I recently heard a story about a homeowner who had a major design regret. During a previous renovation, she elected to put all four counter stools on the same side of her kitchen island, a frequent spot for her family meals. This left her with a beautiful look but turned out to be an unfortunate mistake from a functional perspective. That’s because she now has to choose between having everyone in her family face in one direction like strangers in a diner and having to pull around a stool to sit on the wrong side of the island, with her knees bumping up against cabinets for the sake of family bonding.
Book a table. Instead of opting for an island-breakfast bar, why not try a wall-fixed table? This one fits nicely at the back of this narrow kitchen and is the perfect spot for a glass of wine beside the window. And the curved design avoids the danger of sharp edges.
Pantry barn doors. Here’s a lovely use of the barn door trend: opening a pantry. Because the doors slide on a rail, the kitchen or pantry doesn’t need clearance area for a swinging door, allowing more space for other uses. The wide pantry doors can also be left open for easy access. These barn doors create a pretty design accent with their gray paint and black hardware.
Stow storage in the surface. This overhanging countertop is super clever. Not only does it create a seating space, but it contains three nifty drawers too. But it gets better — a simple partition creates storage for glasses above the built-in wine cooler.
Don’t let a good visual get in the way of functionality. Before you renovate or give your island an update, consider these options for how to choose the best dining arrangement to save your household — and your knees — a lot of bumps down the road.
In this story, we highlight several ideas that stand out among the kitchen photos that got the most saves to user ideabooks. From beverage fridges conveniently located for guests to smartly designed pantries with hideaway work surfaces, these kitchens combine smart functionality with an attractive look. Which feature would you most like to see in your home?
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