It seems everything comes full circle in design, and another place we’re seeing it happening is in the heart of the kitchen. Decades ago, the eat in kitchen with the dining table set in the middle of the space was commonplace, but over time and with our desire for more storage, it was replaced in many kitchens by an island.
In kitchen design we’re gravitating toward a more open feel, evidenced by the replacement of upper cabinets with bistro style shelving in many a remodel. Now it seems the weightier island is getting some serious competition from the lighter leggier table.
We rented a small furnished house while we renovated our home seven years ago and while we lived there we enjoyed its eat in kitchen. It had a pedestal table partnered with a trio of chairs (plus a high chair at the time!). It was small but it was perfect for us, we only needed to take a few steps to place the meal to the table instead of the back and forth into a separate dining space. It was cozy, casual, and it worked.
While we rented, we used the adjacent room which was “supposed to be” a formal dining room as a home office/playroom instead. We kept the toys and the laptop in that same spot away from the kitchen and the setup worked perfectly for how we were living with tiny tots.
How true is it that when we entertain everyone ends up in the kitchen? It’s the hub and where all the action is happening, so placing a dining table in the center of the space invites everyone to “come on in”. Benches and a rustic table lend a casual air where food and conversation take priority over formality.
Acknowledging that the kitchen truly is a gathering space is much of the rationale behind the dine in kitchen. Kids can pull out their homework while a parent preps the meal, or guests can sit and relax or help chop vegetables while they visit with the cook. The chairs are comfortable, the table multitasks.