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Dining Room in the Kitchen

Kitchen Island Table

Today, many condominiums, apartments and lofts have an open concept design where the kitchen flows into the dining area and the dining area merges into the living room. Even when building or designing their own homes, some people prefer to skip the formal dining room that they might only use, at the most, twice a year. Putting the dining room in the kitchen really makes the kitchen the heart of the home, transforming cooking, serving and eating a meal into a connected and more interactive process.

Cream & Boylston Brown

It makes sense in contemporary homes to dispense with room that will be under-utilized and often the dining room is an extension of the living room, the family room or the kitchen. It relates to the ever-growing trend of building homes with as many multi-purpose rooms as possible. However, to be practical, functional and esthetic, a successful kitchen dining room design requires a little extra planning and ingenuity.

To visually ground the dining area and blend it seamlessly into the kitchen environment, select a tabletop for your dining table that matches or complements the kitchen counters.

When working with a limited amount of space:

  • Select furnishings that are compact or smaller in scale
  • Choose a dining set that is not “solid”; a dining table and dining chairs that have an openwork design will open up the area
  • Adding mirrors will “throw” light around the room, giving it a more spacious appearance

Because this is a dual-purpose room used for both preparing and eating meals, especially if it’s smaller-sized, lighter colors like white and pastels paired with light-colored furniture will make the appear larger.

Dining Breakfast Nook by Linon

Choose casual furnishings such as a table with benches instead of dining chairs. For a casual yet somewhat sophisticated look select a table with a glass top and pair it with leather chairs. Or buy the table separately from the chairs; deliberately opting for a dining set that doesn’t match will also help to create a less formal feel.

Since you will be cooking, pick window treatments for your dining area that will be easy to clean.

Should you desire a formal dining atmosphere, there are ways to create a separate and intimate atmosphere even in an open concept area.

  • Paint one wall a bright, bold accent color, one that has not been used in the kitchen. You can use the same trick on the dining chairs, by selecting a fabric for the seats in a color to match or complement the accent wall.
  • If it’s an option, use different flooring materials; this will clearly differentiate the dining area from the kitchen.
  • Choose furniture in darker colors. A wood table and wood dining side chairs have a tendency to appear more formal than lighter colored furnishings.
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