Eat-in Kitchens

mc_huddMarch 3, 2008

Hi everyone! I also posted this in the kitchens forum, but thought it was relavent here too:

I have seen many pics on here for "small" kitchens, but most of them are just kitchens, not kitchen/dining rooms or eat-in kitchens. Does anyone have pics of small eat-in kitchens? The house my DH & I are fixing up is less than 1100 sq. ft. and the kitchen is approx. 13'x13'... That's small, but I'm hoping it will be just big enough. So, I would like to see layouts & design ideas of other ppl's small kitchens.


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Our kitchen is across from the family room making essentially one larger room, so it really is an "eat between" kitchen-family room rather than an eat-in kitchen. The kitchen with island does not have enough space for a table, but on the family room side of the island, we have a table integrated with the island that we eat at. Works very well, and leverages the virtual hallway space between the kitchen and family room.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:48PM
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rogerv..could you take and post a photo..I'd love to see as well as we're planning a small kitchen integrated with living room...thanks!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 8:44AM
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I have a kitchen close to your size and just recently created an eating area that works.

I went through a dozen ideas before the final option was created. From a built-in banquete to drop down leaf table to portable island. My final decision easily seats 6, comfortably seats 2. Tis time post a couple of pics as there were some major changes made, mostly moving cabinets around. Will try and do this in the next few days for you.

One of the problems with an eat in kitchen is when using the stove it gets really warm in the area if enclosed with only one entrance. I had a small pocket door from the living room to the kitchen and opened up the wall. It was fairly easy to do as the wall was already framed inside to hold the pocket door. So no structural changes were made other than trimming out. It made a significant difference in available room, or at least the feeling of more room.

Do you have an empty wall, open area? Are you redoing the kitchen or using the current layout?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:09AM
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Our house is about the same size as yours, and we took down a wall to open up the tiny kitchen/dining area to the living room. The area that was the eat in kitchen is now a coffee bar with an undercounter fridge, perfect for service to the great room and for breakfast/quick snack stuff. I also have my "office" there on a rolling desk that fits under the countertop.

We enclosed the porch to create a true dining room, but most of our family meals are taken at the island which seats four. We only use the dining room when we have more people.



    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Emagineer~ I am actually going w/ the existing layout. We have spent quite a bit of $ on other parts of the house that REALLY needed it & don't have the budget to change the kitchen. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure how much it could really be changed, as there is a hallway on one side/end of the kitchen & the other side/end is opened into the living room (answer to your 2nd question). That's why I'm having a hard time deciding on a dining set, b/c this is a "walk-thru eat-in kitchen" I guess you could say, so a table will have to be small enough to leave walk room, yet big enough to seat at least 4, preferably 6.

Evap~ The "after" pics aren't showing up on my computer. I tried right-clicking the red X, but that doesn't work either. :(

Also, I suppose I should mention that this is a mobile home kitchen too. I should've said that in the original post, but didn't think of it.

Well, thanks for the pics, Evap, I'd love to see the after's. I will post before & after pics when the kitchen is done. :)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 12:03AM
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That's strange! Let me try again. The before shots are the relevant ones to you, though, since that's the eat-in kitchen configuration. These two pix are from similar vantage points as the befores, so you can see where the wall was removed is where the island is now, and the coffee bar is where the eatin area was (the archway wall was removed).

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:57AM
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Mc Hudd...I didn't change the layout of my kitchen. The only thing was moving floor to ceiling cabinets which were on one wall. These weren't original to the kitchen. But my kitchen does sound very much like yours with entry from the living room and another door to the outside...a walk through.

What I did for more storage was use my china cabinet, removed the bottom and mounted it to the wall. Bought the table linked below and it slides under the china cabinet with enough room jutting out for seating two to four. Am using existing chairs on each side with a bench in front, didn't care for the chairs that went with it.

There is a lot of area to seat two for eating when the leaves are dropped down. Easily moved out for seating six well. The table shown is a lot larger than it appears and was delightful when arrived. It originally looked tacky to me. But chosen because of size (most were too big) and the drop leaf, plus storage on both sides for napkins, etc....and the price worked. Took 6 mos to find something and wasn't really in love with this one. But definitely the right choice.

My kitchen is painted brick red, maple cabinets and off white trim. I painted the china cabinet and table/chairs black (appliances are black with SS trim). The table looks great in black and am now enjoying my kitchen.

Well, that was a long post to share a pick of small to large table option.

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchen table

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 11:34AM
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Evap~ Wow! That new kitchen looks great! Thanks for reposting the pics. :)

Emag~ Thanks for that link... I'm going to keep that type of table in mind. You mentioned storage, I actually don't think that's going to be an issue. Although the kitchen is small, it's got the normal upper & lower cabinets, then another built in cabinet (it's called a pantry in the plans) that houses the microwave w/ several nooks & crannies, and also 2 built in china cabinets. So, I'm more worried about places for people, not things... LOL :)

Here is the floor plan of the kitchen: (From this it actually looks like the kitchen is only 9 x 13, but I guess that's what you're considering the kitchen, b/c I would consider the built in bar part of it... Sorry, my mistake w/ the measurements. I probably should've posted this originally so you all could see what I'm working with.)

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:01PM
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How about removing the china cabinets and the bar and placing a table diagonally in that space?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 10:44PM
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Your kitchen layout is really nice. What style are you after for a table? There are many options available..drop leaf, extended leaf and ones that have fold over or pull out extensions. Try a google image search for style, etc.

Since you can't change the layout, make a pattern from paper of chairs/table in different sizes/shapes. You can do this with newspaper taped together. Lay it on the floor and see how much room is available. I've also done this by laying masking tape on the floor for furniture locations.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Evap~ I really like what you did... That looks really good, but it would be a problem now as we just had new flooring put in & obviously, it went around those items. I'm sure that could be fixed by having my installer seam in new pieces of carpet/vinyl, but not sure my DH would go for the extra expense. Also, I actually like the china cabinets, the bar I could do without, but my DH likes it. I am definitly going to keep that in mind though incase we ever remodel it (again). Thanks for taking the time to show me that idea! :)

Emag~ Thank you, I really like the layout too. However, it looks smaller in the pic than it really is. For instance, there is a dishwasher installed between the fridge & sink & in that pic it doesn't look like there would be enough space. The stove also looks huge in that pic & not sure if you could tell, but there are little cabinets over the fridge, so you can't really get a feel for it w/o seeing real pics rather than the computer generated floor plan. But, as you can see & as I mentioned earlier, I think I am going to have ample storage space.

I'm still undecided on what kind of table I want... Decisions, decisions. My sister has a very cute dining set that she has given me if I want it. It is a smaller table, approx. 4.5' x 2.5' (+/-); It has a bench (seats 2) and 3 chairs w/ it (I think it should have 4, but 1 can't be found). I'm thinking seriously about taking this and refinishing it & just pushing one end (the one where the missing chair should be) against the wall, under the window. This would be more than enough space for me & my DH and when company was there we could pull it out & add a chair. That will seat 6 and that was my goal. I think this way it will leave plenty of walk room when I'm cleaning, etc., but we'll still have the option of a little bit of extra seating. Plus, when we have company, we're mostly sitting at the table talking, playing cards, eating, etc. so we won't need a lot of walk room.

What do you all think about this? You guys have been so much help. Thanks again! :)


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 4:24PM
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I'm happy to help. At least you've got an idea for the future!

Free is always good! If it works in the space, go for it. I'm not a huge fan of bench seating for adults, it's uncomfortable to sit without a back for a long period, so you might want to consider getting maybe four matching chairs instead. Then you could use the four with two from this set at either end, and have a spare if you need it.

A dropleaf table might also work for you, but then you do have to find something to do with the extra chairs if you won't use them on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 5:32PM
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Evap~ This bench actually does have a back, that's why I like the set. I'm also still considering the dropleaf table idea... But, like you said, free is good! Thanks again for your input! :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:39PM
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If your husband is handy, or you know someone with a table saw, the free table could be made into a dropleaf if there is enough overhang from base. Look at some of the drop leaf tables to get ideas, most are a very simple in concept. I never leave things alone and did this not long ago for my daughter's dining table, turned out great and cost about $10.

Extra chairs/bench can hang on a garage wall or placed in a another room for books, etc. It looks like the bench would fit at the bar if the bar is low.

Small is small, still learning and hoping for cozy. I haven't got it quite right yet.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 9:20AM
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