Raised Top Kitchen Peninsulas
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Several decades ago, circa early 1970’s, there was a dramatic, kitchen design or architectural trend that redefined how Americans looked at their kitchens. This new feature, the countertop peninsula or ‘breakfast bar’, as it was so dubbed, was a clever means to remove the inclusiveness of the kitchen space and, instead, make it visually and socially more attached to the activities of the adjoining room. Prior to the advent of these peninsulas, the inhabitant of the kitchen was secluded from the balance of the main floor activity and was ‘kept to task’ in the kitchen. This seemed to connote a sense of drudgery and isolation to the kitchen tasks, discouraging social interaction. Upon extending a countertop ‘return’ that abuts the adjoining room and deleting the backsplash area of this section, a peninsula was created. This permitted the reciprocal viewing of activities between rooms as well as providing a casual seating area on the non-kitchen side where family members or guests could actively communicate with whomever were delegated to prepare the meals.
While this feature was a simple and effective means to achieve its social goal, a bit of an adverse behavior then surfaced. After a while, what seems like more of a territorial advancement, the non-kitchen side users tended to stake claim to this surface, utilizing it for non-kitchen ‘storage’—creating a bit of clutter for the kitchen user to contend with. While the peninsula sought to remove barriers, the barriers simply became redefined and the kitchen user was actually delegated to less countertop surface to utilize for kitchen tasks.
The problem appears to be solved with the evolution of this peninsula in the form of a raised top for this kitchen peninsula. In creating a second tier, as noted in the photographs, the services associated with the peninsula are deftly defined: the kitchen side, the adjoining room’s side. The vertical rise to the second tier is relatively minimal: 4-6”; but this provides the modest barrier which services both sides equally. Within this rise, it’s quite common to mount electrical services to afford the use of small appliances along this peninsula. On the non-kitchen side, the user enjoys a dedicated surface which retains the ability to socialize with the chef while providing the platform in which to enjoy a beverage, snack or do homework—as the case may be.
Having a raised top kitchen peninsula, as you can see, also adds a great deal of style and flair to the kitchen space as well as providing the same to the adjoining room.
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