Dining rooms are all well and good, but there's something about eating in the kitchen. For one, it's convenient since all food preparation and storage areas are close at hand. For another, it's cozy. As you design your new or remodeled kitchen, plan for a space where you and your family can dine in.
If you have a corner available, consider adding banquet seating. Banquet seating affords you the opportunity not only of carving out family dining space, but of designing extra storage options. For instance, Better Homes and Gardens suggests having drawers installed under the seating area. Likewise, banquet seating takes up less space than a free-standing table with chairs, making this option efficient for small spaces.
An island is a classic area for dine-in seating, especially if you don't have a lot of space. Design an island with ample storage on one side. However, have a countertop installed that extends out on the other side for comfortable stool seating. Consider using granite for your countertop, such as from Commonwealth Countertops, as it is durable, attractive, and easily maintained.
Sometimes an island is essential for your food preparation. In this case, make your island do double duty. Create distinction between the dining and food preparation areas by designing a bi-level countertop. Use the high level for food prep, and the lower level for dining. Consider adding two tones of granite countertops in complementary colors to create distinction between the areas.
If you have a big window in your kitchen, or the luxury of adding one to your floor plan, design a breakfast nook area. A breakfast nook overlooking the outdoors is a cozy addition. Have a short bench installed under the window, and top it with comfortable cushions. Pull up the table, and you have an area perfect for casual meals or lingering over coffee.
Open Floor Plan
If you combine your kitchen and dining room with an open floor plan, in-kitchen dining becomes de rigeur. An open floor plan allows you to make your space multi-task. For instance, have a breakfast nook in one corner and a full kitchen table near the island. The breakfast nook is perfect for, well, breakfast. With the full dining table, you can plan family dinners or even cocktail parties for numerous guests.
As you plan out your kitchen, remember to include space for eating in. Transform a corner with banquet seating or a breakfast nook. Another option is to plan an island with room for seating. Alternatively, an open floor plan affords you multiple opportunities for dining in the kitchen.