Dining room - eating together

You know the saying,

“The family that dines together stays together.”

Or how about this one:

“The kitchen is the heart of the home.”

These days, we’re pulled in so many directions  –  the hours between breakfast and bedtime filled with work, school, homework, practices and games….and yet, we still need a time and a place to be together…..

This is something my clients are looking for – new and different ways to be together in their home.  Especially in the kitchen, where we naturally gather – to cook, read, drink our morning tea, help with homework, and of course – eat….

This was my childhood –


Breakfast Room with Skylight and Custom Relaxed Roman Shades

(during the seventies) eating together in the “breakfast room.”

Long gone were/are the days when we dined in the dining room.

But then, a funny thing occurred, after the invention of the “kitchen island” (the breaking off of the “peninsula” which divided off our 70’s breakfast room from the kitchen):

Kitchen island in ice blue with acrylic bar stools

Everybody started hanging out there!


Enter my clients!  Lately, they have been requesting islands that can also serve as their table. Take this antique Scandinavian farm table, for instance, at Bobo Intriguing Objects in Atlanta.  It would visually break down the barrier between kitchen and eating even more than an island.


Scandinavian style Farm Table

The open base allows chairs to pull up.


This table came back with me to studioGuilbeau as a work/break table.


But what if you want to raise that table up to “counter height?” You can always pull tall stools up to it.  Of course, some folks’ feet (mine! children’s!) might dangle.

We recently tackled that problem for a family by designing a post and beam style table with integrated footrest.

Here’s our sketch:

Interior Design Sketch - Custom Furniture

Notice how the table base pulls in from the edge of the table?  That way anyone can sit comfortably around the table without banging their legs.  But also notice:  There is a crossbeam at the bottom, which can act as a foot rest (like at a bar!)

And this the finished product, built by Pantheon (the developer and contractor):


Prep and Dinner Table

This full-on table will also act as a counter-height prep area!


Whether you put a full-size table in the kitchen…

Bespoke rustic walnut bench balanced by modern clear lucite chairs

or build an island with a bar…

Eat at Bar - Rustic woods - eating together

or create an updated version of the 70’s breakfast nook…

Features custom inset shaker style cabinets and oven hood with chevron patterned drum pendant

Isn’t it all the same thing we’re after…..?

Togetherness….. 🙂

– marcelle

1. Photo by Ashley Seagroves

3,4, and 5. by Marcelle Guilbeau

all other photo’s by Steven Long



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