Kitchen Eating Area
What design features should you consider in a Kitchen Eating Area?
Some homes will not have any place to eat in the kitchen, others may have a bar or counter extention where one or two people might stand or sit to eat breakfast, and others will have a large space to put a table and as many as 4 to 6 chairs in an area near the Kitchen.
Two things to think about for your Kitchen Eating Area and your Lifestyle are:
How many people need to eat in this space at the same time?
Can you see a television from all of the places to sit in this space?
(This one may be extremely contraversial.)
How many people do you need to feed in a casual environment? Eating on the go? or - you just don't want to use a large formal dining room or its table all the time? How many people are in your house & eat breakfast and lunch there (at the same time?).
For a single person or couple, a space for a cafe table for two is all that you need.
If the home has a Formal Dining Room area it will probably need to seat at least 6 people comfortably. Is it in a location where you will want to eat most of the time? How far do you have to carry things back and forth to the Kitchen? If not, make certain that you have an alternative --
A Breakfast Nook that will seat at least 4 people (or whatever your answer to the number of people question above) or a Kitchen counter bar where you can put bar stools.
Will a large Kitchen counter extension or bar seat 2 or 4?
And - what is the height of the Bar? Most Barstools are 30" high. Some Kitchen bars are too high to comfortably eat at if they are too high - the one in our current home is over 43" high and it is only comfortable for placing a drink on or standing.
If you have a bar - how many barstools will fit along it?
Remember that Bar stools with arms take up more room than simple ones with out a back or arms. Of course, the bigger ones are more comfortable and will keep people sitting in them longer!
In the morning most people would like to watch the television for News, Weather & Traffic updates before they leave the house.
Where will you be able to place a television that can be seen from your casual eating area for this purpose? And, if you eat all of your meals at this table - can everyone see the television and hear it?
Now - granted, some people feel that you should not watch television while you eat. It is bad for your digestion, or makes you gain weight -- or you may want to make certain that you have "real" conversations with your children around the family dinner table. You will have to make these decisions & "rules".
Our latest house has a very large eating area, but unfortunately the Family Room Television is placed in a built in shelf where only one person sitting at the table can actually see the television. We like to watch a lot of sports which go on for hours. Serving dinner in the Family Room leads to spots on the carpet which have to be cleaned, -- and the dogs trying to eat any scrap you may have left on your plate!
A central location for the television that can be seen from the Family Room & Kitchen Eating area will save you from spending extra money to buy another television just for the Kitchen.
This design issue has even lead some appliance makers to put an LCD Television screen in the front of a refrigerator.
New flat panel LCD & Plasma televisions do make it easier to mount them in smaller and unusual places.
Check this new feature on our
From Kitchen Eating Areas back to Room by Room