How to Incorporate an Eating Zone in Your Kitchen

How to Incorporate an Eating Zone in Your Kitchen

Nowadays, not everybody has space in their home for a separate dining room. For this reason, open-plan living rooms often include some sort of eating area.

Additionally, because the kitchen is commonly the hub of the home, more and more people are opting to include some sort of eating area in the kitchen. The options are vast and varied, from countertops that are included in the kitchen itself to the inclusion of an adjacent but essentially separate space next to the kitchen. In this blog, we will discuss some of these ways to incorporate an eating area in your kitchen.

The size and shape of your kitchen will determine the options available in terms of an eating zone. For instance, an L-shaped room might be arranged so that one end of the L is reserved as the eating zone, and the rest is design to accommodate preparation, cooking, and washing up. The first step to having a cozy new eating area is examining your kitchen layout.

The Small Kitchen Eating Area

Generally, unless there is somewhere to accommodate a built-in breakfast nook, small kitchens rely on the inclusion of countertops as eating surfaces. The challenge though is to ensure that seating is comfortable and there is space for people’s legs.

Another option is to include a fold-down table that can be used as a work surface and eating area, though storage of seating might be an issue. If there really isn’t a way to accommodate an eating zone within the kitchen a compromise that sometimes works well is to break open a hatch and use the counter from the other side. Of course, it all depends on which room is on the other side! Ideally, it would be a dining room.

Thermofoil Kitchen Cabinets

The most common counter-top solutions incorporate bar stools rather than chairs, simply because of the height of working surfaces in the kitchen. That said, not all kitchens have work surfaces at a uniform height. For this reason, it is essential to match the height of stools to the countertops. Adjustable bar stools are a great versatile solution for your kitchen’s eating area.

The Medium-sized Kitchen Eating Area

Most medium-sized kitchens may be designed to incorporate an eating area of some sort. However, island arrangements are particularly popular because they can allow for dual purposes. For instance, cabinets may be included for storage, or even an oven might be incorporated into the island.

Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

If cupboards and kitchen cabinets around the perimeter of the room provide sufficient storage, a table and chairs might be perfect for your eating area. This arrangement will certainly encourage family and friends to join the cook while waiting for food to be cooked. Not only could the table serve as an eating area, but it could also be used as a prep station. One major benefit that makes up for the lack of storage is that the table can be more easily moved.

Important factors to consider when planning for an island or table are your workflow and the flow of traffic in the kitchen.

The Large Kitchen Eating Area

If you are lucky enough to have a large kitchen, just about anything goes. In fact, having a large kitchen can make it easier to ensure that the traditional kitchen elements included for food storage, preparation, and cooking, link sensibly with the eating area.

Thermofoil Kitchen Remodel

Most really big kitchens benefit visually and practically from the inclusion of a table and chairs. This is especially true when the style of the furniture matches the style of your kitchen whether sleek and minimalistic or full of country character, with wood cabinets.

If planning an eating area from scratch you may want to subdivide the kitchen space, positioning a cleanup area with a sink out of sight. As long as there is easy access this can work well. Similarly, the table might be positioned on one side of the kitchen, essentially making it an open-plan living space. Or you might prefer to have it in the center of the room. Assess your needs during the planning process because sometimes a lot of space is more difficult to tackle design-wise.


If you want a table and chairs in your kitchen, or would like to incorporate a smaller built-in eating zone, a good way to plan is with templates. Draw a plan of the room and make templates of everything including cabinets, appliances, and tables, chairs, and any other furniture you want to have in the kitchen.

Blue Kitchen Remodel

Start by positioning the sink, fridge, and stove templates on the plan. Then work with the different cabinets you have chosen and either suitable countertops or a table. Shuffle them around until you have a workable layout. Remember to include separate storage for food as well as pots, pans, crockery, and cutlery. Unless you have a separate laundry and/or clean-up area, you will also want to include at least one tall kitchen cabinet for brooms, a vacuum cleaner, and so on.

Finishing Up

Kitchen Dining Nook

Whether you choose an island, a table, or create a nook, having an eating area in your kitchen has a lot of benefits. It can be a great place to gather for a shared meal, a place to plan a menu or grocery list, and even a prep area. No matter what layout you decide on, the initial planning is crucial. Be sure that all of your measurements are accurate so that the eating area is seamlessly integrated into your kitchen. If you are unsure or need some assistance with your measurements, check out our guide to measuring your cabinet doors and drawers. This will give you a great starting point. Once you have your measurements, or if you need assistance, give us a call at 1-855-669-5222 or an email at We look forward to helping you make your vision a reality!