One of the things I first look at when I start to work on a kitchen remodel is the layout.
Right - Here's the plan view of one of my current kitchen remodels, in its existing state:
If I’m working on a kitchen with a peninsula, 9 times out of 10 -- unless the kitchen is huge -- that layout can be dramatically improved upon.
One of the kitchen layout problems I see most is dead ends, or places where there is only one way in and one way out. These conditions can make someone feel trapped. And it happens a lot in a kitchen with a peninsula bar. There’s usually only one little opening into the kitchen and, once you’re in there, you’re stuck.
Another problem I run into is when there's a U-shape with a peninsula bar, and an island in the middle of the U. This layout also has a trapping effect.
What if you want to get to the other side of the bar in the U? What if your long lost relative just entered the room, everyone was greeting him, and you were stuck inside the U? You’d have to go all the way around the end of the counter to get to the other side!
Typically, this layout features miles of countertop and cabinetry that lines the room, as well as the middle of the space. It seems appealing because there’s so much storage and counterspace. However, there’s not a lot of room for people. And the more people you put in there, the more trapped everyone feels, because there’s not much available space to walk around someone. It just feels tight.
Here’s a solution to all your problems:
Remove the peninsula and install an island. See right>>>
If you have an island behind the peninsula, then you can make an even bigger island if you remove the peninsula.
Peninsulas are a bit dated - it's a layout from the 70’s.
In modern kitchen design -- there's usually plenty of room to move around the island, and out into the adjacent space.
And although you might lose a few feet of cabinet storage, the openness and relief you gain by having more than one way out of your kitchen is well worth the effort necessary to get it.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that your kitchen will feel HUGE? Because it will ;-)
Check out some great kitchen layouts below that feature islands. And, while you're at it, imagine how they'd look and feel with a peninsula :-/
BTW: Look for the peninsula/island swap that was made. What an impact it made!
Below are some examples of peninsula kitchens that are nice, but an island would work really well. I'm not saying they aren't beautiful kitchens, I'm saying that the function of an island kitchen is less confining and allows for a better flow in an open plan house.
Want to add an island to your kitchen? Here are some great ones I've found online if you don't feel like remodeling and have the space for an island.
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