Eat-in Kitchen Redesign

by Jane VanOsdol on April 10, 2011

If you happen to live in a home that has an eat-in kitchen without a dining room, you understand the challenge of maximizing the space in the kitchen. You need to have enough room for a dining table and chairs to accommodate various numbers of people, yet you still need to be able to have a work surface and storage. It’s a tall order for one room.

One way to do this is to try to use an open floor plan. Sometimes older kitchens fall back on an L-shaped design that suspends cupboards from the bulkhead across the middle of the room. The result is that your kitchen is chopped in half, with neither the dining side nor the kitchen side being very spacious. It also blocks your view from one side of the room to the other, making it hard to communicate.

When you’re ready to change this, an obvious home improvement solution to this problem is to open up your space. Contact a kitchen remodeling professional who can design a layout for you that removes the cupboards from the middle of the room and lays them out along a wall. This will open up your space and give you the room you need to spread out. You’ll be amazed at the difference in the feel of the room. The space was there all along; it’s just that the layout didn’t take advantage of it.

Another tip that will help you to maximize your storage and space in an eat-in kitchen is to include a kitchen island in your remodeling plans. Let’s look at a few features that you’ll want your island to have to be especially useful in an eat-in kitchen.

1.     Make it moveable. Rather than having your island be stationary, which will again permanently chop up your space, put it on wheels. Having a rolling island allows you to move it to wherever you need it to be. And, when it comes time for that big dinner party, you can even roll it out of the room if you need to open up a long table for seating guests.

2.     Pony up to the bar. Have the top built with an overhang so that you can use it as a breakfast bar. All you have to do is add a few stools and voila, you also have some extra seating—always a boon in an eat-in kitchen.

3.     Choose wisely. When you’re deciding upon a material for the island top, remember that since you’ll be rolling it around the kitchen, it can’t be too heavy. So that generally rules out stone. If you have granite or marble countertops, a butcher block top would be a great choice for your island. It’s especially functional and beautiful.

4.     Install a pullout. To make the cupboard on your island efficient, install a pull-out rack for heavy pans or mixing bowls. It will make getting them out a snap.

Remember, you don’t have to be a slave to bad design. Figure out the needs of your family and talk to a kitchen design specialist to work up a new plan.

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