Kitchen tables double as prep space. Islands obviously provide great prep space, as they often include a sink, dishwasher and trash disposal. But if you can find room for those features along the perimeter of your kitchen, you might be able to eschew the island for a central dining table that can double as a superb workstation. “For this kitchen we knew the clients would have enough workspace, thanks to the size of the table and its proximity to the cooking triangle, which gives them all the benefits of an island without an actual island,” says Rodriguez.
“With today’s modern family, we find that more and more homeowners are requesting that their new kitchen design incorporate a workstation for everyone,” says Tim Campos, HartmanBaldwin's marketing coordinator. “The simple reason: The kitchen has now become the general hub for the family, and clients want a space that also accommodates everyday tasks such as homework, crafts etc.”
While eat-at islands surely offer a suitable platform, some folks prefer the warm homeyness of a central table.
This kitchen is centered on a custom table by Terra Amico made of salvaged wood. The table is matched with six black chairs from Pottery Barn. A furniture-like black cupboard holds glasses and tableware, freeing up space in the perimeter cabinets for items that might otherwise have been stored in an island.
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Here an antique table set with antique chairs breathes an old-fashion feel into this otherwise white kitchen by Sage Kitchens. A small rolling island in the background can act as an additional workstation when needed.
Many dining tables extend to accommodate larger groups — that's something most fixed islands can't do.
This countertop-height table is 3 feet wide and 7½ feet long, providing seating for six people to connect comfortably with one another in the heart of the kitchen. When the table's not in use as a dining area, the chairs can be pulled away to create easy access to the spacious workstation.
See more about choosing the right shape of table for your space
Tip: When you're adding a table to your kitchen, extendable or not, carefully consider how cabinets and appliances with doors — namely, refrigerators and dishwashers, will interact with the dining table and chairs when the doors are fully open. A table's dimensions (including its extensions and chairs when occupied by guests) should never compete for space with open appliances or cabinets.
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