peninsula is attached to a wall or kitchen unit and has three exposed sides.

Both kitchen islands and peninsulas can vary in size, from small and slim to long and wide. It all depends on the amount of space that you have and want to use.

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Pros and cons of a kitchen island and peninsula

Both a kitchen island and a peninsula can offer a wonderfully functional, versatile feature for your kitchen, so there’s not necessarily a right or wrong choice.

To help you decide which option might be best for you and your kitchen, here are the pros and cons for having a kitchen island or for choosing a peninsula.

Kitchen islands

Kitchen island in whiteKitchen islands are an incredibly popular choice for modern kitchens, but they’re not always right for every kitchen.


  • Creates a central focal point of the kitchen.
  • Can add a design contrast to the rest of the kitchen.
  • Allows the chef to take centre stage in a truly sociable kitchen environment.
  • Can house units, appliances and storage on all four sides of the island.


  • They take up a lot of space (and need to ideally have a gap of 900mm between the island and any units and worktops in the kitchen).
  • Might not be suitable for chefs who like a little privacy from guests while they cook.
  • May require additional wiring and plumbing under the floor.
  • Not always a great solution for additional seating space.

Looking for inspiration for different types of kitchen island?

Check out our kitchen island ideas. Or if you’ve decided that a kitchen island is definitely for you and you’re ready to get designing, then this article is for you: How to make a kitchen island: Planning the perfect home hub.

Kitchen peninsula

Small kitchen with peninsulaExtending out from a wall or unit, peninsulas can add a great combination of style and function if chosen for the right kitchen space.


  • Can create a clear definition between the kitchen space and dining area or other living space.
  • A popular feature of open plan living.
  • A great option for smaller kitchens that don’t have the space for a kitchen island.
  • No need for additional plumbing or wiring under the floor.


  • Peninsulas typically need to match the exact style of the rest of the kitchen worktop and units.
  • Limited choice of positioning within the kitchen layout.
  • Not great for busy kitchens as they can affect you moving around the kitchen.
  • Creates potential dead space in the corners.

Hire a professional kitchen designer to help you decide

If you’re still unsure and need help choosing between a kitchen island or a peninsula, or any other features for your kitchen, hiring a professional kitchen designer will be a massive help.

As experts who regularly deal with the logistics, layouts and functionality of kitchens on a daily basis, kitchen designers can offer expert advice and tips on how to make the most of your kitchen space. And most importantly, they’ll make it work for you and your home.

Need a hand finding the perfect kitchen? We’ve put together some beautiful kitchen ideas for you.

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Is a kitchen island better than a peninsula?

When it comes to a kitchen island vs peninsula, there really is no one option that is always a better choice than the other. It really depends on the size of your kitchen, your budget, and how you plan to use the space.

Kitchen with peninsula

For large social kitchens with a healthy budget, a kitchen island is ideal. If you have a smaller kitchen and want to create a clear separation between your kitchen and dining areas, a peninsula would be the right choice.

If you’re still on the fence, speak to your local kitchen specialists for a free consultation. They’ll be able to provide you with professional advice and may even offer a free kitchen design service to help you decide.

Are peninsulas still popular in kitchens?

Kitchen peninsulas are still a very common feature in modern kitchens, especially where space is an issue. Kitchen islands are often seen as the pinnacle of modern kitchen design, but they require a lot of space and can be more expensive to install.

Can you have a kitchen island and a peninsula?

Yes, you can indeed – if you have a lot of space in your kitchen. Individually a kitchen island or peninsula takes up a fair bit of space, so to combine the two you’ll need to have a very large kitchen to work with.

You’ll also need a very healthy budget, as it can be pretty expensive to have both features in a single kitchen.

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