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.

Kitchen Furniture for Small Spaces

The search for furniture to outfit your small kitchen can be challenging. When considering the task, it’s good to remember that space is as important as design. There are many creative solutions for small spaces and the kitchen is no exception. Often the kitchen is considered the heart of the home; it’s where people gather to eat, visit and celebrate, so comfort and function are crucial factors to consider when shopping for your furniture. The options are endless, but a few simple pieces can get your space set-up for eat-in cooking and dining.

Limited space for seating is typically an issue in smaller kitchens, which is why considering a banquette might be one way to offer seats for diners. Banquettes can be positioned in a corner of the room which would allow the table to be pushed up against that corner, it will then open the room up for additional furniture if necessary. The bench seating can include storage under the seats if your cupboard space is limited.

Folding and moveable tables and chairs are great alternatives if there just isn’t enough room to have permanent furniture. They can also provide dining space for extra guests that you don’t normally entertain day to day. Putting tables and chairs on casters makes moving them in and out of the kitchen easy and hassle-free.

Bar stools and footrest stools can be added for higher table tops and bench style seating. They don’t take up a lot of space and can usually be stored under the countertop or table.

Sometimes small kitchens don’t allow room for much in the way of kitchen furniture, in which case a simple bar made from a slab of wood or metal would be perfect on a wall. It wouldn’t take up much room, could run flush with a wall and still give diners a place to enjoy a meal.

There is an assortment of alternatives to the traditional kitchen furniture available on the market, and once you measure the space and consider the functions of what goes on in your kitchen, it’s fun to add your own creative solutions that mirror your personal taste.


How to Choose the Right Kitchen Furniture for Your First Home

Wood-expandable-dining-table-257You just bought your first home, and you are deciding on the right furniture to place in each room. California Stools, Bars and Dinettes can provide you with a wide range of options based on your particular needs as we offer dining room furniture, bar furniture, and kitchen furniture for your dining and entertainment needs. While getting the dining room and the wet bar perfect for your family, the kitchen area may be the hardest room in selecting the right tables and chairs.

Kitchens come in a wide range of sizes and need to have the right traffic flow for cooking without creating obstacles. When placing in furniture, you don’t want to disrupt this flow by adding too many pieces or too large of a kitchen set to where you have to move the furniture about daily just to have room to cook. Yet you still would like a nice sitting area in the space so everyone can sit down for a nice family dinner. Here are several ways in selecting the right kitchen furniture that will fit perfectly into your first home.

Consider the Primary Use of the Kitchen

Yes, it is a kitchen so it will be used for cooking. Yet kitchens have evolved over the years to becoming multi-functioning spaces. It may also be the home office, the child’s study area, and a place for entertaining dinner guests. Deciding on all the purposes allows you to have a basic idea on what types of furniture to purchase.

For example; if you plan to talk and entertain guests in an open floor plan where the kitchen can be seen from other living spaces and a large counter is used as a separator, you may want to purchase kitchen stools. The kitchen stools can give extra seating for people to relax, have a drink and eat a snack while watching you cook.

Another thing to consider is if you have enough space to place in an additional small table as a food preparation area. By having a separate table, you won’t have to fight for space at the regular kitchen table if the kids decide to do their homework before dinner or the spouse is finishing up on some work reports. Breakfast nooks may also be ideal as you can increase the seating with a bench so your family has their own place to do work before or after the meals.

Measure the Space to Narrow Down Furniture Choices

While you may want every type of kitchen furnishings offered at California Stools, Bars and Dinettes, you may quickly find out just how much space is eaten up by the furniture you place into it. Use a measuring tape to measure out the space that is available. One tip is to use masking tape on the floor to mark the spaces where you want to place the tables and chairs.

Doing this strategy will give you a visual reference of where you want the furniture as you can change your measurement figures in case you need to select a smaller table, fewer chairs, or a larger dining set. Once you have the measurements and have the taped areas as reference, you can sketch out the space. There are several types of software and apps available that will give you a 3D computerized representation of your home. Then you can place in virtual furnishings into the floor plan. Decide on how long of a table you can have, the right position to place it, and the number of sitting spaces for everyday meals and for special holiday feasts.

Selecting Furniture Styles

Selecting furniture styles will usually be on the final part of your furniture selection task. Yet the style can have a big influence in setting the mood in the room. You can select a more rustic style to match the woodsy, country feeling, or select a more modern piece if you are going for a minimalist, industrial look. The types of materials you select for the furniture will also dictate the style you are looking for as glass tables offer a more elegant appearance while wood inspires a relaxing and warm atmosphere.

Sometimes taking photographs of the rest of the furniture in your house can help in selecting a style when you go to the furniture store. If your first home has an open floor plan where the kitchen can be seen from the living room or dining room, you may want the kitchen furniture to complement the other furnishings, or even provide a contrasting element to show how it is a separate space of its own even in an open floor layout.

Trying out Furniture is Essential

Don’t forget this last step of the process. Trying out the furniture by coming to California Stools, Bars and Dinettes will allow you to see for yourself how different family members are seated at tables or kitchen stools. Imagine standing over a table as you are chopping vegetables or stirring pots to select the right height. Then sit on the chair to determine the comfort level you desire. You may desire an upholstered chair if you have certain back problems, or a wooden chair for extra body support.

Keep in mind that different family members will have different comfort levels when it comes to sitting at chairs and eating at tables. So take their opinions into consideration and pick out the kitchen furniture that appeals to every member of your family. If you are having problems finding the right kitchen furniture for your first home, then let the friendly staff of California Stools, Bars, and Dinettes give you a hand.

We have three different store locations in the Bay Area as our warehouses are fully stocked with kitchen furniture in the style and comfort level you desire. Whether you want to select a full kitchen set or mix-and-match different kitchen furniture pieces, we can help you narrow down your choices and locate the stools, tables, chairs and benches that will fit perfectly into your budget.