Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

With so much going in the kitchen, figuring out the proper amount of storage space, counter space, fitting in appliances, yada yada, one very important element, the dining area, is easily put aside for awhile. In fact, in the kitchen design, the dining area is a critical element, as it becomes the next activity after cooking, the spot where people begin relating with one another more closely, an "activity" to really pay attention to!

kitchen dining area.jpgI need to find out just how many people will typically be at the table for any given meal. Secondly, how can those people most easily move around the table into surrounding aisles, and how much room is needed for movement?

Another reason adequate room is important around the table is that the proper placement for the dining area will encourage people to linger at the table, enhancing conversation, and even the quality of life. The kitchen is where life happens. I am a big believer that people do not want to feel confined, and if they do, they will find a way out sooner than later. Therefore, comfort is an important factor.

So, we plan the right size table for the right reason. Truth be told, when I design a kitchen, this issue is one of the first areas considered in my planning, working backward into designing the work area, as I consider these areas to be equally important in the plan, but that is a topic for another time, one I look forward to sharing with you! For now, here are some tips to consider when planning the dining area:

  • how many people will you need to seat typically?
  • what is the overflow number of people you would like for the table?
  • when even more come, do you want to use this table? If so, do you want a leaf or a large enough table?
  • Would you like a leaf that comes out from under the table or a leaf that fits into the table? 
  • are you willing to move the table out to accommodate more people?
  • what configuration? square, oval, round
  • would you like built in seating around the table to stretch out and relax?
  • what would you like to be situated outdoor view, media? Both? Neither?
One of the kitchens I am doing now is for a woman who cooks frequently for friends and entertains at the same time. Part of the entertainment is the cooking process, and friends help out. Other friends sit back and interact with each other and the cook. And, this is a frequent happening at her house. As a result, we have the cooktop facing the dining area, which will work out perfectly for her needs and desires. The dining area also is at a window, there is a media wall opposite the table, and built in seating to enhance comfort and the ability to relax in the kitchen when one is not cooking. Many people like to just hang out in their kitchen when they are not cooking! This is just one small example of placing the dining area properly in the room.


These tips should get you started thinking in the right direction. More about how to plan your dining area again soon, there is more to be said about this critical piece in your kitchen design.

I would LOVE to hear about your kitchen dining area, why you love it, why you don't, what you would change, and so on.


Posted on April 5, 2007 and filed under Kitchen Design.