Friday, September 14, 2018

Kitchens Without A Center Island

I was so excited this morning when I found an article that once appeared in the Wall Street Journal about "Why Kitchen Islands are Ruining America's Kitchens". I went thru this process when I was designing my own cottage kitchen in 2002. My contractor wanted me to put in a breakfast bar and I didn't want one. I don't like them because people can't look one another in the eye when sitting side by side. Please read the article in the link because I think it hits the nail right on the head. The photo above is the author's kitchen. She shows other views in the article.

I measured and measured, put down a cardboard cutout the size of my farm table and it worked perfectly in my cottage as you can see below.

This is my kitchen that was designed around this antique farm table. The bentwood chairs came with my cottage. I have never looked back. xo

13 comments:

Linda Sand said...

I grew up in a house with a table in the middle of the kitchen. We used it for everything from meals, to homework, to playing cards. I think we only went into the living room to watch TV.

Content in a Cottage said...

Linda Sand -- That sounds like a delightful childhood with great kitchen memories. I had my farm table in my kitchen at my previous home and a breakfast bar as well. There were three windsor bar stools and a granite countertop. It was nice but not having a back support wasn't all that comfortable. I am glad I just have a table in my current kitchen. When you are designing from scratch, it is hard to decide what to do. I went old school like your old family kitchen and I'm happy with it.
xo, Rosemary

Pam said...

Oh my, two beautiful kitchens!! There's something so inviting about a big old farm table in the center of a kitchen. Rosemary, I love the warm tones of your kitchen, and smiled when I read that you made a paper cutout of your table while planning your space. Although islands have much to offer, I think they divide a kitchen, visually, whereas a table becomes a focal spot. Just my opinion.

Content in a Cottage said...

Pam -- I am not trying to make people hate the islands they already have. I just thought this article was interesting and it offers an alternative when starting from scratch. My old kitchen had both but my current kitchen could have one or the other. If I had chosen an island, I would have had to put my large antique farm table in the living room between the French doors. I tried it there first and decided it had to go in my kitchen. Even though it is a handy place to dump all the things that enter my house, I still love having it there.
Enjoy your weekend.
xo, Rosemary

Jacqueline said...

Hi Rosemary, Would you mind sharing what products/process you use to keep the wonderful finish on your table? Over the years I have tried many things on wood both commercial and "homemade" but have never found something that offers the look I am after. It is hard to describe but I know the look when I see it and your lovely table has it.

Beth said...

LOVE tables in a kitchen! Thinking back, the house I grew up in had very little original counter space. I'm not sure where my mom did most of the prep for our meals. But the floor space was fun. My brothers used to drag me around in a laundry basket. :o )

When I was older, an island was added for countertop and storage space. And we did use it a lot. But the kitchen was small enough that there was no space for seating at it. We maintained our kitchen table in the dining area next to the kitchen.

In my fantasy dream home, I have an island in my kitchen for prep but there aren't stools at it. Folks can stand and chat while I cook but it won't be spot to perch. There will, however, be a corner banquette under windows with plenty of pillows and a couple comfy chairs around the table, too.

Brenda Coffee said...

What a charming kitchen! I'd love to eat at your table. Brenda, 1010ParkPlace

Content in a Cottage said...

Jacqueline -- My farm table is overdue for a good polish. I use Butcher's Wax also called Bowling Alley Wax on the can. It is wonderful. Don't wait too long after applying before you start to buff. If it dries completely, it will be really hard to get the desired sheen. I love using an old woolen sweater or a piece of an old wool blanket for the final buffing.
xo, Rosemary

Jacqueline said...


Thank you! I will look for it and the old woolen sweater is a great idea. I often see them in charity shops.

The Queen Vee said...

I remember reading that article in the WSJ. I have a large island and a good size eating nook, it would look strange to have two tables in one area in my house. I love what you have chosen to do in your kitchen Rosemary. Your table/workspace is perfect for the style of your kitchen and cottage. I guess what I'm saying is you just have to consider your space, how you want it to work and the best way to use your furnishings.

Sherry said...

we removed our kitchen island when we tiled the floor. and we don't miss it.. the kitchen lives much larger now and we eat our meals at the table. ♥

Content in a Cottage said...

Sherry -- Change is good. I am sure your new kitchen arrangement is bringing you and yours much pleasure.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

The Queen Vee -- Victoria, Absolutely. I love a nice eating nook in a kitchen. You designed yours from scratch as you built your new cottage. I was working with the restraints of an existing house. If I had not put my farm table in the kitchen, there was no place else I could use it and I didn't want it in the living room. I still think back to that time all the decisions I had to make; what to sell and what to keep in the way of furnishings. But in the end, I was pleased as you are too. Now you get to help your daughter with her new home building.
xo, Rosemary