The eat-in kitchen is probably the most primitive form of cooking space: even many centuries ago, people gathered around the hearth fire, because it was warmest there. Today, the combined kitchen is experiencing a revival: in this format, the kitchen is an enclosed space, and included in addition to the kitchen unit is furniture such as a table, chairs, bench or sofa. The classic concept of the eat-in kitchen is currently in demand as never before.
What is an Eat-in Kitchen?
An eat-in kitchen is by definition a room in the house or apartment, where, in addition to the kitchenette, there is also a dining area– thus, it is also known as a “kitchen living room” or “kitchen dining room.” Unlike the open kitchen, which forms a structural unit with the living-dining area, the eat-in kitchen has a door and is therefore a separate, enclosed space. The size of the dining area in a kitchen living room is incidental: even two bar stools at a narrow counter are a dining area, and the corresponding kitchen is thus an eat-in kitchen.
Eat-in Kitchens: Not Always Modern
Things were quite different even a few decades ago: especially in the second half of the 20th century, the kitchen was a purely functional room. Aesthetics played a secondary role. Guests stayed exclusively in the living and dining areas, in whose furnishings investments were made accordingly. As demand grew for household appliances that combined form and functionality, open kitchen concepts emerged around the turn of the millennium, seamlessly linking the living and cooking areas. The trend shift toward do-it-yourself cooking, bucking the convenience trend of the 1980s and 1990s, was also key to this change. But the open kitchen is not right for everyone. In many apartments or houses, the kitchen is a closed-off space that cannot be changed structurally. Some people deliberately want to separate the living and cooking areas - and yet they don't want to forego coziness in the kitchen.
5 Good Reasons for a kitchen-living room
- One More Place of Retreat. A combined kitchen is ideal as an additional lounge in the apartment. Even if you are not cooking, you can close the door behind you and quietly pursue an activity for which you need a table, for example. You want to work, read, do some handicrafts or make a phone call in peace? Even a small eat-in kitchen invites you to linger.
- Perfect for Guests. Every good party ... that's right, you guessed it– ends in the kitchen. All the better if the guests can also take a seat there. Are you expecting visitors with whom you want to cook? The kids are playing in the living room and you want to have a quiet chat with your friend? The eat-in kitchen is made for intimate moments with your guests.
- Kitchen-Living Rooms: Designed for your Individual Needs. Whether light or dark, straightforward or playful, an eat-in kitchen offers endless space for ideas, regardless of its size or the style of your kitchen furniture. Small rooms in particular are very versatile and visually gain space with the right interior design.
- The Dream: an Eat-in Kitchen with Cooking Island. In any kitchen size larger than 20 square meters, nothing stands in the way of installing a cooking island - in general, the more space surrounding the island, the better it looks. Between kitchen cabinets and cooking island should be at least 1.20 meters of space, so that the cabinets can be easily opened. Visually, a large combined kitchen with a cooking island almost creates the effect of an open-plan living-dining area, making it look particularly spacious and sophisticated.
- Modern Eat-in Kitchens Come in Any Size. Whether you're looking to convert an existing kitchen into an eat-in kitchen or you want to purchase an entirely new kitchen, contemporary design is conceivable in any space. Flexibility is key here: think of an extended countertop as a counter to sit at. Or forgo part of the countertop and prepare your food at the dining table, which has more space for it. A good kitchen consultant is fundamental if you want to get the most out of a kitchen. Creating a kitchen wish list also helps to keep track of everything.
How to Arrange a Living Room-Kitchen
A combined kitchen is characterised not only by the fact that it is an enclosed space, but also that there is a dining area in it. So, it is necessary to consider whether the dining area in the kitchen-living room is the only one in the apartment.
If this is the case, it is advisable to find a solution that provides seating for at least three or four people, so that guests can also sit here comfortably. Six seats is a good guideline if the eat-in kitchen is of medium size. If you have a very large eat-in kitchen, the combination of a dining table with up to eight seats plus an additional counter attached to the kitchen unit is a solution that is particularly popular in modern combined kitchen.
Modern Eat-in Kitchens: 3 Styles at a Glance
- The eat-in kitchen for purists: Reduced to the essentials and completely straightforward - the perfect choice for minimalists.
- Big city flair meets living comfort: Lots of green, concrete and metal– that’s how urban eat-in kitchens show up in the metropolises of this world.
- Classic and so elegant: these residential kitchens combine traditional elements with contemporary functionality.
Cleverly Furnish Small Eat-in Kitchens
An eat-in kitchen and a small room: can they be combined? With a few tips, small rooms are especially stylish:
- Brightness creates space: When choosing colors for kitchen fronts and furniture, make sure to choose light tones. This creates visual space.
- Order is key: Avoid open shelving, because clutter makes the room seem smaller. If you don't want to do without open stocking, create a unified overall look by using plain vessels made of porcelain or glass.
- Create visual unity: The small kitchen-living room looks best when all the furnishings, including the kitchen counter and accessories, are coordinated.
Small Eat-in Kitchens: Glossy Does the Trick.
Since glossy kitchen fronts reflect more light, they are the clear recommendation for small to medium-sized combined kitchens. In general, it is advisable to involve your kitchen furniture specialist in the planning of your eat-in kitchen - this way you can be sure to achieve the maximum harmonious overall look. In terms of storage space, opening mechanisms and choice of materials, it is also advantageous in any case to visit a kitchen studio once in a while, even if only for inspiration.
Living Room-Kitchen with Sofa: Pure Scandinavian Style
The kitchen bench, a classic in residential kitchens, has found a modern successor: The Swedish kitchen sofa, also called upholstered bench or table sofa. This upholstered seating furniture with wooden legs is usually a two- or three-seater and offers a lot of comfort at the dining table. Colour and material can be perfectly matched to kitchen fronts or countertops, creating a harmonious overall look. The eat-in kitchen with sofa is therefore much more than a relic from student days: Today it stands for Scandinavian coziness, paired with sophisticated aesthetics.
Kitchens as Aesthetic as They are Cozy: SieMatic
Are you looking for inspiration for your combined kitchen? At SieMatic, you'll find plenty of ideas in terms of style, materials and design language. For research into the classics, you can use the wide variety of current kitchen catalogs. A visit to the virtual kitchen studio, which shows state-of-the-art kitchen furniture on 1,600 square meters, will also provide you with fresh ideas.