WWYD? No kitchen table in exchange for island with seating?

chitownkatJuly 19, 2013

we currently have a kitchen with a table and also 2 counter height stools at a peninsula (very near the table, which causes a bit of a traffic jam at times). We have an adjacent dining room.

We (it is just hubby and me) rarely use the kitchen table. We either sit at the counter stools or in the TV room off the kitchen. With guests, we sometimes use the kitchen table but could just as well use the dining room.

We are remodeling this space and if we get rid of the table we have room for a decent size (not huge, but not tiny -- 3 feet by 6 feet? ish?) island with room for 2-3 stools.

Would I be foolish to get rid of the table? I just dont see the need for 3 separate seating options. We plan to stay in this house for the foreseeable future.

Sorry no photos at this point.

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You are right most people don't need 3 eating spaces. We got rid of the kitchen table and now have a counter height island with 4 stools.

We also have a dining room we use most nights for dinner.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:48AM
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When we redid our kitchen, the KD wanted to get rid of the kitchen table and put in an island with two stools. After some soul searching, DH and I decided that we much preferred eating at the kitchen table to eating at an island, so we kept the table. From what you describe, though, there doesn't seem to be a reason to keep your table, since you don't use it much. I totally agree about not needing 3 eating spaces. Go ahead and do the island plan, as long as it's functional in your kitchen for cooking.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 9:58AM
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The island and the kitchen table serve the same purpose: casual, small, near the cook seating, as such, I'd say that getting rid of one of them is a good idea. The question is, which one suits your space and your needs best?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:40AM
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We are doing a compromise of sorts:

A large "T" shaped island where the short part of the T is island height and quartz-topped and the long part of the T is a wood table that seats 6. We haven't decided on table or island height for that. But it will be connected to the island and be our only "kitchen" eating area. :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:44AM
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We struggled with exactly the same thing, although we still have kids in the house. Our house is relatively small and it just didn't make sense to have 3 eating areas so close together.

We decided to eliminate the kitchen table, but added seating to our island on 2 sides so we could still face each other. Our dining room is also less formal so we feel comfortable eating in there for dinner with the kids.

It sounds like you would get more practical use from a larger island than a table and if you're bumping up against the table now, it would probably also create a more clean/streamlined feeling space without the table.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:03AM
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thanks for all the advice. KellyH2010, you are reading my mind. I am thinking of 2 sided-seating, ie stool on end and 1 or 2 next to it on "long side" of island so we can sit somewhat facing each other.
Kitten1313, I see that a lot but we dont have room for that in our space

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:14AM
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I would absolutely get rid of the kitchen table. In fact, I'm planning to do this when I remodel. (Actually, I don't even have a table in my kitchen, I'm using the breakfast nook as a space for a desk that will move when I remodel.) Growing up, we had a counter in the kitchen for fast meals, doing homework, etc. We used the dining room for every other meal. Now it's just me and my guy, so we'd rather have a dining room table for sit down meals and counter space for quick meals or when guests are over and want to visit in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Sometimes I wonder if one of the contributing factors to being a nation that is generally over-weight (not knowing -or implying - anything about the OP, or her family, just speaking in general terms) is that we are now devoting so much of our interior space to exquisitely varied, but essentially redundant, eating locales within our houses.

There are regularly kitchen designs posted here with multi-position eat-at counter seating, breakfast nooks and full-scale dining table set-ups in the same large, undivided space

Or maybe we have just become intensely food-focused these days and our space planning is just following -not driving - the trend.

I would get rid of the kitchen table if you don't use it, keep a stool or two in the kitchen for quick snacks or for the cook's companion to have a perch, but eat in your DR on a daily basis. Certainly sitting within arm's reach of a fridge and freezer full of food can't make it any easier to diet!



    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:21PM
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Give thought to designing the island seating so you face each other.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:29PM
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I would lose the table too.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 12:45PM
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Before we started our remodel and I thought I had to choose, I would have said a table is more important. Fortunately we have room for both (albeit a small table) but now I find that the island is more useful because it does double duty as prep space. A table is really just a table.

I would choose the island. We use our table every day because we have a toddler in a high chair so I don't know how an island would work for that - but you don't need that and those high chair years are short and not worth a whole design around :)

As for redundant eating spaces, I agree sometimes I see houses with tons of eating space that seems over the top. But in our house, we can only seat 6 in our dining room, 3 at our island and 4 at our kitchen table so for any holiday, we need all of those spaces! We have an old home with small rooms - no 12 person dining table for us.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:16PM
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We could have built a bigger island and gotten rid of our kitchen table, but decided against it. While we intend to stay here for some time, I think it would have turned off some future buyers. So, that might be something for you to consider.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Three graces, thanks for the input - almost the only time our kitchen table really gets used is when we host holidays, which at this point is every three years (my 2 brothers and I rotate Christmas).

gpraceman, I have really been considering the resale value of an eat-in kitchen. However, it sounds like you could have both an island and a table. Our design is either/or. There is not enough room for both. Or we could stay with our current peninsula and table but have the same layout as we do no (see original post). Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 9:38AM
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Island's are still a a very popular feature. When we were discussing our remodel, we considered a peninsula. (Our kitchen is too small for an island) My husband said that he ate dinner at a kitchen table all his life! I am short and did not want my casual dining to always be up on a stool.
We also have a dining room that can seat twelve.
It sounds like you like sitting at a counter. To me, island seating would still be considered an eat in kitchen. Go with what you like since you are not thinking about selling any time soon.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 10:12AM
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I agree with ellendi that I would consider a kitchen with counter seating an eat-in kitchen. As for re-sale, I would guess it really depends on the buyer. For example, I would much rather purchase a well designed kitchen with counter seating than an equally well designed kitchen with only table seating, assuming in both cases there was some sort of dining room that could handle a table. Other people probably feel differently. Certainly having the floor space to handle both counter seating and kitchen table would likely please both parties, but many homes out there simply do not have the space for it. I know mine doesn't.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:28AM
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In our previous home we eliminated the kitchen table in favor of a peninsula with stools for 4 (we also had a formal dining room). Its just DH and I and we loved it, often we ate there with guests or small family dinners - however when time came for re-sale we had more than one potential buyer turn away because there was no room for a table. However in the long run, I would probably do the same thing again.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 1:50PM
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chitowncat - not sure how big of a remodel you are planning, but it wasn't until we gave up the idea of trying to retrofit our current floorplan and came up with an entirely new footprint that we freed up the room for an island (and a huge one at that) and a table. It took us a couple of years of mulling over options to have that epiphany. It was a lightbulb moment for sure and I can't believe it took us that long to come up with it. None of the KDs we got quotes from suggested it either.

It ended up costing about 25% more than our original budget, but our kitchen is SO much more functional now. Well worth the extra wait and expense.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 4:49PM
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    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:18AM
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I just got rid of the kitchen table and replaced it with a big island with seating for 4. Everyone LOVES it, we use the dining room for dinner but for quick breakfast/lunch it's perfect! I hated everything about the little table.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:50AM
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chitownkat, you know best how you live in your house. If you don't use the table much, and can make a more functional island with that space, I think it's a no-brainer.

I don't think it's such a bizarre feature that you will not be able to sell the house. Build for what makes sense to YOU, not some mythical future buyer.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 11:00AM
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I really appreciate everyone's input on this. I honestly can see pros and cons to this-- i just figured people had faced this decision before and was wondering what their reasoning was.
I am meeting with my project developer next week to discuss clearances, etc.
I have learned a lot on that topic from this forum as well. Thanks again, all.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 1:14PM
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    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:56AM
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