Kitchen inviting :)

lavender_lassOctober 4, 2013

I just love a table in the middle of the kitchen! I know they aren't the best height for prep, but with fall coming, it just seems so inviting to sit down to a cup of tea or coffee.

A few of my favorites...just felt like sharing. Have a wonderful weekend :) From Farmhouse plans From Farmhouse plans From Lavender Lass farmhouse pictures From 1920s kitchen project From 1920s kitchen project

And one of my very favorites...Mermanmike's kitchen :) From 1920s kitchen project From 1920s kitchen project

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Beautiful pics! All of those kitchens seem to have enough room and look very inviting.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 8:51PM
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Holly- Kay

LL thanks for posting. I love the beautiful kitchens with great farmhouse tables.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 9:12PM
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Thanks for posting those. I enjoyed looking at them and it reminded me that we had a table in the middle of our kitchen when I was growing up.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 10:58PM
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My weekend includes spraining a toe while we burned a summer's accumulation of pruned and fallen branches, downed trees, etc. So I'm relaxing now and found this happy post.

To me, this arrangement is the ultimate for a kitchen as the heart of the home. By definition, a kitchen organized around the most-used table will be about all the living that takes place there, as much or more than the cooking. Mine needs to be small enough for DH to give me a pat or two in passing, like your first few, and I always imagine a round table.

Here are some pulled out of an ideas folder.

Lots of nice old tile would be great. Of course, room for friends or relatives to plop down. This is actually my overall favorite of those found on line. I'd watch the street scene while I sipped my coffee.

Books are a must; I'd fill that hutch with cookbooks too. This one is also a big favorite but really needs to be smaller to suit me.

Sunshine, door to garden, or maybe porch first.

Especially in a hot climate.

Wallpaper would be nice. This one, a long-time favorite, doesn't have a table in the middle, but I included it because I always felt it should have. :)

Whatever the style, though, to me this would be a personal, private part of the house, reflecting all the intimate living that goes on there. Not everyone who walked in the front door would be invited back (although here in the South everyone comes to the back door anyway, but still...)

To be perfect there should be room for a really comfy chair close by in a corner. These next couple kitchens must have a place to tuck one in.

It shouldn't take $80K to create something wonderful. This one is really quite close, even if many would consider it a tear-out.

This one's actually from an ugly house site. Yet it could be totally charming.

It should be exactly where you want to be when the weather is truly awful.

I would really like it to be one of 2, or at most 3 rooms, that could be closed off from the rest of the house and lived in during the most extreme weather. We've had single-digit winters (yes, I know, Lavender. :) even here in North Georgia, and I just hate to have the HVAC working constantly to keep so much unnecessary space warm. Or, when we lived in the desert, cool.

Here's one so charming that made me think immediately of you, LavenderLass. I like the little pass-through in the background, too, although I'm wondering (hoping) those curtains were only hung there while it was being photographed. :) Imagining the stove elsewhere, the curtains would be perfect.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:07PM
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LL and Rosie -- both of you seem to have the uncanny ability to capture the atmosphere of a kitchen, as much as the functionality. Atmosphere is something totally different from both functionality and design, something abstract but essential that many of us mere mortals don't get. Well, we may get it after the fact, but it's really hard to put our fingers on in advance. This forum needs you guys and the insight you provide! Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 6:44PM
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I agree with justmakeit!

What do you think it is that makes a kitchen atmosphere so cozy? It's not just the tables, or warm colors, or plants, I don't think. It's something... more. It can't exclude good functionality, because if a kitchen doesn't function well, it won't be a room that you want to spend time in. But, it certainly isn't just about function, and some kitchens that have a less than optimal function do so well achieving this cozy, well-loved, feeling.

Yes, "abstract, but essential" as justmakeit says. But, how to create such an ambiance?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 9:06PM
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If only I had the space ;(

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 10:48PM
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In our rather large kitchen area we have a round old oak table we got from DH's mother, who got it from her mother who had bought it used, so it has to be well over 100 years old. It was in her basement, with who knows how many coats of paint over it; my DH removed all the paint, refinished it, and I wouldn't trade it for anything!! This table has gone through a lot of history for sure. My kids just can't understand this, very weird to me that they can't appreciate the beautiful work that went into this piece as well as the history, but hey, different generations, different tastes!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 11:29PM
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Chompskyd, your mention of function made me laugh because some of those kitchens I posted really, really need some help. I posted for the idea.

When I made the (not horrible) mistake of going for an island in this, the only custom home we've built, I craved all the work space I could ever want. The island's nice, and nicely efficient. It's great virtue, though, is that it allows me to work facing out into the room, something I also thought I really wanted. And it is really nice, especially the added storage right there; but after living with all this I now realize that, with rare exceptions, working at the stove counter behind the island (looking out the window) fits my needs very well -- and more efficiently because I'm not carrying food back and forth from the prep island. Although the island storage would have to be moved to the perimeter, requiring more walking, it wouldn't bother me because I'd just move the less-used items farther out. I don't cater at home, do large cannings, or bake for a hobby, and big entertaining needs are handled by putting some dishes together beforehand anyway. But, not at all incidentally, when more space is needed, a kitchen table has always been a work table too.

Many love their islands for more than just function, of course, and feel they are just the family center that we're talking about -- warm, happy places that perform that function very well.

A table IN the kitchen just does it more. If there's additional "coziness," it probably comes from the fact that there is no inside for the cook and outside for sitting. For better and worse, everyone is inside together. And relaxing into a chair, able to gaze around at everyone gathered there, is different from perching on a stool gazing in and staying well out of the cook's way. In that respect, all islands are barrier islands.

How lovely that you are preserving that wonderful old table for the future, Ogrose. Give them time. People often get more sentimental and independent of the newest styles with age. Thank goodness.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:50AM
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I love all these pictures--and Lavendar Lass, thanks for including my kitchen in your tour--that warmed my heart--and the heart of my home!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 8:09AM
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Mike- I'm're kitchen is wonderful. I'd so love to visit and have a cup of tea...or beverage of your choice :)

Ogrose- Your table is amazing! How fortunate to have so much history in a piece of furniture. I think your kids might appreciate it more, as they get older.

Rosie- Great pictures! So many beautiful kitchens. I think what others have mentioned is just what you're saying...there is no 'line' between you and your family/friends. You're all 'in' the kitchen, not the nook, dining room, other side of a peninsula or island.

While some people prefer to have that separation, for various reasons...I know one of my favorite kitchens (my grandmother's) had a round table in the middle of the room. The layout was not that functional, but she baked all the time (I miss her bread, especially!) and everyone was invited into her space.

Sitting there, with my mom and others, we talked about everything and there was always another coffee or tea cup, if anyone stopped by. Just a very friendly, warm and inviting room, which I think is something that the kitchen table represents.

While it can be a hazard (too crowded/too many chairs) when done correctly, the table is really a wonderful part of the kitchen :)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:16PM
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And sandyponder's!

Here is a link that might be useful: Sandyponders

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Our table is not in the middle of the kitchen, but it is definitely IN the kitchen. And I would not like the kitchen nearly as much without it. When people come by, they almost always pass through the family room and head for the kitchen table to sit and talk.
I know most of you have seen my pics, but here is the table again. The lamp over it was one my father recued 50 years ago from an a great uncle's barn. It was used in my parents' home and now in mine. It makes me smile. As does the table, also a family piece.

To get there, visitors pass through the family room, which is inviting, but the kitchen draws them.

Yes, Lavender, I think a featured kitchen table adds great warmth and welcome to a home.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 7:32PM
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LL, You do find the loveliest photographs. I always enjoy them. The touch of red in this photograph is absolutely my taste.

One note about a table in the middle of the kitchen: DO NOT plan this to be prime prep space. We have rented the same ocean-front cabin several times, and it has little counter space but a HUGE kitchen table. It is a horribly-functioning kitchen. I always end up scooting two chairs over to the wall so I can walk up to the table to do my work, and then they must be brought back for the meal. Perhaps it would be better if the chairs weren't so tall; still, I would not like to do this everyday in my own house.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 8:13PM
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I love all of your photos LL : ) Such inviting kitchens!

rosie- Love the Moonstruck kitchen!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Mrs Pete- I agree. I think the best kitchen tables are the ones used for secondary prep...snapping beans, decorating cookies, shelling peas, peeling apples, etc. Something you want to do sitting down.

I guess I always picture a kitchen table being used that way...that and sitting around chatting and drinking tea/coffee. Maybe a glass of wine, while you're cooking spaghetti?

This post was edited by lavender_lass on Tue, Oct 8, 13 at 15:54

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 3:37PM
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robo (z6a)

Hi LL, I saw this photo in a real estate ad and thought of you. The realtor lists the kitchen as 17x10 but I feel that must not include the table area. There's also a dining room elsewhere in the house.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:31AM
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