Do You Need a Dining Table If You Have a Kitchen Island?


The island quickly surged in popularity over the past decade. From farmhouse kitchens to industrial chic ones and beyond, islands became a staple of interior design. But now that we’re well into 2022, are kitchen island dining tables a thing of the past?

By all things considered (including the likes of IG influencers and staple designers), it appears the island is here to stay! And who’s to say otherwise, considering how these pieces as stylish as they are functional.

But, there are a few things to keep in mind before putting an island in your stream–including one thing you should never do.

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Do You Need a Kitchen Table if You Have an Island?

The answer to this depends on what kind of island you have and its functionalities. Some islands are designed with only food prep in mind, often with a stainless steel counter or even a built in burner.

These islands don’t make the best place to sit down and grab a bite of breakfast, or work on homework. If you’re interested in having an informal place to sit and drink a cup of coffee, adding a kitchen table might be a good idea.

But here’s a huge faux pa you’ll want to avoid at all costs: never let your kitchen island be the sole dining table in your home.


Can You Sit at a Kitchen Island?

Many kitchen islands have built in “nooks” that are perfect to pull up a stool to and grab a quick bite to eat. Typically, one half of the island serves as a convenient dining space and the other remains as a free workspace for the kitchen.

Islands can cleverly disguise pantry shelves, spice racks, trash cans, and even microwaves. The kitchen island seems like it can do it all, but it can’t do one thing: take the place of your dining table. Once you think about it, it’s easy to see why.

Islands are shorter and wider than your typical dining table. This puts diners at a slightly awkward distance from each other. The shorter length means that you can seat fewer people on either side, and you won’t be able to seat people on the far edges, either.

That’s if your island can even accompany seats on all sides. Most islands have built in storage, so you can’t even pull a chair up to them. It makes sense, then, that you’ll need a kitchen table if you have an island. But how do you go about fitting these two large pieces into the same space?

How Far Should a Dining Table Be From a Kitchen Island?

If you’ve got the spare room for it, it’s best to have a dining room that’s detached from the kitchen. Open floor plans are becoming increasingly more common, however.

In that case, it’s a good idea to have you’re dining table in clear view of the kitchen, but not too close. A distance of 10 feet or 3 meters or so around all sides of the table is a good place to start.

If you’re working with less space, a small partition wall can help define the area, and create a clear boundary between the dining room and, say, the living room for example.

You can coordinate colors between the dining room and the kitchen, but consider adding some more contrasting elements to help distinguish the spaces. Having a dining table in addition to your kitchen island is a perfect way to help keep your guests more comfortable and enjoy a more formal dining experience.


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