Earlier this week I walked through the Las Vegas World Market Center, the enormous gravitational center for residential furnishings that struts its stuff twice a year. Vegas is a place that makes me smile, so I'm happy upon arrival.
I came with a "kitchen context" unlike most interior designers, architects and buyers; a context in which I think about the transition, stylistically, of the kitchen to surrounding spaces. The dining area is a critical element of kitchen design and what a great place to dream of the ideal dining experience. Following are dining tables seen at the Las Vegas Market.
I always put a strong emphasis on the dining area in the earliest stages of designing a kitchen. Unfortunately, I often see it, if already designed within preliminary floorplans presented to me by my clients, as almost an after thought. I find nearly always, the dining area needs more space devoted to it.
Making space available for friends and family to travel easily around the dining area and designing adequate space so that lingering at the table is an enjoyable and not a confining experience, are two important elements of a well planned dining space.
Durability of a table's surface and of the chairs as well is the measure of longevity and beauty. Ask questions and observe product construction and durability. Ask if materials and surfaces can be refinished or easily cleaned down the road. Be practical and realistic to determine if your lifestyle can withstand a white painted tabletop.
Venturing away from the kitchen, I'm a strong advocate for multiple dining areas in the home. I especially love a dining table, perhaps a 54" round table, depending on the size of the room, situated in a family room.
This secondary or tertiary table within the home will serve as an alternative place to dine - maybe on weekend evenings or weekend mornings or the occasional weekday change of scenery. It's definitely about a change of scenery - why eat at the same table every single evening if another table can be accommodated in another space? A little far to bring in food from the kitchen? That's what trays were made for and I promise the effort is SO worthwhile. I've lived it, thus, my endorsement.
What does your ideal casual dining space look like?