Informal dining is a winner, whether it’s your go-to for eating and studying, or just a helpful addition to the more austere dining room. Take a look at these stylish setups to get some inspiration for your own island paradise.
A breakfast bar can be a worktop extension, a place to convene over a morning cuppa, a great homework spot and, we’d like to think, party central. Now that hosting is back on the agenda, it always helps to have an overspill area where guests can mingle. Everyone knows the kitchen is the true hub of any party, and giving friends space to linger while you mix the drinks can only help. With this in mind, invite a little fun into the design of this area and go bold.
It isn’t just wild hues that make a statement: chosen well, a muted palette can still pack a punch. Sofa.com’s soft grey stool (below) makes an impact through its strong shape and Art Deco influences. Dwell’s navy bar stool, meanwhile, pulls off the difficult trick of combining an industrial-looking frame with a luxe velvet seat.
Task lighting, is of course, priority number one; we don’t want you doing yourself a mischief every time you slice and dice the veg for dinner. But it is not the only kind of illumination you’ll need if your kitchen is going to be an appealing place in which to spend time. “To create mood lighting, take a layered approach,” suggests Industville founder Marketa Rypacek. “This will create little pockets and pools of light and give a calming atmosphere. A decorative light hung above a table will provide ambient light and define the dining space, giving it a more intimate feeling.”
Light can also be used to demarcate zones within an open-plan room. A row of pendants above the island, for example, immediately identifies the area and creates drama. It’s also useful when the bar frequently doubles up as a work station. If you want the island to blend in, match tones and hardware: everything from handles to stools.
GET THE LOOK
Main image: Kitchen cabinetry in oak with ‘Putty’ painted finish, from the Architectural range. Kitchens from £35,000, Martin Moore.
1 Tribu CTR garden bar stool, £1,550, Go Modern 2 Large Acacia cutting board, £39.95, The Little Hygge Co 3 Large Tray round pendant, £1,575, Gong 4 Ferm Living black flow mug, £19, Rose & Grey 5 Copper Quadruple rocket switch, £42.99, Dowsing & Reynolds 6 White and grey striped plant pot, £12, Hudson Home 7 French door fridge-freezer with recessed handle, £3,145, Fisher & Paykel
Looking for more? Check out this sociable kitchen