Kitchen Table or Island Bench?

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Kitchen Table or island bench

Do you prefer a kitchen table or island bench? It seems we want to have the best of both worlds. 

As I was perusing my inbox with home newsletters last week, an article caught my attention from Houzz. The article was titled ‘Bringing Back the Kitchen Table’.

I wasn’t aware that the kitchen table had disappeared. Surely nearly every household in Australia has a kitchen table for meal times?

The article explained kitchen island benches were now being replaced with kitchen tables. It was following the popular American Farmhouse Kitchen trend.

I don’t think I could handle not having both an island bench and a kitchen table – especially with a family.

Of course it all depends on the style and space of your home on whether you choose to have both.

I’ve always assumed most homes would have both for function. I can’t remember walking into a kitchen without it having an island bench or some form of bench that helps enclose the kitchen.

Now that my girls are growing, our kitchen island bench is getting more use than it did before children.

We’ve purchased 3 kitchen bar stools so the girls can craft, do their homework or help in  the kitchen.

If you do consider replacing an island bench with a kitchen table, you might want to ensure there is enough bench space around the perimeter of the kitchen.

You may also need to compromise on storage as most island benches will include cupboard storage underneath.

Double check how much space a kitchen table and chairs will take up in a small kitchen. The clearance between the chairs and cabinetry should be more than 1 metre.

On the positive side, those that have embraced the kitchen table as their island bench love the comfort of having family close by in the kitchen. No longer do the cooks do their work in isolation while family and friends keep your company.

An open plan kitchen and dining area offers the best of both worlds when it comes to the kitchen and dining space.

What do you think? Do you prefer a kitchen table or island bench, or both?

This post was originally written in 2016 but has been updated in 2021.