Politicians don't talk about "kitchen table issues" for nothing; even in the days when formal dining rooms were standard, many people used those spaces mostly for Sunday dinners and holidays, preferring to gather around the kitchen table instead for everyday breakfasts, coffee breaks, after-school homework and cozy family dinners. Today's ubiquitous open plan kitchen with a massive kitchen island with seating for everyone is only the latest iteration of the eat-in kitchen. Whether it's a café table for two squeezed into a petite city kitchen, a dining table adjacent to the kitchen island in a spacious loft or a giant farmhouse table in the center of a spacious country house kitchen, here are some inspiring eat-in kitchens for every taste and budget.
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Cafe Table and Chairs
In this modest L-shaped Italian eat-in kitchen, a small cafe table and chairs creates an inviting place to sit, drink coffee, or share a meal. The informal seating arrangement evokes a sense of whimsy and spontaneity and the cafe furniture lends the space a sense of occasion that will make eating at home feel like a treat.
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This classic eat-in country kitchen in a 17th-century Cotswold sandstone farmhouse has rustic beams, a vaulted ceiling, hanging baskets and green pendant light hanging over a rustic antique dining table and painted wood chairs that seats a crowd.
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This one-wall kitchen is long and narrow but even with a mid-century eat-in table and three chairs on one side doesn't feel cramped thanks to a generous window at the far end to let in ample natural light. High ceilings, fresh white paint, and a contemporary solid black backsplash and floating wood shelf anchors the space without making it cluttered like a row of bulky cabinets would.
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Interior designer Cecilia Casagrande used dark floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman in the eat-in kitchen in her Brookline, Massachusetts home. "You don’t need kitchen wallpaper to have chickens or food on it," Casagrande says. "This bold floral reminds me of a Dutch painting, one you’d sit and relax in front of it, appreciating the art." Casagrande chose a banquette with a high back to evoke a Parisian bistro feel, layering it with pillows in a variety of fabrics and included layered ambient light around the room. "I also wanted the room to feel and look like other rooms in the house—comfortable, not just a bank of white tile and cabinets."Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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This modern eat-in kitchen from Pizzale Design Inc. is extra comfortable and inviting thanks to an upholstered banquette attached to the back of the kitchen peninsula. The dining area faces away from the appliances and cooking area to create a little oasis for sharing a meal while maintaining an open feel.
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Old and New
In this glamorous eat-in kitchen, an ornate antique crystal chandelier anchors a long rustic wooden dining table surrounded with a mix of modern and vintage chairs, creating a focal point for the dining area and delineating the eat-in portion of the kitchen. A mix of sleek all-white contemporary cabinetry and kitchen elements and an antique wooden armoire for additional storage creates a timeless feel that makes the room feel layered and inviting.
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In this small all-white eat-in kitchen, an L-shaped prep and cooking area is matched with a small round table and painted white Scandi-style chairs that create a seamless and coherent look. A simple rattan pendant light warms up the all-white space and puts a spotlight on the charming dining area fit for two.
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Minimalist Eat-In Kitchen
In this streamlined minimalist eat-in kitchen, an L-shaped cooking and prep area has plenty of counter space and open floor space. A simple table and chairs pushed up against the opposite wall creates an easy place to dine and breaks up the empty corridor leading to the rest of the apartment.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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This galley kitchen utilizes every inch of space on both sides of the cooking and prep area, while an adjoining dining area feels like an extension of the kitchen by keeping everything white and neutral. White gauzy curtains allow light to pass through while adding a cozier feel, and a simple industrial pendant light anchors the dining area.
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The eat-in kitchen in this Victorian terraced house has a retro-style freestanding fridge, a large farmhouse table and a bench upholstered in leopard print. Fornasetti wallpaper adds a touch of color and whimsy that makes the eat-in kitchen feel as cozy as any other room in the house.
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This 16th-century Sussex cottage known as "The Folly" has what today we would call an open plan kitchen and dining room, with an Arts & Crafts oak dining table, chairs by Alvar Aalto, a marble-topped work station painted light blue, teak wood kitchen cabinets, framed art on the walls and a George Nelson pendant light. It's a lovely, homey, eclectic eat-in kitchen that will never go out of style.
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This eat-in kitchen in a 1800s French brick and flint country house from German interior designer Peter Nolden is an ode to French charm, with original architectural details, checkerboard fabric in two different colors on dining chair seats and used as a curtain for under-counter storage, vintage wood shelves on the walls and a generous wooden farm table for family meals. A black metal vintage chandelier and vintage lettering sign that says bookstore in French and hanging copper pots creates a timeless feel.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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This spacious eat-in kitchen has a small kitchen island and a large concrete dining table with rounded modern plastic chairs in black, yellow, and red that makes it an excellent spot for working (or co-working) from home. Industrial touches like an oversized stainless hood vent with exposed piping and matching stainless appliances mixed with an antique wood armoire for kitchen storage create a mutli-dimensional look.
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Define Areas With Lighting
In this enormous eat-in kitchen, a large kitchen island near the prep and cooking space is complemented by a full-size dining table anchored by an area rug on the other side of the space. Pendant lighting with a similar look but varying shapes anchors the dining table and kitchen island, creating a defined but uniform look. Wood beams add a sense of warmth to the sprawling open space.
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Open and Airy
In this airy, spacious all-white kitchen open to the outdoors with a wall of windows, black granite countertops define the cooking area. While the room is big enough to accommodate seating around the island, not everyone wants to dine at bar height. Here the island is used for meal prep and to display flowers and doesn't include seating. Off to the side, far enough away to feel like a dedicated dining space but close enough for ease and flow, a mid-century modern white table and poppy red chairs and a contemporary black pendant light create a room within a room in this minimalist eat-in kitchen.