The Evolution of the Kitchen Table

The standard family kitchen table has long been revered as a place to gather with your loved ones. Children can be working on homework while Mom is cooking up dinner, guests can chat with the host while she prepares food and drinks, and the family can all catch up together over a nice meal and discuss their day. However, this wasn’t always the case. The purpose and use of the kitchen table has changed over time, across countries, and in differing economic situations. Let’s take a look at the evolution of the kitchen table and how it gets used today.

A Historical Look at the Kitchen Table

Have you ever read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? Then you’re familiar with the concept of one room homes. Because of these, homesteaders such as the Ingalls’ would have a large table in the middle of the room where meals were prepared, sewing was done, and children’s schoolwork was completed. It was the main gathering space in the home. In wealthier families, there would have been a separate dining room that had the table in it, but it was only used for dining, not for any other purpose.

In more modern times, a kitchen table will be near the kitchen and will be the most used area in the home. Modern families of all classes will be more likely to gather around the kitchen table for a variety of activities. Some homes may also have a dining room for more formal events such as Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas dinner but it is less frequently used.

Kitchen Table Design Styles Through History

As mentioned above, homesteading or working-class families of the 1800s would have been more likely to have a large piece of wood with four wooden legs as their kitchen table. Wealthier families of the same time period would have used wood as well, but it would contain more elaborate carvings and likely be heavier and larger than that of the working class.

Over time, additional materials have been used to create kitchen tables with style. Wrought iron legs and frames with glass tabletops were very common in the 1990s, and they still are frequently used for outdoor settings because they are more durable than wood against Mother Nature. Today’s style also tends to be more minimalist, with slim frames, legs, and tabletops. We also are more likely to see plastic and enamel tables than in previous generations.

Shop for Your Perfect Kitchen Table Today!

At California Stools, Bars and Dinettes, we have a variety of kitchen table options to suit your family’s needs. You can opt for the classic wood kitchen table, go a bit more modern with glass, choose something durable like laminate, or try a versatile expandable kitchen table. Whatever you need, we’ve got it in one of our two locations. Shop with us today in either San Jose or Pleasant Hill for the perfect kitchen table for your family.

How to Build a Great Home Bar

Entertaining at home can be more fun than going out because you don’t have to worry about driving, it’s less crowded, you’ll always get your drink right away and, frankly, it’s a lot cheaper! Building a home bar is a great way to make inviting friends over an even better experience. Here are a few things to consider when designing your own home bar.

Size

If you don’t have a lot of extra space for a home bar, consider one with a smaller profile. This can mean that it is long enough to seat 2-3 people, or that it doesn’t wrap around in a U-shape. A smaller home bar is great to tuck into a corner or for those who like to entertain on a budget. A larger home bar can seat 4-5 people and may include the U-shape design. This will allow for more storage with cabinets, a bigger counterspace for preparing drinks, and makes the bar more of a focal point in the room.

Style

The design style of your home bar reflects your personal taste as a homeowner and host. Consider the overall aesthetic of your home and how you want your home bar to fit in to that. Perhaps you want dark wood paneling to recreate the feel of your favorite neighborhood bar. On the opposite end, maybe you’re looking for something light and airy such as wrought iron for an outdoor home bar by the pool.

Lighting

Once you’ve picked out the home bar, the next step is to consider the lighting. You’ll want lights that are bright enough for you to be able to see the drinks you’re making, but you’ll also want it to be dim and cozy enough for your guests. Take a look at the existing lighting in the space you’re building a home bar and see what adjustments you might need to make. Consider dimmable lights or multiple lighting options.

Seating

You may decide to place your home bar in an area that is plentiful with comfortable seating already. In that case, you might not need to worry much about bar stools. But if you’d like your guests to come sit at the bar with you, look for chairs that sit up high enough that you can look at each other directly while preparing drinks on the opposite side of the bar. You may also consider bistro or pub tables near your bar.

Shop with California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes!

When it comes time to build your home bar, look no further than the experts at California Stools, Bars and Dinettes! We have two Bay Area store locations that offer a variety of home bars to suit any size and style preferences you may have. We can also help you choose bar stools for your new home bar and even pub tables if you’re looking to bring additional seating to your entertaining space. Come visit us in San Jose or Pleasant Hill today!

Entertaining at the Kitchen Island

It’s hard to name a gathering that doesn’t involve food. From hosting Thanksgiving dinner to inviting the girls over for wine and gossip, there always seems to be a reason to be in the kitchen. Whether you’re chatting away together while preparing a big meal or just grabbing a casual snack, the kitchen is the place to be when entertaining.

Because of this, kitchen islands have become one of the hottest trends in kitchen designs over the past several years. Since they’ve become such a major focal point in the home, the islands have gotten bigger with more room for seating. Whether it’s a place your kids do their homework after school or a casual seating option for when you’re dining alone, it’s important to select the right chairs for your island. Here are three things to consider when matching the right chairs to your island.

Your Design Aesthetic

You’ll want your kitchen island chairs to match the overall tone of your decor’s vibe. If you’ve got a lot of classic, clean lines, you may want to try chairs with metal frames. For a darker, heavier style, wood chairs might suit you better. Also keep in mind the color of the metal or wood, as well as any upholstery you may include and stitching or buttons that accent the chair’s fabric.

How They’ll Be Used

If you will be frequently using the kitchen island chairs, consider more comfortable, upholstered options. However, if your chairs will be tucked underneath the island to save space, backless chairs will work well to keep the visual clutter to a minimum. For a kitchen that fully wraps around the island or an island that stands between the kitchen and dining or living room area in an open concept floor plan, chairs that swivel are a nice option so your seated guests can take full advantage of their surroundings. For an outdoor kitchen with an island, you’ll want durable chairs that can withstand sun, rain and wind, without showing signs of aging.

Your Island Style

Simple, single level kitchen islands are often primarily used for cooking with occasional dining or entertaining. Kitchen islands with two levels allow for the appropriate counter height for cooking on one side, but an elevated level on the opposite side for dining and entertaining guests. For chairs that suit this higher level, consider 34″ kitchen island chairs. These will help to elevate the guests seated on one side of the island so they have a better view without disrupting the flow of the kitchen.

Visit California Stools, Bars and Dinettes!

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, we invite you to stop by our San Jose or Pleasant Hill locations to view our kitchen island stools. We can help you make the perfect selection and have them delivered right to your door!