Kid friendly kitchen peninsulas

When reader Marina and her family moved into their home five years ago, she always knew she wanted to redo the kitchen. As you can see in the photo above, the kitchen was very dark, and even though the cabinets were painted a light color, they seemed heavy. Plus, as a mom of young children, Marina wanted to have the kitchen open to the family room so she could cook while still keeping an eye on her kids. Take a look a Marina's kitchen now — it took a turn for the lighter!

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The dining room side of the kitchen peninsula was painted grey to add contrast and disguise dings and spills from three kids eating meals there. Tight-fitting slipcovers on the bar stools are a practical choice as well.

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In the game room, Chip and Joanna updated the bar area to give it a clean look. The existing brick wall added some warmth to the space and the metal accents. Joanna brought in a ping pong table for the room, promising to provide a great source of entertainment for their kids.

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The island of this kid-friendly kitchen is capped by a cabinet with clear plastic fronts so that the children can safely set their own places at the table. | Photo: Tria Giovan | thisoldhouse.com

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With a mini fridge for the small ones and a flat-screen TV for everyone, this kitchen is party-ready. http://www.hgtv.com/kitchens/20-party-ready-kitchens/pictures/page-12.html?soc=pinterest

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Grasscloth for texture. Always liked this for a natural look. Not sure a kitchen island is the best place for it though.

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Love the craft table as a kitchen island/peninsula. Best home tour on Design Mom. Living With Kids: Maureen Vazquez

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If you aren't getting any use out of something in your kitchen, take a cue from Create Celebrate Explore and utilize it for extra storage, like this unused breakfast bar turned pantry... I think I would use it for dish storage instead of food... But great idea!

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