One of my favorite restaurants is at a theme park near my home. Visitors sit in kitchens that are a throwback to the decade before my childhood – at kitchen table sets featuring chrome and laminate tables, a banquette and chairs in shiny, sparkle-infused vinyl, the TV playing clips from the Golden Age of Comedy, and servers (dressed in classic diner-waitress uniforms) who tell you to take off your hat inside the house and keep your elbows off the table. The atmosphere captures our imagination – of an imagined time when family life was simpler and the issues in our lives could be solved sitting around the kitchen table set.
Today, our lives are different. We have smaller families, we eat on the run. Still, we want to have a place to start our day with a cup of tea and a light breakfast, or share a sandwich at the end of a busy workday. We have plenty of options for kitchen table sets when we outfit our kitchens to suit contemporary life.
When you are shopping for new kitchen table sets, your primary concern should be the size of your kitchen. If you’ve got a spacious eat-in kitchen, you’ve got many options. But even if you’ve got just a corner to fill, you can find kitchen table sets that give you a space to eat. Know what size table will fit in your space.
How big is your family? If you live alone or if you’re a couple, look at a small café table with a pair of comfortable chairs. If you have a growing family and believe that more is merrier, you may want to look at kitchen table sets with a round or oval table; it lets you squeeze in a folding chair or two because they don’t have corners. Look at your space and try to envision the tabletop at different levels. We’re all familiar with standard-height tables, but you can look for one that’s counter-height, or even a tall, pub-style table.
After you’ve got an idea about the size and shape of the table, you can start shopping for kitchen table sets. If you’ve got a local dinette store, stop in and browse. You’ll see all styles and materials of kitchen table sets here. Do you prefer clean-lined Shaker, Scandinavian, Modern or Mission styles? Do you like the detailing found in Country, Victorian, or traditional design? Kitchen table sets come in nearly every wood you can imagine, but you have other options, as well. If you like to mix materials, look for a wooden table with a marble, granite, tile, or slate top.
Many kitchen table sets come with a glass top table. Whether you choose a solid wooden base, an elaborate metal base, or a wicker pedestal base, you’ll find that a table with a glass top keeps the space in your kitchen looking open and light.
The chairs in kitchen table sets are where the rubber hits the road. If the chairs aren’t comfortable, your gathering place will be underused. Most kitchen table sets include chairs, but some sets let you select the table and the chairs separately. Upholstered seats give you built-in comfort, but you do have the option of adding chair pads to a wooden seat. If you want to accommodate an extra friend, a bench lets you slide over and make some room. Chairs come with and without arms-arms provide additional comfort but take up more room. Selecting chairs separate from the table gives you the look, fit and comfort that works best for your family.