I think most modern families would agree that the kitchen is most definitely the heart and soul of the house. With the crazy lifestyles we lead, its pretty much cook, sit, eat, clean and run off. So with this in mind to maximise the rushed time together, the best idea, is to ensure your kitchen has a table and is a family friendly environment so everyone can enjoy themselves in the space. This means probably a little kiddie friendly corner with mini table and chairs, a box of toys, a wall or an island side painted chalk board, perhaps a door to the outside and if you have the luxury of loads of space, potentially an island with stools as well as a big table with chairs (hmmm I love it when my mind runs wild with ideas).
The dining table in a kitchen these days serves as many things. A homework table, an admin table (mine certainly piles up with all the paperwork I need to see to), a place to sit and drink coffee and of course a beautiful space for family and friends to sit and eat.
My pet hate however with having a dining table in the kitchen is when hosting a dinner party and all the dirty cooking utensils, pots and pans pile up around the kitchen, so its a good idea to either design the kitchen so the sink area is far from the table and if possible around the corner of the fridge for example, better yet in a separate utility room so completely invisible.
We are in the process of buying a house, a lovely old family home, HOWEVER, the kitchen is teeny tiny and is a galley type kitchen so no room for even a miniature kids table. Luckily there are two laundry/pantry style rooms on the one side and a dining room on the other, so hopefully (all fingers and toes crossed) we will be able to bash through all these walls and rather than have four separate rooms have one super large kitchen/diner. And although Im not sure we will be able to do any work straight away, I still sit and dream up the perfect kitchen…… I love a contemporary space but Im a sucker for a bit of rustic-ness too, so I would love contemporary kitchen units with modern appliances but a large old style table, perhaps mix and match chairs, large windows and an extra large natural rug (from Coral & Hive, check out their page here). If there’s space in this design mix and match, then give me an exposed brick wall too.
When the time comes in the hopefully not too distant future I will be sure to post pics of what the result actually turns out to be. For now I will continue to day dream about my perfect kitchen layout.