Whether you have one of those “open concept” homes, you’ve downsized into a smaller flat, or you haven’t “upsized” out of your less-than-spacious starter flat, you may be facing the issue where the dining area is part of the kitchen.
However, a kitchen-diner combination doesn’t have to be an issue. It can be a great arrangement, allowing family and friends to gather together for meals and participate in (or at least observe) the cooking process. In short, the family cook isn’t hidden away somewhere out of sight.
It can also be a necessity when there’s no separate dining room available.
To that end, we've got 5 great dining sets to show you today, as well as some advice on styling your kitchen-diner.
Styling the “diner” area of a kitchen-diner combo can be a bit tricky, and you'll want to make the most of any new dining set you choose to buy.
You may find yourself asking:
We’ll answer those questions for you, so you can have the kitchen-diner of your dreams. But first, let's look at some dining sets to match any aesthetic and lifestyle.
We've chosen 5 of our dining sets to showcase for you today. They range from mid-century modern to Scandi to industrial in style, and from 2 to 6 seaters.
We think their versatility and capability to either match or contrast with your kitchen's styling make them perfect for any home.
Our Sheffield Collection of dining sets brings the trendy look of reclaimed industrial spaces to your space. We especially like the dining table with two benches for the medium-sized kitchen-diner.
The Sheffield's benches tuck completely away under the table when not in use, making it ideal for smaller spaces with lots of foot traffic. And when it comes to styling that space, the Sheffield is surprisingly versatile.
The industrial style can match the more sleek and modern kitchen or contrast nicely with a more traditional cottage feel. And for that farmhouse look, the Sheffield may be a bit edgy, but the reclaimed look of the wood table and bench tops can work there, as well.
The Paul Collection has several things going for it, including:
For that last feature, we really like the extendable table with two chairs. The chairs stack when not in use, allowing you to add more space to an already small floor plan.
The table extends from 80 cm to 116 cm, allowing for two more seats or a larger serving area for your party's grazing set-up.
And as we've mentioned, the sleek, neutral look will look at home in a city flat or country cottage.
Another dining table we love that can create quite the eye-popping contrast to the more traditional kitchen is the Anya Collection.
The sophisticated modern look, the glass table top, the choice of black or white—it all fits perfectly in any inner city loft or high rise condo. Now, just imagine creating a little corner of modern, sophisticated style in your suburban semi-detached.
Here, we've chosen the Anya glass dining 4 seater set for both its looks and its functionality. Your new, ultra-modern dining area simply needs two things to make its mark: a dark, brooding feature wall, and the blistering white Anya.
The Atlas Collection comes in light wood, marble effect, and glass. This wood effect dining table is ideal for creating a space for the whole family to enjoy their meals.
The sleek marble top is contrasted beautifully with bold black legs. Pair the table with the Edward black velvet dining chairs for a sophisticated dining space that will be at the envy of all your guests.
If you are seriously cramped on space, but still need to create a dining area in your kitchen, let the Jimmy Bar Table come to your rescue.
At a slim and trim 40 cm by 180 cm with stools that tuck almost completely under the Jimmy bar table, this little fellow can create a dining area for two in almost any kitchen-diner space, no matter how small.
And like the Sheffield, the Jimmy's industrial styling will look good in just about any home.
Now, let's take a look at those questions of yours that we promised to answer.
There are two rules of thumb when it comes to choosing the ideal size dining table:
Rule 1- Sleep X, Seat X
The first rule involves simple maths. Ideally, you should be able to fit around your dining table at least as many people as can spend the night in your home. That way, everyone in the family or on the overnight guest list can comfortably enjoy meals together.
For example, if you have a two-bedroom home or a one-bedroom flat with a sofa-bed in the lounge, you need a table for at least 4.
From there, simply add up your sleeping arrangements and make sure there’s a seat at the table for everyone. Sleep 2, seat 2. Sleep 6, seat 6. And so on.
To help you make sure you can comfortably seat everyone, the following table shows you the ideal size for 3 common table shapes seating up to 6 people.
|Seats||Round (diameter)||Square (each side)||Rectangle (length X width)|
|2||91 cm||79 cm||110 cm X 70 cm|
|4||122—127 cm||107 cm||122 cm X 76 cm OR 152 cm X 137 cm (SEE NOTE)|
|6||140—180 cm||152 cm||183 cm X 76 cm OR 244 cm X 137 cm (SEE NOTE)|
NOTE: The first measurement given is for seating along the SIDES of the table only. The second includes diners at the ENDS of the table, as well.
One thing we need to mention when discussing Rule #1 is that any seating around an island or breakfast bar in your kitchen does count in your “sleep X, seat X” calculations. So, you may not need as large a table as you think.
Another thing to remember is that room for dine-in dinner guests may be a consideration. You may want to go up a couple of seats if dinner parties are on your entertaining to-do list.
Rule 2- One Metre All Round
The second rule gets a bit more complicated. You should have at least 1 m on each side of your dining table, to allow for the seating to be easily and comfortably pulled out from the table as well as to allow foot traffic flows in your dining area.
This includes any other furniture in the room, such as a sideboard or kitchen island. You also need to allow at least 122 cm for any doorways in the room.
The exception to this rule is if your dining set is placed against a wall, as in the photo below, creating both a stylish and space-saving dining area in the kitchen.
Choosing the right size dining set for your kitchen-diner is the first step in assuring that you create the dining space you both need and can enjoy.
The best answer to this is only if you want it to. You can create a separate dining space in your kitchen-diner by styling the kitchen and diner differently OR you can create a more cohesive space by styling the two areas as one.
Creating a cohesive space is easily done by matching flooring, colours, and feel. A sleek modern kitchen might be paired with the Anya dining set. A more traditional one can compliment the Sheffield quite nicely.
Conversely, you can go for bold contrast by placing the Anya in a cottage kitchen-diner, or the Paul dining set in a city-centre industrial loft.
The answer to this one, unfortunately, is it depends.
First, do you have enough seating at your island to allow everyone to eat together? If not, then yes. (Remember, Sleep X, Seat X.)
Second, is your kitchen a multifunctional space used for cooking, eating, homework, working from home, hobbies, crafts, and other activities that tend to take up a lot of table room? If so, then again, yes.
Lastly, if you don't add a dining set to your kitchen-diner, will you have a visibly wasted space at one end of the room? If so, then probably yes again. (You can create a seating area if you meet the Sleep X, Seat X criteria.)
But what if my kitchen-diner isn't that big?
Then you have several options:
We’ll leave you with visions of your dream kitchen-diner dancing in your head. And when you’re ready to begin creating it, Laura James will be here to help you make those dreams a reality.
We’ve got loads of different styles to choose from, and we have lovely customer service reps to help answer your questions. And we’re constantly updating and adding to our collections, so whenever you’re ready to tuck in to a new kitchen-diner, we’ll be ready for you.
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