I want a big island, how big of an island can I have? If I had a dollar for every time a client started off our first meeting with that question, well, I wouldn’t be writing blog articles. I digress.
A kitchen island can be extremely useful especially when utilizing an “Open Design Concept”. An island provides great function on one side, and comfort on the other side. Perhaps the greatest benefit to the island or open concept design is it ended a lot of the isolation between cook and family or guests. It also helps define the space between the kitchen and other rooms.
There are some things an island can’t do. Seat people on four sides for one. Seat people in a standard chair is another. It may sound odd or irrelevant but think about all the things you can do at a table that you can’t do at an island. Thinks about all the memories good and bad shared at a table. Don’t get me wrong, given the chance to put an island in a kitchen I’m going to do it. But not if that means sacrificing the table completely.
Esthetically speaking a kitchen table like a great backsplash can provide a great pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic kitchen so common in today’s homes. The table can also provide a great place to hang a lighting fixture / design feature over. More on that in a minute.
The table has been around since, well forever. It can use some updating however, enter the “Modern Table”. By modern I don’t mean the design style, we’re talking meeting the needs of the modern family and all that may entail. For instance, a temporary workspace for adults or children. A game or puzzle table that can be converted (cleared) quickly for a meal or another function.
The modern table might include a power source, both 110 volts for lamps or laptops and low voltage for cell phones and tablets. Another nice feature might be a wired network connection that would keep your IT Department happy when logging into secure systems at work. A wired connection can also provide a less spotty video conference experience.
Seriously, is there anything more frustrating than trying to understand someone who is speaking to your group when the connection is cutting in and out? Imagine your boss watching you discuss something with a group or a client while your video feed keeps cutting in and out. Who could blame them for wondering about your value or product if you can’t get ZOOM figured out?
One last thought about tables. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is the relationship between form, function, and lighting. Lighting the surface will have great impact on how it functions. Many designers find it hard not to put a brushed gold or brass chandelier with Edison or exposed filament lamps (bulbs) in them blasting soft light and shadows everywhere. Looks great in a magazine, sucks if you are trying to work or read something not on a computer screen. Beware of the shadows and avoid them.
Jeff Kida, CR
Owner, DDS Design Services, LLC