Peninsula kitchens are similar to island kitchens. Where islands are accessible on all sides, though, peninsulas are only accessible on three. They work well in L-shaped kitchens that have lots of floor space but limited wall and counter space and usually extend perpendicularly from the main counter running against the wall.
The peninsula itself is many things in one. It is a table top as well as a countertop, with compartments located underneath for additional storage. In larger kitchens, it helps to minimize the work triangle, giving the cook a nearby surface on which to expedite the washing, cooking, and prepping process. At the same time, the peninsula diverts household traffic away from the work triangle, directing family through the kitchen on one side. They also make ideal dividers between the kitchen appliances and the eating area.
This does not mean that peninsulas exclude family and friends from activities in the kitchen. On the contrary, peninsulas often serve as snack bars, where guests can sit comfortably and socialize with the cook while waiting for a sit-down meal. Peninsulas accommodate seating for one to six people depending on their size. Family members can sip coffee and read the newspaper there while breakfast is cooking or use the space for sitting and gathering between meals. In this manner, peninsulas help to make the kitchen a pleasant hub for active lifestyles.
Since peninsulas do not close up the space between the kitchen and dining room, they help maintain an open feel between the two living spaces. In smaller kitchens, they can take the place of the kitchen table, while in larger spaces, they provide an area for quick, informal meals.
If you are planning to add a peninsula, it can be scaled to size of the kitchen. It is not, however, recommended for very small kitchens that don't have the floor space. They can be equipped in a variety of ways to include or exclude cupboards, drawers, sink and stove top spaces, tabletop space, and accompanying stools. Though their material and design can vary widely, peninsulas usually have the same height and style as the existing kitchen elements and units. Peninsulas can be easily customized to have an original shape. They can be fitted into any corner of the kitchen.
Renee Macalino Rutledge is the Editor of CalFinder, a service that connects homeowners with reliable kitchen remodeling contractors . She has written a number of articles about kitchen remodeling including ones like this about the kitchen cabinet materials