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Eat-in Kitchen vs. Separate Dining Room

How do you eat dinner with your family on a regular basis? Do you sit at the kitchen table together or does everyone eat on their own time wherever th...

Are dining rooms still popular?

In many homes, even if they aren’t used for eating, there are still dining rooms in the house. Dining rooms originally were separate from the kitchen because many homes had servants who cooked in the kitchen and the families were served as a group in a different eating area.

As having servants became less and less common, mothers would cook in the kitchen herself and serve meals in the dining room. As time has progressed, whoever was cooking no longer wanted to be alone in the kitchen and wanted to spend time with the rest of the family or guests and having a separate kitchen and dining room lessened.

That doesn’t mean all dining rooms are pointless. Many people enjoy having the separate boundaries for a peaceful place to eat as opposed to the kitchen where the food was prepared and where there might still be a mess to clean up.

The separate areas allow whoever cooked to relax during the meal rather than stare at what needs to be put away. Especially for holiday meals where there could be a huge disaster in the kitchen, it’s nice to have it out of sight and out of mind to really be able to enjoy the food and family time, even if it’s just while eating.

What's a dining room to you?

Ask yourself this question: Will you really use your dining room for eating?

Some families choose to have a dining room built in their Colorado Springs home, but not everyone actually uses it for dining. Sometimes a dining room is pristine and formal with a beautiful table set-up and china or glassware displayed in a hutch. Then, it’s typically only used for special meals and other than that it is just a pretty space.

Other times, and very few people are excused from this, the dining room becomes filled with items that aren’t used for eating - newspaper, junk mail, and other things that don't have a real "home" in the home.

Sometimes the area becomes a makeshift office or study area because it’s close to the kitchen, which is often the hub for socializing. When either of these are the case, meals are often eaten more in the kitchen or even in the living room, especially when the family is busy and actually cannot eat together regularly.

It's important to ask yourself what the dining room would be used for more than half the time and discover if you're okay with that. If you think that space would be better utilitized as an office, then don't bother with the dining room table.

That’s not to say that families shouldn’t use their dining room. Especially if a family is large, has a tradition of eating together, or has relatives come in to visit regularly, then it’s more likely that the family uses it’s dining room which can make it a real asset to your home. It leaves a space for everyone to eat, however it is possible to make the same space in your redesigned custom kitchen.

Should you build a kitchen eat-in?

When it comes time to remodel your kitchen, there are so many things to think about. Will there be a large pantry or just a plethora of cabinets. Will the countertops be a neutral color or have a unique design? Is there a backsplash on the walls or will you just paint the kitchen and keep it simple? These are all important questions, but one of the most important parts of a Colorado Springs kitchen redesign that you should keep in mind is the layout. In fact, the first place you should start when remodeling a kitchen is with the floor plan.

To design your kitchen floor plan, you have to consider how you want your kitchen to be used and if a dining room isn’t really your family’s style, building an area to eat in the kitchen could be a great alternative. 

Older kitchens used to be used only for cooking, but with a remodel you can add space to put a breakfast nook, a seated area at the kitchen island to sit and eat, or even an empty place to fit a table for the family. This will allow the family to socialize while cooking, or if people are on different schedules it can even let family members eat at different times while still being able to chat.

What about an open floor plan?

Although just adding a seating area to the kitchen is an option, an open floor concept may be an idea to discuss with your Colorado Springs kitchen remodeler. Open floor plans mean that instead of a separate dining room, kitchen and living room, there aren’t complete walls separating the areas. Essentially, the rooms all become one. By creating an open floor concept in your kitchen area there are a ton of benefits both socially and aesthetically.

Open floor plans tend to brighten a room, create better traffic flow, and more useable space. Because many people seek out open floor plans, it also increases the value of a home. Open floor plans allow for socializing while cooking which makes entertaining much easier. Add functionality to the space by allowing both socializing and cooking in the same area. Connect with your family, even with busy schedules. This is also a good way to watch over children who are in another room while still cooking or preparing meals. For a busy family, remodeling a kitchen to have an open floor concept can truly make life less stressful.

All families have different needs, and for some families a separate dining room is a must-have. For other families though, building a dining area into the kitchen is actually more beneficial to their lifestyle. The best way to determine what will work best for you is to talk to your Colorado Springs kitchen remodeler about what is possible, what the needs of your family are and how you can achieve the perfect kitchen for you.

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