Monday, May 30, 2011

Dining Room Table - Help Needed

Okay, friends.  I need your help.

Frog Prince and I have a kitchen we adore, but a dining room that needs some serious help.

Let me say first, that we are changing the table -- I've been drooling over this table and have plans to refinish one this summer.

{Image from Little Bits of Bliss}

Putting the table aesthetics aside, we don't know what shape of table is best, or where to put the table.

With the bar stools, the dining room table needs to be pushed farther to the right {centered under the light}.  That just makes things awkward.  Make no mention of how to hang decorations/photos on the wall when the table is off center in the room.  Sheesh.  

So, now we are thinking of a corner booth in the right back corner. An aerial view might look like this {note, it is not to scale}:

So, what do you ladies think?  I've always loved the idea of a breakfast nook, and I think this might help with the space issues in the dining room.

Ideas please!!!  


  1. Hi! I don't know if I've ever commented on your blog before, but oh well. Been reading for a while! My thoughts: Why not go for a bar-height table? They're super-comfortable to sit at, and that way, you could have two chairs flipped around to the bar, and then, when you need to use the table, you can just flip those chairs around the other direction. You eliminate the conflict of bar chairs vs regular chairs, and you can get a lot more space out of the room because you don't need to leave a walkway between barstools and chairs.

    I've seen some really pretty designs for "pub-style" tables, even ones that are square and can seat two chairs per side (so 8 total).

    That said, I grew up with an ekbank (the nook), and they're wonderful. More difficult to clean under (because you have to move the table to get under the benches), and if someone in the middle of the bench wants out, everyone has to get out between them and the end of the bench. BUT, you can build them with storage in the seats, which is super clever. It can look like a LOT of furniture in one place, especially without windows right there. The ekbank in my parents' house works, the one in our friends' feels constricted. Windows are the only difference.

    Best of luck!

  2. I think a booth is a great way to use the space. The only thing I'd try is to find one with removable cushions. My mom thought a booth was a great idea when we were little kids, and so we got this great Pepto Bismol-pink vinyl booth. And then, of course, since we were kids, we'd spill milk & other stuff in it...and that gets stinky if there's not a good way to clean it out!

  3. Good luck with your table project! I'm always afraid to try things like that - assuming I'll mangle it. I should just pick up a piece someone is tossing and try it to see how it goes.

    My first impression was that you definitely need to go with a banquette in that right corner, but then I was thinking if you hadn't hung the light off center, you could have made the table tall enough so the chairs at the table could also be used at the counter. That way, you would have more space and could just turn the chair to the table or the counter - whichever you were using at the time.

  4. First thing I would do would be to change out the bar stools for the saddle style ones. They would slide right under the bar when not in use! I know you will get lots of GOOD suggestions, but that is mine! Good luck!

  5. Loving these suggestions so far; thank you! We can easily move the light (it's centered in the room, but we looped the cord and hung the light to be centered over the table for now) - so the idea of a bar-height table where we can use our barstool chairs on one side of the table is a great idea. Keep them coming!

  6. I LOVE what you've done with your space so far -- you and FP are really on the ball!! I'm also really digging Jessika's suggestion above about the versatile bar-height table...I never thought of that, but I think it would be super! Especially if you finished it like the "inspiration" table photo you have above -- I am drooling over that table now! :) Best of luck with whatever you choose -- I'm sure it will look fabulous!

  7. I love the idea of a booth! I always notice them when I see them in design magazines and on blogs because I think they are both very attractive and an effecient use of space. I think an L shaped booth or bench would be a great fit for your dinning area.

  8. You may not like this idea... but I'll throw it out there anyways. And I know you just got done re-doing your kitchen. But this is what *I'd* do. Tear down that space where the bar stools are. And have an open walk-thru to the dining room. Or get rid of that wall all together so the kitchen and dining room will be more open.

    This way the table could be centered w/the wall. Do you have picture for the other side of the dining room?

  9. Hi Sno White,
    Your new kitchen is great and you have some really good space in the dinning area. Your plan for the booth is very nice, however it does lock you in to that design and will limit the space for entertaining. If you had your "dream" table, which I love, in the center and elimanate the two bar chairs, you would make better use of the space. When you entertained you would have any number of options for serving and seating. You can always flip a chair around to sit at the bar if you would like or you could use a very samll bar stoll that took less space than a chair, although I most likely would not use anything at the bar. What fun, I just love the decorator challenge. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  10. 1. I think the bench/banquet style seating is a good idea, especially if the top opens for storage! Also, I bet you can sew cushions that are washable or can replaced with changing styles.

    2. Although I like the bar-height table, if you plan to have kids, I think that's a worrisome idea. I know that I panic when Lila is in a tall chair!

    3. Lighting idea: what about some pendants (or cans) over the bar area and then push the main light off the center of the room, to center on the table? That would really illuminate the entire room quite nicely, I think.

    4. I like the saddle-type bar stool idea, from an earlier commenter!

  11. A couple thoughts for you from one who has had many and varied kitchen-dining footprints.

    If you decide on a booth... get a rectangle pedestal or trestle table and save many little bumps to knees and ankles getting in and out. Booths are cozy and little kids love them and work with your bar stools.

    If you decide on your dream table... think about removing those bar stools and using the counter for serving. Center your table under the light and put something interesting on the back wall.
    A large hanging shelf or maybe even a Welsh type cupboard, will provide good storage and with your personal things... interest for the eye.

    I also suggest painter's tape to mark out where furniture will be or big boxes ... has saved many a traffic pattern mistake for me. As having to turn side ways or constantly move a chair even
    an inch or so to get by... gets old in about 5 minutes. All the best... have fun with your 'problem'. :o)

  12. My first thought was putting a table in there really clutters the space. Since it appears that you have a rather large, odd space to the right (with the fireplace), my thought was adding a dining area in that room. Then you can use the space with the bar stools for more of a decorative place. I only suggest this because I've seen it done on Young House Love website. See this post:

  13. I love the breakfast nook idea. Seems like it makes the most sense for the space you have. It's fun to see your home transform!! And that photo of the table in the post....LOVE IT!!!
    Blessings, Pamela

  14. Don't let future children scare you off the pub style table. We got this high chair:
    It allows me to set it high for our pub style kitchen table and set it to normal table height in the formal dining room. It has been awesome to have our sons at the table with us instead of at regular high choar height.

  15. 1) Can you out a window in there? I would try to lighten it up a bit.
    2) I would move the light and center the table, I don't like booths though, unless you have a bunch of small children, sliding for adults is not fun.
    3) I would get light colored furniture in there or lighten the walls.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you; especially how you're finding JOY in your kitchen.

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