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11 of the Cleverest Eat-in Kitchens on Houzz

Think your kitchen is too small for a dining area? Think again…

Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More

If you dream of a having a spacious kitchen-diner, you’re not the only one. But your kitchen has more potential to squeeze in a dedicated dining area than you think. Take a look at these inspiring eat-in options for proof.

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Install some corner seating
Built-in furniture is more space-saving than freestanding. A stylish L-shaped banquette in the corner of this kitchen helps the dining area feel neat and streamlined. While two dining chairs are fine, any more would have felt cramped and cluttered. A round table also makes sense in a tight space, as it visually takes up less room and leads to fewer bumps than one with corners.

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Shine with see-through style
Often in a tight space clutter is visual as well as physical. Here, the light colours and transparent furniture provide a calming sense of space. The built-in bench in a pale wood and the see-through Ghost chairs have turned the smallest of corners into a neat dining area that doesn’t feel obtrusive.

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Paint it one colour
Keep your colour scheme simple in your eat-in kitchen so it doesn’t appear overcrowded. In this gorgeous period space, the cupboards, door and architraves all painted in the same heritage blue shade add a calming feel, and the lack of contrast helps the room feel bigger. It also prevents the wood furniture from taking over the room, while still adding a warm contrast.

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Use a U-shape creatively
Even if your kitchen is a little larger, you may still not feel you can afford to sacrifice the space for a large freestanding table and chairs. In this compact U-shaped kitchen, the bench backs directly onto the dividing worktop to save floor space. This trick leaves ample room for a sizeable area to use for dinner, lunch or breakfast.

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Keep things simple and open
If you’re planning on fitting a dining area into your kitchen you might want to consider open shelving. It helps rooms feel wider than built-in wall cabinets, opening up the room’s width.

In a similar vein, choose large flooring tiles as smaller ones can make rooms feel more squashed. In general, simple style choices, from the bifold doors to the skirting boards, help this room feel more open.

Discover how to use primary colours at home

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Extend an island
If you don’t mind perching on a stool or high chair, turning your island into more than just a mini breakfast bar is a fast track to creating an eat-in kitchen. This is an option to consider at the planning stage if you have the budget or room length for a large island. Here, the island worktop has been extended with a curved waterfall edge, giving plenty of space for family members or guests to squeeze around.

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Create a gorgeous galley
You might think that a big eat-in area in a galley kitchen is a no-no, but this sleek sophisticated design shows it is possible and doesn’t have to feel awkward. Low, blocky stools that can be tucked under and a long, slim table are a sensible choice that don’t cramp the space. If you want to try this look, flat-fronted cabinets are also a good idea, as they prevent the room from seeming busy. Go for handleless doors so that there aren’t any knobs or handles to get caught on as you slide past.

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Micro-style a bistro look
Perhaps your kitchen is just too tiny for a proper table? Don’t write off your eat-in plans. In this compact kitchen, the tiniest of bistro tables teamed with stools has become a perfectly lovely place to perch with a glass of wine or coffee. Choosing a round shape makes the most of the space, while comfy upholstered bar stools make it somewhere to linger.

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Fold things away
Two chairs and the smallest of tables butted against a wall are really all you need to take your small kitchen to a new eat-in level. Choose folding chairs that can be propped against the wall while you’re cooking, washing and peeling, then unfolded when you want to sit down and eat.

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Have a block party
Can’t decide between an island or dining table – and no room for both? In this chic, simple kitchen, the owners have teamed a small table with a same-height butcher’s block for the best of both worlds. There’s scope for sociable dining and an extra prep surface to boot. As these are all freestanding items, there’s also scope to switch things about if need be.

Why a table can be a better bet than an island

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Make extendable your friend
Small can be a virtue sometimes. This super-cute cottagey kitchen has the teeniest of tables, but it’s inviting rather than annoyingly confined. A table that can extend or fold-out to a bigger size is a great choice in a room like this as the ends can be left down when it’s just you and a pal, but can be folded out if you want to accommodate more guests.

Have you created an eat-in kitchen in a tight spot? Share your tips and photos in the Comments section.
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