If the kitchen is the heart of a home, the kitchen table is the heart of the kitchen. Placed in the middle of the space, with equal distance from the stove, the sink, the pantry, or the refrigerator, a spacious table allows a person to prepare delicious food without hassle.
What Makes a Great Kitchen Table?
A good kitchen table needs to meet certain requirements. First, its tabletop should be made of heavy-duty material, like solid hardwood. A kitchen table would undergo far more wear and tear than any other table in the house. Warm pans, sharp knives, heavy pots, and wet vegetables or meat will always be placed or used over it. A table made of any other material would be easily destroyed under these circumstances. Then, its legs should be strong enough to withstand heavy weights and constant movement over the tabletop. And lastly, a kitchen table should also be easy to clean, and pleasant to look at. It should be made to withstand years and years of rigorous use.
Tables made of genuine hardwood do not have to be traditional in style. They can come fitted with a stainless steel block or a flush-fit ceramic hob. They can also have sliding parts that can greatly expand the working space. Beautiful hard wood can be used for tables with contemporary styles and designs, resulting in very ideal furniture that mixes style and function. Kitchen tables can be created according to the needs and the size of a kitchen. It can be made to have shelves if desired. It can be made of only a single leg at each end, so that the table can be moved easily, but still be very stable. It can have metal gears that are made of stainless, kitchen-grade steel. Its design can mirror that of a dining table if it will be used for small meals frequently.
The Many Uses of Kitchen Tables
Preparing food in the countertop or sink just could be ideal for quick preparations or microwave meals. But then there are seasons like Thanksgiving or Christmas, wherein several dishes need to be prepared at once. A countertop would not be able to hold a turkey for carving. Nor would it be comfortable to toss salad in cramped spaces. A kitchen table can provide ample space, as well as a good transition spot to be able to bring food out easier into the dining room.
But aside from allowing a cook to prepare healthy and delicious meals, kitchen tables also serve the purpose of being a strategic place for the family to hang out. Bonding time among family members is important, but usually it is recognized only during sit-down affairs, such as dinner. It is the time of the day when everyone in the household sits down, enjoys good dishes, and shares stories and updates with each other. Spending time and maintaining communication keeps a family’s relationship strong.
But then there would be times that one or two of the family members would just feel like eating a little snack, and the dining table would then be too big for a solitary snack, or a smaller meal. The kitchen table is the alternative place for these informal, but just as essential, bonding moments over food. Anyone can prepare a snack right in the kitchen and eat it right there, too. And anyone is also welcome to join him and share the snack. The convenience of a table in the kitchen invites family members to sit down and keep each other company, whatever time of the day.
During house parties, the kitchen table can serve as the bar table while the dining table becomes the buffet. On more ordinary days, children coming in from playtime can run straight to the kitchen table, and get biscuits from the cookie jar that is always ready on top of it. If a kitchen table has space for little hands, parents can let their children help them with mixing the batter for a sumptuous cake, while teaching them important skills and secret recipes. A child who is worried about something can talk with a parent privately while they share a midnight snack of milk and crackers.
The kitchen table will also be an ideal space for matters not related to food. It can be a place to sort laundry, or to go through the mail. It will be the ideal “studio” to let kids do their arts and crafts, because it is very near the washing area or sink (and it will also prevent the dining table from unsightly stains, and consequently keep it beautiful for visitors or hosting occasions). Wood tables can be maintained and kept beautiful with a cleaning solution of some oil and citrus (like orange or lemon oil). These will remove stains and smells and maintain the sheen of the surface if used regularly. Cracks or grooved surfaces on the table can be cleaned with an old tooth brush or cotton swab.
Placing a dependable table in the kitchen means creating yet another space that can make the entire family feel truly at home. For the person who cooks, there is a certain satisfaction that can be derived in being able to prepare food for the family. For the others, there is a sense of security in knowing that good food is always waiting at home. Even merely sitting down in the kitchen can be very relaxing, because of the familiar and comforting smells of food that surround it. The kitchen table can be a tool not just for keeping the family nourished, but for creating memories and making relationships stronger.
Erik Schimek’s website offers beautiful dining room furniture, including kitchen tables and china cabinets.