As previously mentioned here, the kitchen was the first space that we happily put our design hats on for.
Originally the kitchen had a U shape layout. The sink, fridge and oven all ran along the back wall and a type of bar unit ran parallel, providing a work surface with storage space underneath. This unit was just over 1m high and about 55cm wide, so while there was a defined kitchen area, it still had a relatively open feel to it which gave onto the living room.
However, one of the first things we noticed was that there wasn’t much of a dining area. We assumed that previous owners had doubled the unit up as a kitchen bar. For us however, it definitely wasn’t the most functional of places as sitting on a high chair or bar stool meant constantly banging your knees against the wall of the unit. What’s more, with the current layout it meant that people could only sit side by side, so if you are only two for dinner then no problem, but for dinner parties it meant sitting guests in one long line, which definitely limits group interaction!
While we knew there was never going to be enough space for a separate dining room, we wanted to create some kind of space where we could enjoy dinners at the table ( and not in front of the TV - New Year’s Resolution 2014!) and where we could happily have friends and family round without worrying about space and seating arrangements.
The solution didn’t come to us easily though and despite many different attempts, there just wasn’t quite enough room to place a kitchen table in the space between the bar and the living room, nor anywhere else for that matter.
The answer came during a work trip to Amsterdam. At this stage I was looking for as much inspiration as possible, and would often buy decorating magazines from my local tabac. As I was travelling from time to time with my work, I enjoyed buying different design publications from different destinations. So while in Amsterdam, I bought the magazine ‘Wonen Landerlijk Stijl’ which was definitely 4.95€ well spent. They had several great home features and in one particular kitchen photo there was just the detail I was looking for. Like ours, the kitchen had appliances along the back wall, with a kitchen bar unit running parallel, doubling up as storage and a work surface. Now the detail was that the counter on this unit extended just that bit further on the side of the living room to create a comfortable seating area, in which high chairs or bar stools could be tucked neatly underneath. This was a perfect solution, (and one which I’m now seeing used more and more frequently). It’s a great way of creating a relaxed eating area without taking up the space a dining table would. Problem solved!
The best designs are always the simplest ones…