Islands and peninsulas increase efficiency and let people prepare, cook, and clean up while looking out into the room, rather than at a wall.
One of the main attractions of islands and peninsulas is their versatility: Use them for meal preparation, then clean them off to make a snack bar for informal eating. As a room divider, a kitchen island or peninsula becomes a self-service buffet for a party. They are also popular sites for a cooktop and a second sink.
An island works well in U-shape and L-shape kitchens, shortening the distance between work centers and directing traffic outside the work core. Don't install an island in a kitchen where work areas are on opposite walls. Leave at least 42 inches of walk space on all sides of the island.
Unlike a freestanding island, a kitchen peninsula has one short end attached at a right angle to a wall or bank of cabinets. A peninsula is just as versatile as an island, but it doesn't require as much floor space.