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Closet Island vs. Closet Hutch vs. Closet Peninsula: Which is Right for You?

The Various Storage Advantages of the Closet Island, Closet Hutch and Closet Peninsula

The closet island has become a "must have" storage solution for large, walk-in closets. Due to its ability to provide a large amount of space for folded and small items, it is a prominent feature in almost all large, custom, walk-in closet designs. The downside is that it requires a significant open floor area in the center of the room before it can be installed. Luckily, there are other closet storage solutions that can provide similar functionality for closets that do not have a large, open, center area. The closet hutch and closet peninsula are two types of closet built-ins that perform in a similar fashion to the closet island. They also include a countertop, drawers and often cabinets in the design. Unlike the closet island, they are typically installed against a wall, thereby requiring less space.

For closets with more vertical wall space than open floor space, the closet hutch is a friendly option with a small footprint. It is so versatile that it can even be incorporated into a larger, reach-in closet design. The closet peninsula, on the other hand, is a storage solution that is often used as a way to separate distinct sections of a closet. Because it has only three open sides rather than four, it requires less space than an island.



The closet island is the heart of the closet and often functions in a similar manner to a kitchen island — it is a place where a couple might gather and organize their day before venturing out in the morning. The countertop is frequently staged with jewelry, watches and other essential accessories. It may be lit from above with a chandelier or other light fixture, or in some instances from below using a back lit closet lighting system under the counterop. Drawers or cabinets are usually integrated into the premium closet island. This gives it the functionality of a clothes dresser, and may eliminate the need for furniture elsewhere in the bedroom. Some closet islands incorporate a bench so that you can even sit down and put on your shoes. Most frequently seen in larger closets, tiny closet islands can sometimes be designed into smaller walk-in closets as well.

closet island
This closet island includes an under the counter LED lighting system to act as a backlight and illuminate the transparency of the stone countertop. A low mirror was included on one side of the island so that the owner can check her shoes — just like a shoe store.

The closet island is one of the most popular and sought after features in walk-in closet design projects. If you decide to include one in your next closet design, it's best to allow a minimum of 30 inches on each side of the island for easy accessibility. Many people also like to include bench seating as part of the closet island.

closet island
Custom cushioned bench seat with storage drawer for closet island.



The closet hutch is less commonly used than the closet island, but it offers similar functionality. It has a nice countertop for staging accessories, drawers below, and a cabinet or shelves above the countertop for additional storage. The hutch mounts against a closet wall, so there is storage on one side only. However, the upper storage will usually more than make up for the inability to place drawers and cabinets on two sides as in an island. The closet hutch harkens back to the American Craftsman period of the late 1800's - early 1900's when built-in storage was common and highly sought after in American homes. Bookshelves and hutches with a simple, straightforward style were amongst the most common types of built-ins featured in Craftsman homes.

American craftsman style closet hutchcloset hutch for storage in closet

The minimum width for a closet hutch with drawers is 18 inches. There is no overall maximum width, but drawers are limited to 18, 24 and 30 inch widths. The closet hutch can be used in a reach-in closet as well as a walk-in as long as the unit is positioned so that the outer closet doors do not block or interfere with the opening of the closet drawers and upper cabinets.

Closet hutch with jewelry drawer

In the modern closet with hutch, drawers will often include special jewelry organizers and other types of drawer dividers. Upper cabinets typically include shelves and may be covered by either glass or regular doors. Some will even skip the doors and simply incorporate open shelves above the countertop.



The closet peninsula is a dual purpose closet storage solution. It is typically used to separate his section from hers in a two person closet. Although not as popular as either the closet island or the closet hutch, many couples who must share their master closet consider it to be the secret to a successful marriage.

Like a kitchen peninsula, it juts out from the wall and provides ample storage in upper and lower cabinets or shelves. A part of the peninsula closest to the wall will be built high — up to the ceiling in many instances — to afford best separation of the sections and also to maximize storage. Unlike the island or hutch, the peninsula frequently includes hanging storage in this higher section. Part of the peninsula will be left at island height so that a countertop can be installed on top of base cabinets. The base cabinets might include drawers and shelves, but built-in closet hampers are also commonly featured in this type of storage solution.

A closet that features a peninsula is typically a large walk-in closet, because you are essentially dividing the closet in half and creating two separate closets within the space. You need a lot of room to do that.

closet peninsula for storage and division of closet
This walk-in closet/dressing room includes a closet penninsula down the center of the space and two closet hutches — one for him and one for her. Some couples consider this type of arrangement to be the secret to a happy marriage.
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Ready to choose between a closet hutch, island, or closet peninsula?

There are a lot of storage solutions that can be implemented into a walk-in closet. Closet islands, closet hutches and the closet peninsula all serve a similar function in the well appointed master closet. The best one for you will depend on your particular space and needs, but it is always best to be aware of the complete range of possibilities before investing in your dream closet organization system.