If your loft apartment or cosy cottage is sporting a small kitchen, your design choices should both maximise space while maintaining a functional food preparation and eating area. Though elegant banquet tables are likely out of the question in your small eat-in kitchen, a number of space-saving dining tables are suitable for tight spaces without sacrificing style or your budget.
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Your available space, style preferences and functional needs will dictate your decisions when choosing a table for your small kitchen. Accurate measurements of your kitchen space are useful when you begin to shop for small tables. When you start shopping, factor in both the size and shape of the table. A round table allows for several chairs to be spaced around the table, but a rectangular table can be tucked into a corner and pulled out when the extra seating is needed. If you have an additional dining space, the kitchen table needs only to offer additional seating, but, if all of your eating will be done in the kitchen, the table must be large enough to seat all members of your household.
Make the most out of the nooks and crannies in your existing kitchen with a built-in table set-up. A window bench seat offers ample space for dinner guests, and a long, narrow banquet table provides just enough space for casual breakfasts or lunch parties. If you have additional dining space in another room, choose a bar top that matches your countertops and line it with several stools for a relaxed eating space.
Folding tables provide versatility if you require a small eating space on a daily basis but occasionally entertain or have family for dinner. Drop-leaf tables have hinged edges that fold down to safe space and open to provide additional surface area when you need it. Drop-leaf tables tend to be more traditional, pedestal-style tables. If your tastes are more modern, build a custom table that folds down on a hinge from a wall in your kitchen. When you need the floor space, the table folds flat against the walls but opens to provide an eating space when it's time to dine. For even more functionality, cover the underside of the table with photographs or cork board so that the surface is decorative or useful when the table is stowed against the wall.
In homes or apartments where extra space is limited, the kitchen table can be a valuable source of storage or additional functionality. Desks that offer a clean surface for place settings, as well as side drawers for storing files or paperwork, provide a workspace and an eating space for people without the room for a dedicated study. Counter-height kitchen tables often feature a central pedestal with a series of drawers for storing towels, plates or silverware. If your kitchen has an island, a set of bar stools is all you need to transform the food prep area into a food serving area.
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