11 Mar

Modern Options for an Eating Area

Over the past several years – particularly during the pandemic – the way we structured our homes, and our lives, has changed dramatically. No longer do we view the rooms in our home as having a typical use. With many of us transitioning to remote work, homeschooling our kids, and doing more activities around the house, our space has been transformed to function in ways we find essential.

When it comes to dining, modern options for an eating area have expanded. No longer is it just the dining room or kitchen where we gather to eat with friends and family. There are plenty of other options throughout the house. Here are a few modern options for an eating area that is anything but traditional.


Island or Peninsula

swivel bar stool with arms

Winston swivel barstools feature arms and footrests which are comfortable but add to the width of the stool.


Many contemporary homes are completely doing away with a dedicated room for dining and instead opting for an island or peninsula in or close to the kitchen. This makes perfect sense for smaller families as it puts diners right in the middle of the kitchen action and promotes conversation. Be sure to read our article on finding the perfect stools so you measure and plan according to the space you have available. 

Countertop Eating Area

This countertop eating area was extended by adding a dining table and chairs.


If your kitchen or great room includes an extended counter, it can function much like an island or peninsula. You will have fewer options for expanding the space, but you could add an island to the end of the counter to include additional stools or chairs. Whether you choose barstools or chairs largely depends on the height of the counter. We previously published a guide on the measurements of various types of stools and chairs, which you may find handy to review.


Breakfast Nook or Eat-In Kitchen

Theo counter height table and stools

Counter height dining tables are higher than traditional dining tables.


These two modern options for an eating area are similar. They are both located in the kitchen but usually a breakfast nook is located off to the side or in a corner of the room. An eat-in kitchen typically uses a dining table and chairs located in a specific area of the kitchen instead of a dedicated dining room. Both options create a cozy place to enjoy a meal, help the kids with homework or unwind at the end of the day. The only drawback is that any mess from making a meal is highly visible.


Wall Banquette


Located near or in the kitchen, dining room or a nook, a wall with banquette seating is a great way to maximize space. It can even incorporate storage under the seat for additional space-saving measures. A banquette can be built right into the room, or you can purchase bench seating to fit along the wall.


Dedicated Dining Area

Samuel extension dining table

This Samuel extension dining table, paired with chairs and a bench, are a great way to add modern industrial style to your dining room.


Not your traditional dining room, a dining area is usually found in an open floor plan home. It spans the transition between the kitchen and living area. Even though it is out in the open, it can still be designed as a formal space for eating when the occasion demands but be used for crafting and homework the rest of the time.

Today, nearly anything goes when it comes to modern options for an eating area. Which of these ideas will inspire you to redesign your home?

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