Kitchen dining room or lounge dining room?

We’re stuck on the remodelling of our new house. We’ve agreed we don’t want a separate dining room, but can’t decide what to do with the space; make a kitchen dining room or a lounge dining room.

Kitchen dining rooms are in favour

Two architects have seen the house and they both suggested making a kitchen dining room, and almost all the comments I’ve read in forums have recommended a kitchen dining room. In fact in our old house we changed the lounge dining room into a kitchen breakfast room (use the sink for reference as it stayed in the same place). I don’t know how we would have managed weaning with the small kitchen.

Photographs copyright Jones Robinson

Photographs copyright Jones Robinson

But, I’m not sure the answer is that simple in our new house.

Space for both?

We will be making our new kitchen bigger by extending into the downstairs bathroom. This will give us  a large front to back kitchen big enough for a table and hopefully a sofa. We will keep the existing lounge which is separated from the kitchen by the dining room (accessible from both but not direct from the entrance hall). Which way should it go?

Possible remodelled layout

Possible remodelled layout

The larger kitchen will be used most days for eating as a family, but we also want an area to have larger formal dining, such as birthdays and Christmas, and this could be achieved by knocking the dining room into either the lounge or the kitchen. We had originally thought of having a lounge dining room, but as there seems to be a strong view for kitchen dining rooms, are we missing something?

Taking in to account we will already have a table in the kitchen, here are the reasons we’ve come with up for each option

Reasons for a lounge dining room:

  • eating area is separate to cooking area (guests don’t see what is going on in the kitchen)
  • any dirty washing can be shut away while entertaining
  • can shut the kitchen door if the dishwasher is on, so the meal is quieter
  • have additional high surface away from cooking (useful for computers, important papers, board games etc)

Reasons to have a kitchen dining room:

  • kitchen becomes the major room of the house
  • lounge becomes a room for relaxing
  • don’t have to clear the table after the meal, can just shut the kitchen door and deal with the plates later
  • the cook is not shut away in the kitchen and can join in the discussions

It appears this is a fundamental question we have to answer before we can start working on our house, so I’m interested in your thoughts. Which do you have? How do you use it? What would you like if you had the choice? Do you have any other recommendations for me, such as what about a playroom?




  1. Nat says

    Hi I would personally go for kitchen dining room combo. Haing had both with little kids it means they can do homework while your cooking watching and helping them. But it depends. What you want out of it. Hope this helps. X

    • says

      We’ve got a few months before we start getting homework :)

      I would usually agree with you about having room for the children in the kitchen, but because we already plan to have a table in the kitchen, do we want to change it from a small family sized table into a really large table. I guess we could have two tables of the same height so we could put them together when we have that many people round!

      Thank you for the comment Nat, and I think you’ll have to come round and give your opinion in person.

  2. Di says

    We have a large farmhouse kitchen with large oak table in the middle where we spend most of our spare time. I prefer having people around me when I’m cooking. We have nowhere else to eat as we turned the dining room into a library/music room. However, we don’t have children!

    • says

      Thank you for the comment. I just can’t decide, yesterday I was favouring the lounge-dining room and today the kitchen-dining room. Maybe we should just knock all three rooms together and have a kitchen-lounge-dining room. I have to admit that if it wasn’t in the middle of kitchen and lounge I think we would have a different use for the dining room.

  3. Claire Moore says

    Looking at your layout I’d say kitchen-dining room. If you had lounge-dining room you would have to move the lounge bit to the dining room bit to be near the windows. And that could be awkward for getting food to table.

    • says

      Thank you for your comment.The more we think about and discuss it the more confused we get. Today, someone suggested we move the kitchen to the back of the house because it will be nicer overlooking the garden. I don’t know what impact that will have on dining room space, but maybe we don’t want to have people round for food anyway 😉

  4. Jill Davis says

    Kitchen-dining room will be, and look, best!
    1) You and the family will love the large LIVING area.
    2) The lounge will still be large, but cosy and comfortable with the furniture arranged to create a cosy area round your wood-burning stove
    3) You don’t need to have a table at the end of your kitchen, cramping the lovely large kitchen working area, have a stunning island somewhere in that area instead – use the beautiful large table in the dining area in front of the french windows for all your meals – including Christmas.
    NB I’d love to re-arrange Hogarth in this way!

    • says

      I’m sold on a kitchen-dining room now and getting excited about creating the space. If only I knew we would be starting soon. Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be have an island because of the width of the room and the position of the doors, maybe a curved work surface.

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