Are kitchen tables outdated in today’s modern homes? Is kitchen dining furniture still used? There are two reasons for asking this question: the increasing popularity of islands incorporating breakfast bars in larger kitchens, and the trend toward open plan areas in smaller and even average-size homes.
Kitchen Tables and Dining Tables decorative range hoods
In bygone days, it was not unusual for most meals to be eaten in the kitchen. Even if a family had a separate dining room, that was often kept for formal dining and special occasions while family meals were taken at the kitchen table. The dining table was of a higher quality, often highly French polished and of fixed dimensions.
Kitchen tables came in a wide range of styles, sizes and finishes, and these are still available today. Dining tables in the Mission style, for example, are often fundamentally a tabletop resting on four plain legs. Such tables would stay in the kitchen surrounded by as many chairs as people living in the house. They would be used for all family meals.
This is fine if the kitchen is large enough to accommodate a full size table and still leave plenty room for cooking, preparation and the 101 other tasks carried out in the kitchen. For smaller kitchens, the table would have to take up less space. These come in the form of expandable or adjustable tables.
There are several types of these, including gate-leg tables where a leaf is attached to the tabletop by hinges and raised when needed. It rests on one or two legs that are also hinged to pull out as a support for the flap. Another type involves extra leafs that can be slotting into a gap formed by pulling two parts of the main tabletop apart.
There are other types of expanding mechanisms which are also in use today, both for kitchen tables and formal dining tables where the space available is limited. Where a room has multiple functions, it makes sense to use a table that is full-size only when in use.
Breakfast Bars and Kitchen Islands
In the modern era of rush and go, fewer people sit down as a family to a formal breakfast. They often eat individually, and the need for a family-size kitchen table is sadly diminished. Breakfast bars have become more common, where people sit on high seats or bar stools at a ledge set against a wall or at a kitchen island. This design is likely to make them eat up as fast as possible!
Kitchen islands are designed to stand in the center of the kitchen floor area, offering access to all four sides. One side is sometimes recessed to give more leg room, though this is not essential. An additional benefit is the extra storage space the kitchen island offers. This can be provided in the form of cupboards, drawers, wine racks, cutlery and knife storage, and so on. Some incorporate a sink and faucet, while others have a butcher block recessed into the top – or sometimes both!