When to Ditch the Dining Table

As lifestyles change, so do our home interiors. Modern kitchen design has transformed the kitchen into the hub of most busy households. The kitchen design hero, many would argue, is the island. It adds storage, counter-space and seating as well as showcasing personal style and breaking up an open plan kitchen layout. Islands cater for any requirement, from homework to entertaining, often replacing the functionality of the traditional dining table.  With multi-functional island design evolving all the time, you might ask the question “When do I ditch the dining table?”  These questions may help you decide if your island design could replace your table. 

How often do I use my dining table?

If you find your kitchen dining table has become a place to put down the mail and your keys more than a space to sit and eat meals, you may be ready to say goodbye to the table for good.  This may particularly be true if you only dine at home infrequently, if your family dynamic is changing (e.g., empty nesters), or if you have a separate dining room for more formal dining needs. If this is the case, consider if island seating is a better solution for your kitchen design dining needs.

Kitchen design with large island

What shape and size island would suit my kitchen remodel?

At Lang’s, we take precise measurements, listen to what you need and then work with you to find the perfect island for you. T or L-shaped islands provide separate areas for working and dining, as does a peninsula with seating beside the cooking area. If your kitchen is large enough then why not have two islands with different functions? This will bring a huge element of sophistication to your kitchen remodel and you’ll happily wave goodbye to your old table.

Will we sit around an island as comfortably as at a dining table?

This depends on the type of seating you choose, who will be sitting there and for how long.  If you feel that barstools are too high for children, then go for a bi-level island with seats on the lower side for little ones. Consider the style of your kitchen, as the seating you choose should fit in with the overall kitchen design, as well as being comfortable enough to permanently replace dining chairs.          

Will I feel like I’m eating in the “work side” of my kitchen and losing a dining area?

The beauty of an island is that it serves as the delineator of a kitchen design and creates separate zones. When entertaining, you can work comfortably on one side of the island and people can chat and nibble snacks on the other side without entering your space. Try incorporating different worktops to differentiate between food prep and other zones.

What else can an island give me that a dining table won’t?

An island provides extra countertop space, which you can tailor to your needs with materials like marble for baking or wood for chopping vegetables.  A great bonus is that you can add a sink, cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, coffee machine or dishwasher to your island and still sit at it as a dining area.

What kind of storage can be incorporated into a kitchen island?

At Lang’s we work with you from the beginning of the kitchen design process to include all your storage requirements in a custom-built island. Aside from storing seasonal items, you can designate areas for baking equipment, crockery, wine racks, pet feeding bowls or anything else that frees up cabinet and floor space. Leave some storage open for displaying cookbooks and treasured mementos. All the requirements are met below the countertop level, so it does not interfere with your designated dining space.

Kitchen island with open shelves

How can I personalize my kitchen island?

As kitchen design experts, the team at Lang’s will ensure your island is unique to you and your family’s requirements. The best part is expressing yourself through the colors and materials you choose for this focal point in your kitchen design.  Try a color that contrasts against the rest of the kitchen cabinets. Choose an unusual material for the countertop and make a statement with the seating around it or the lighting above it. Go with an unusual shape or multi-level island. However bold you go with your island design, it should be in keeping with the overall style of your kitchen design as it sets the tone of the whole room, especially if it replaces a dining table.

Islands are invaluable additions to any kitchen remodel. Their many useful functions far outweigh the advantages of a traditional dining table. So, ditch the table and design your dream island. You can relax as parties, dinners, homework, baking and morning coffees all happen effortlessly and in style. Contact our kitchen design professionals today and check out our kitchen remodeling gallery for more ideas to inspire you.