Kitchen Table or Kitchen Island? Which one is better?

The layout of kitchens and their features are designed in a way that optimizes convenience and efficiency. When designing a kitchen, the primary factors to be considered are function and accessibility.

Interior designers, home builders, and homeowners know this – which is why, in the process of designing kitchens, they need to figure out which features are best to have while taking into account the function and activity that the kitchen space would accommodate.

Huge kitchens can have both a kitchen table and a kitchen island depending on the owner’s design preference, and budget. For kitchens with limited space, however, owners must determine which among the two is the better option.

Both have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. But regardless of your option, having either one of these features is a great addition to your kitchen. Not only will they give you extra counter space, but they will also make your kitchen efficient and aesthetically pleasing to look at.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the details to help you know more about kitchen tables and kitchen islands so you can make an informed decision on which one to pick.

Kitchen Islands

The most appealing about kitchen islands is that they act as the focal point of your kitchen. There are many things you can do with a kitchen island. It can provide extra storage space depending on its design. You can have drawers or shelf space underneath it.

A kitchen island also makes preparing food a whole lot easier. If you are someone who cooks a lot and loves to bake cakes and pastries, having a wide area to do all the food preparation activities is a great advantage.

Kitchen islands are considered a common feature in large spacious kitchens. This is where you usually set up your beverages and appetizers and serve drinks to your guests. They also double as a breakfast nook where you can conveniently prepare your morning coffee, or a bowl of cereal especially when you are in a rush and don’t have time for a formal breakfast at the dining table.

Note that the average height of a kitchen island is somewhere around 36 – 42 inches from the floor. Its counter space is normally 80×40 inches. There should also be at least 3 feet of space around your kitchen island for easy access and navigation. Measure your kitchen and see whether you have enough space for a kitchen island to fit.

Regardless of its size, style, and design, having a kitchen island is inarguably a good choice. There is a lot that you can do with all that counter space. In the future, when you decide to renovate or make changes to your kitchen layout, you can, of course, convert it into a kitchen table or a bar counter.   

Kitchen Tables

kitchen table family

Compared to a kitchen island, a kitchen table creates a much more traditional and intimate atmosphere in the home. A kitchen table is distinct from formal dining. It is usually where you prepare the ingredients for cooking, so they wouldn’t crowd your kitchen counter.

A kitchen table can also act as an informal dining area where you can sit down for a meal when you are eating alone or just having a snack. When you are working from home, a kitchen table is convenient to have since it allows you to have a space to put your laptop while looking after the food that you are cooking.

Kitchen tables can also be a breakfast nook. It is a much-preferred option if you have a limited kitchen space. Unlike a kitchen island, which functions as a kitchen counter where you can incorporate appliances like a range oven, and sink, a kitchen table is purely detached. This means it could be of any shape and size e.g., round, oval, or rectangular – whatever fits conveniently in your space.

In homes with small spaces, for example, condo units and small apartments, you are likely going to see a kitchen table that functions as the main dining area. This is because these homes do not have enough space for both a formal dining and kitchen table or island. Moreover, a kitchen table is less expensive than a kitchen island. Kitchen islands need to be built and typically require heavy maintenance.

If you have a bigger kitchen on the other hand and want to have a kitchen table, you can create an open-plan concept to separate distinct kitchen tasks and define the design and layout of your kitchen. If you decide to have both a kitchen table and a kitchen island, take note that the kitchen island should be the primary or central focus of the space. Create balance in perspective and visual aesthetics by arranging each element in a way that ties your interior design composition and structure into a coherent whole.

Kitchen Table vs. Kitchen Island – How to Decide?

Let’s say you can’t decide which one is best for your kitchen since both have similarities in terms of function and usage. Ask yourself these two questions.

1. Is your kitchen big enough for a kitchen island?

If you answered no, opt for a kitchen table instead.

2. Do you cook a lot at home? E.g. bake, prepare full meals, host dinners, and gatherings?

If you answered yes, you should probably go for a kitchen island. It does not necessarily have to be wide and long. Just enough space for an extra counter space would do just fine. If on the other hand, you don’t cook a lot and have limited space, a kitchen table would be much more convenient.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this has helped you decide which among the two is your best option. You can always ask the help of an architect and designer to help you craft a detailed layout and plan and figure out the best solution for your kitchen space.

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