Naperville Kitchen PeninsulaDo you have a peninsula? Do you wish you had an island? How about the other way around; have an island but think a peninsula would work better? The latter is rarely the case. People want islands! Is it the term? The word ‘island’ is positive for most…heck, even the passengers and crew of Gilligan’s Island lived healthy and happy lives on their not-so-deserted island home.

Most often we encounter homeowners with a peninsula who wish to incorporate an island into their space. Why might they want the change? Islands give a more open visual effect to a kitchen. It seems airy and full of work space. The entertainers amongst us like the gathering space or serving area. Extra storage is a bonus as well.

NKBA Guideline: The standard guideline set forth by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, is 42 inches of clearance around the island for a one person cooking area. That clearance goes up to 48 inches for a multiple cook space. This clearance allows for movement about the kitchen. Additionally, when designing the space around the island, there is attention paid to what doors, when opened, may intersect with surrounding cabinetry; be it pull-out cabinets, drawers, dishwasher door, or even an oven. In our experience, with careful planning, designers in our industry are comfortable with reducing that clearance to 36 inches. One way to gain space for an island, is using a counter depth refrigerator with side by side or French doors. Imagining the disaster of a poorly planned space illustrates very clearly, the reason for hiring a designer familiar with the many guidelines and forethought to create an inviting and functional space.

So you have the space! The clearance is good! Fantastic; time to design your island with storage, seating and options for other good stuff.

Wait, you don’t have the space? It’s ok. It really is. Let’s talk about the peninsula in the picture at the top of this page. You can clear three of the four sides; there’s seating for three—quite comfortably—at the peninsula. Opposite the seating side, you would see the large corner sink base, a trash pull out with a sizeable garbage and recycling receptacle, topped with a wide drawer. The dishwasher is closest to the edge of the peninsula. And per building code, the peninsula has an electrical outlet on the end cap. An island would also be required to have one outlet.

Work space galore? Check. Seating? Check. Storage? Check. Does it appear open and airy? Check!

When modernizing a kitchen with a peninsula, the addition of the overhang for seating is a design component that creates a new space. The countertop is clearly larger, for serving, working or dining. It changes the look of the space, and offers décor opportunity in the pendants suspended above, as well as the seating you choose. You may not have space for an island, but now your peninsula has reached new potential and
offers much of the benefits of an island.