- Open-concept kitchen with connected dining. If your house is hampered by an older-style kitchen that’s closed in (and maybe a bit claustrophobic), you may long for a spacious, open floor plan that allows for easy interaction between those in your kitchen, living room, dining room, etc. That may involve removing walls, strategically rerouting traffic and installing attractive storage that can help keep food and kitchen tools out of sight.
- Built-in breakfast bar. If you have the right spot or corner, you may wish to add a roomy, versatile kitchen island with strategic pull-up seating that allows for casual dining, dining on the fly and face-to-face conversation between chefs and diners. In many cases, island dining enables less-formal interaction than dining room dining, and it can keep guests out from underfoot while allowing them to help with food prep. Further, kitchen islands can be installed in most any home, since they can be custom-designed in a huge range of shapes, sizes and materials.
- Bay window dining area. Another way to enable in-kitchen dining is to optimize natural light by creating a dining area in front of a spacious floor-to-ceiling bay window. The aim is to bring a sense of the outdoors in, which can be especially pleasing in Minnesota, where sunlight is at a premium over the long winter months. This method often allows you to create an appealing gathering and eating area without having to expand your kitchen through the construction of an entire addition.
- Banquette. In some cases, the layout of your home will allow for the installation of a built-in L-shaped bench and adjacent table that together make for a cozy dining spot. Far from the commercial-looking banquettes of the past, today’s seats can be designed with materials that match your kitchen countertops and cabinetry. You can even build in storage if you so choose.
- Combination desk/dining surface. Many homeowners swear by their use of an in-kitchen desk to help keep their bills, letters, calendars and other life necessities together. If you don’t already have one, you may wish to carve out space for a work center in your kitchen — and make the surface big enough to double as a small dining table.
Written by Scott Rajavuori on October 15, 2019