How to Combine Your Kitchen and Dining Room

How to Combine Your Kitchen and Dining Room Whether you’re looking for solutions for a smaller home or simply love open design concepts that flow from one room to another, a combined kitchen and dining room could be the answer you’re looking for. The key to combining the kitchen and dining room is to maximize functionality in the space while intentionally employing design choices that effortlessly bridge the two rooms. Here’s how you can make both spaces work for you.

Functional Flooring It’s best to use the same material in both rooms, but finding a perfect match for both can be hard. For example, hardwood is beautiful in dining rooms and would be a terrible choice for a kitchen, where it’s like to absorb all manner of spills. But what if instead, you opted for resilient vinyl flooring in a realistic woodgrain print? Tiles are another option - for the best results, go with porcelain or ceramic, which are both easy to clean and elegant enough for a formal dining room.

Furniture Features Create continuity in the conjoined spaces by using a similar theme for furniture and cabinetry in both. Draw from similar color palettes and like-color wood stains in both spaces to emphasize a visual connection. They don’t have to match exactly, but visual cues go a long way - for example, using the same distinct color for the upholstery on a bench in the dining area and a knife block in the kitchen.

Flexible Seating When the kitchen and dining room occupy the same space, ensuring enough room for both functions could be a challenge. Try bench-style seating that can be tucked under the table between uses, freeing up space in the room. An awkwardly placed corner can host an L-shaped bench to provide banquette-style seating in a part of the room that would otherwise be underutilized.

Subtle Storage Save on room by building storage throughout the combined space rather than just relying on the cabinets. If you’re going with bench seating, choose a bench with storage underneath where you can hide extra linens for guests or less frequently used kitchen gadgets. A kitchen island or a breakfast bar could serve the same purpose.

Expandable Counter Space is the kitchen half of the room a little smaller than you wanted? Think about wheeling in some extra counter space - literally. A butcher block table on wheels or a cart can serve multiple purposes. Not only does it deliver much-needed counter space, but it can also make it much easier to move food and dishes between the dining room and kitchen. Choose one in a bright hue to add a pop of color that serves as a fun visual accent wherever it goes.

Flowing Traffic is the biggest challenge for smaller spaces, whether they’re combined-use or not, is often foot traffic. Above all, you want to avoid designing bottlenecks and non-intuitive layouts into your home. A good designer will pay attention to things like the natural flow of traffic through spaces and avoid creating obstacles, resulting in a home that flows easily from one space to another.

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