Throughout history humans have turned to food and family for support and comfort in times of trouble. Through war and recession eating together with loved ones provides the security that society lacks. Though it has occasionally battled the dining room for supremacy over the years, the eat-in kitchen has continued to be popular, symbolising warmth and succour in the heart of the home. Whatever the size of your kitchen, we show you how you can bring your family together in an eat-in kitchen of your own.
Unsurprisingly the easiest way to create an eat-in kitchen is to add a dining table large enough to fit your family. It can be difficult to find room for a table even if you do have the floor space, since most areas of many kitchens have doors or appliances that must be left clear. For this reason think carefully about the shape and style of your table and make sure you measure up before you make the purchase – you may have more or less space than it appears. Don’t forget that table measurements do not take into account space needed for occupied chairs! With so many different styles of table available there’s bound to be one that fits your family’s size and taste.
If your kitchen is cosy rather than capacious it might work better for you to add a breakfast bar instead of a table that’s likely to get in the way. Great for informal dining, homework or a tea break, a breakfast bar may not afford the same amount of space but it will still provide a point for people to sit, eat and talk together. If you decide to add your own breakfast bar make sure you plan it thoroughly to allow room for people to sit comfortably. Taller family members will thank you for leaving space for their knees! It’s easy to find stylish and budget-conscious seating, from contemporary stools to tall chairs with arms for a little more comfort and stability. Remember the aim of an eat-in kitchen is to bring people together, and you don’t necessarily need a lot of space to achieve that.
Eating in doesn’t necessarily have to mean finding space for a table. If you’re a student, a time-starved professional couple or just the kind of person who always seems to be eating on the run, adding comfortable seating to your kitchen area can meet your goal. Sometimes the kitchen can feel like the cosiest and warmest place in the house and curling up in a squashy chair with an easy meal just hits the spot. Informal, relaxed and truly comforting, you’ll probably find you rarely have an empty chair to yourself.
An eat-in kitchen is particularly useful if you regularly cook for friends and other guests. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen while your guests feel abandoned elsewhere. Creating an eat-in kitchen means you’ll be able to multi-task whether you’re the hostess with the mostess or a busy mum with one eye on the kids.