Posted by: jeb1 | July 6, 2011

Kitchens Designed for Gathering

Posted on: July 5, 2011

Source: Houzz

 
A few weeks ago, I gave a seminar on kitchen design trends at a local tile showroom. One of the main points in my presentation was how the kitchen will remain — for the foreseeable future, anyway — the center of the home environment.

So, the question in today’s kitchen design is then how to create a space for family and/or visitors to gather in this room — and have it be a little different from what the neighbors have. Depending on the room layout, flow into and out of the surrounding spaces, there are numerous options worth considering. Here are some variations on the theme.

 
 
 
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Kitchen island, version 2.0. I simply love the idea of combining an island and a kitchen table. In this Hawaiian kitchen, seating for four is placed right in the center of everything. By using the same material on the island counter and the tabletop, it is a seamless integration between the two uses.
 

by Archipelago Hawaii, refined island designs

 
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In this variation, the kitchen is large enough that a change in materials between the island and table differentiates the eating area from the work areas. Another smart design decision. Notice, too how the light fixture above the table is also different. Super smart.
 

by Christian Rice Architects, Inc.

 
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Move island seating away from the main working area. If you’re considering an island as your main gathering spot, be aware of the intersection between work areas and guest hangouts. The cook should be able to work efficiently and unhindered even with friends hanging out during final prep time. In this kitchen, the seating area is moved to one end of the kitchen, opposite of the working end, allowing both areas plenty of space to function properly.
 

by M2 Interior Design, Inc.

 
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In this traditional kitchen, the island seating is placed opposite the main work regions. I can see the kids gathered around the island on Saturday mornings waiting for a fresh batch of pancakes to come off the griddle.
 

by Rob Kane – Kitchen Interiors Inc.

 
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If space is tight, use a cozy corner for a counter-height table. This kitchen is too narrow for an island, but a unique kitchen table is “attached” to the counters in a space between the kitchen and living areas. It’s a very efficient use of space and perfect as a party gathering spot or for the Sunday morning crossword puzzle.
 

by Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker

 
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The kitchen table: an idea that deserves a second look. In the tradition of the European kitchen, a table in the kitchen creates a cozy eating environment where dinner goes from being cooked to the dinner table in mere steps. By placing an ornate area rug under the table, this space feels more like a dining room than a kitchen. It reminds me of a chef’s table in a high-end restaurant.
 

by HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

 
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The kitchen table that also serves as prep surface. I am so in love with this kitchen — the simplicity of the color scheme (only black, white and marble) and the elegant layout. The idea of a gathering table on chunky turned legs that also plays the role of prep surface when needed is genius. Top all that off with gleaming chrome pendants, and it’s nearly perfect.
 

by kmh design, inc.

 
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A built-in table extends work surface, saves space and provides seating. I searched hard for a couple of pictures of this idea. The seamless integration of the round countertop/table is a smart use of floor space and provides seating for several people in the kitchen while not crowding the cook.
 

by Mal Corboy Design

 
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Here’s another example of the attached table as part of the counters. In this kitchen, we placed a raised glass table on one end of the kitchen to provide seating for four. Again, placement was critical: out of the way, but still in the kitchen.

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