Eat-In Kitchen Ideas

If you don’t have a large dining room or you want to reserve space in your kitchen for casual meals, such as breakfast and lunch, having an eat-in kitchen is a comfortable, logical idea. Even if you’re a bit compromised on space, with the right furniture and decorating capability, you can easily turn your smaller kitchen into an area where you feel comfortable cooking, cleaning and relaxing with friends and family. While small kitchen furniture is a great way to begin, there are a few design ideas from us at Pottery Barn that can also help you along the way.

The Foundation Pieces

Before you decide on a small kitchen table, consider a banquette. It may take a bit of research and planning for installation, but a banquette easily turns any corner in your kitchen into a comfortable nook for relaxing, eating, drinking and being merry. Visualize bench seating with storage underneath that forms an “L” in the corner. Then, you’re ready to add the small dining table you’ve had your eye on. Essentially, this creates the perfect dining area, sans chairs, which saves you quite a bit of space. Another idea that’s very similar is to have two booth pieces installed where the banquette would be, adding a table at the end.

Selecting Seating

Bistro tables are also a snappy idea for an eat-in kitchen. When you have more guests over, simply bring the two tables together. For everyday use, place a bistro table flat against the wall in your kitchen. Add two or three barstools or high-back chairs, and you now have the ideal place to have several cocktails, your morning coffee or breakfast with your family.

For a causal, outdoor picnic type of vibe, consider adding a dining room table to your kitchen with matching benches. If you have a small space but have a few guests to seat, this is the best way to ensure that everyone gets a spot at the table. Look for wooden benches for a more rustic approach, or add benches with cushions for extra comfort. This type of look also works well in your dining room, or with outdoor furniture on your patio or deck.

If you have a kitchen island, another good idea is to place a small table near the end of it. This may at first look like you’re elongating the island, but in fact, you’re adding a separate and distinct eating area. This is great for intimate get-togethers, or when you simply need extra seating during a large party. If you’re going this route for everyday use, try a table that has a leaf or extender. That way, during most times you have enough room to move around the table, but have the ability to add more seating for holidays or for entertaining.

Dazzle with Decor

When it comes to decorating an eat-in kitchen, organization is key. Don’t shy away from using pan racks, rolling carts and wall storage to help keep food, accessories and tools tidy. One of the best ways to organize a small space is to make the best use of your vertical space. For an eat-in kitchen, look for decorative shelving and wall organizers that add decor, but are useful, too. Look for pieces with multi-faceted uses, such as a board for family communication and calendars that also has several hooks on which to hang accessories. When it comes to lighting, pendant and chandelier lighting works best, further saving your floor space. If you have created a banquette or “corner booth” feel, soft pendant lighting hanging from the ceiling in the corner adds a warm ambience. If you’ve situated your table in the middle of the room, opt for a bright chandelier.