Why Kitchen & Dining Rooms marry well

Why Kitchen & Dining Rooms marry well

It’s a fact; kitchens and dining rooms connect functionally. It wasn’t always that way though. Houses built before the 80’s were built with separate kitchen and dining rooms. I spend a lot of my time working with clients to open up the kitchen / dining spaces and in new construction projects we are designing these two spaces to work seamlessly together.


No longer does the cook want to be relinquished to the kitchen alone while the party continues without them. Cooking is now a social adventure and a part of entertaining. So having the spaces relate in a complementary way is highly recommend for most houses but consider a few things as you are designing.


  • Sink Location: most of the time in a kitchen is spent at the kitchen sink, so the placement of the kitchen sink should be considered. For example, what are you looking at when standing at the sink? In this house featured, the sink is in the island because it faces the ocean view and living room. The only reason to hesitate putting the sink in the island is if you are a messy cook (like my husband) and you want to hide a mess from your guests. Note: I don’t love putting the cooktop in the island and avoid it if I can because it is typically the messiest area and it is difficult to properly vent well.
  • Lighting: light fixtures over a table create a beautiful vignette. Make sure that the placement of this fixture is spot on by buying the fixture and dining table before the electrical plan is finalized. I always draw these pieces into the plan and evaluate it in 3D. Make sure that if you expand the table or move it to accommodate more guests or a party that the fixture still works. Sometimes we will simply use recessed lighting in the dining area in order to allow for flexibility.
  • Layout: Remember that the refrigerator and wall ovens are full height will need a solid wall to accommodate them. I typically look at which wall has the least favorable view out the window and see if I can create a functional wall that has the refrigerator, wall ovens and cooktop with hood venting directly out. Venting the hood is actually tricky business and the contractor will appreciate it if you think about this functionally.


I enjoy having the space between kitchen and dining open because I can do some preliminary cleaning up during a dinner party and still be a part of the conversation. I did however, mess up on the placement of my light fixture and it bums me out. If I have the table extended to a 10’ table, things can become off center. I balance it with large candlesticks – then squint so that I don’t notice it! What can I say, to error is to human. But my mistake is your gain, now you know to be very thoughtful about light placement.


If you are ready for a Kitchen / Dining Room renovation, let’s discuss your budget, timeline and scope of project to make sure they match up to ensure that the project is a good fit for everyone!


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