How to seat a crowd in the kitchen

Best in class: Alanna Gallagher picks seven stylish kitchen tables

Table by  Rhatigan and Hick

Table by Rhatigan and Hick

 

1. The kitchen table is one of the homeliest spots in a house. It’s where recipes that transcend generations are prepared, secrets are spilled and homework grudgingly completed. Everyone gathers around this piece of furniture and it often bears the scars of family life. This custom design is in the home of architect Peter Owens, of Tyler Owens Architects and was made by kitchen cabinet creators Rhatigan and Hick. The pedestal base came from an old country kitchen table (with crossbar base to rest your feet) to which Ed Rhatigan added a new limed oak top that is more that one metre wide so you can squeeze in two at each end if need be. It costs from €2,400. The classic steel seats by French brand Tolix, are available from Showtime Essential Kitchen Products. Elsewhere in the kitchen there is floor-to-ceiling cabinetry painted a deep marine blue, while the undercounter units are made from reclaimed pine, salvaged from American Amish barns built in the 19th century and elicit a finish that project manager Marc Gent describes as “the holy grail of finishes”. Prices for this kitchen start from €15,000. Rhatiganandhick.ie; Showtimekitchens.ie; Tylerowens.ie

Slide dining table, Harvey Norman
Slide dining table, Harvey Norman

2. A very simple and hard-working solution for smaller houses is this Slide dining table, €699, from Harvey Norman. The coated and painted steel frame table, measures 122cm long and can seat six but can be extended to 182cm, comfortably accommodating eight. When not in use, the 80cm-wide table’s extending mechanism is concealed below its tempered glass top. Pictured in white, it is available in a more on-trend shade of sand, a new neutral that really pops when it is paired with these blue Dot chairs, from €99 each, which are also available in a vibrant pistachio green. Harveynorman.ie

Tables from Browsers
Tables from Browsers

3. Interior designer Sally Anne Hartigan, at Limerick-based Browsers, recently paired several textures to bring a sense of warmth to the industrial look of a client’s kitchen. For the custom-built table, 2.4m by 1m, she paired a solid oak oiled top with metal crossbar legs. The design pictured costs €2,400. She’s mixed up the seating too, selecting natural-coloured rattan weave Lloyd Loom chairs, €460 each, which have a metal leg but can also be ordered with wood legs, to line one side. These come in a range of colour options. Bench seating on the far side gives the freedom to seat additional guests at the drop of a hat. The black stools at the breakfast bar, also Lloyd Loom, cost from €445 each. Browsers.ie

Custom-made table from Roselind Wilson
Custom-made table from Roselind Wilson

4. Banquette seating is a great way to make a feature out of a bay window or free up floor space in a smaller kitchen. For a project on Belsize Park, London-based Roselind Wilson Design installed C-shaped seating and covered the banquette with Perennials Big Stripe, a visually arresting black and white hard-wearing acrylic stripe that can be used indoors and outside, from Robert Spurway. She’s set a trio of Hans Wenger wishbone chairs on the exterior side of the seating and installed a pedestal table of her own design that features an Arabescato Corchia polished marble top and a metal base sprayed an anthracite matt finish. About €4,787, to order, ex VAT and delivery. Roselindwilsondesign.com; Robertspurway.com

Avery table, Habitat
Avery table, Habitat

5. Avery is a classic farmhouse kitchen design with a simple modern sensibility. Designed for Habitat by Matt Long, the extendible style has breadboard ends, solid oak legs and an oak veneered top. It measures 1.5m long and extends to 2.34m when you open up the two concealed leaves. It costs about €792, from UK-based Habitat where it will be back in stock in mid-June. The seating includes natural-coloured rattan dining chairs, about €171 per pair, and the perfect way to punctuate the table ends, while a three-seat bench, 1.5m by 38cm, about €357, is big enough to add a few extra bottoms should you have unexpected additional guests. Habitat.co.uk

Denby Monsoon on cloth covered table
Denby Monsoon on cloth covered table

6. It’s summer and if you’ve been hiding your kitchen table under an oilcloth why not go for a lighter look and lift the mood by replacing it with a more ethereal option – a woven linen cloth that you can artfully place over the table top. You’ll find a good selection at The Cloth Shop on Johnson Place, Dublin 2 or in the bin ends in your local Hickeys Home Focus stores. You can buy a similar style of table to that pictured from Dublin-based online shop Kian whose Table X Factory has a waxed grey MDF top, that is 180cm long and has drop down legs. It costs €649, ex delivery. The colours of the Denby Monsoon Gather kitchenware tone with the soft blush pink of the linen to add a homely touch. A set of four rice bowls costs €32.50; a set of four pasta bowls, €44; and large platters, €41.50, all ex delivery from the website. Kian.ie; Denbypottery.com; Theclothshop.ie

Dojo table and chairs
Dojo table and chairs

7. French design duo Amandine Chhor and Aissa Loferot of AC/AL Studio have worked with several high-end brands including Hermes, and through Petite Friture launched this Dojo table and chairs earlier this year at Maison et Objet in Paris. While it riffs on Thonet’s classic bentwood chair, the one you’ve seen in a thousand European cafes, this set combines the toughness of powder-coated steel, seen in black here, and is also available in white, with the soft warmth of beech-wood top and legs. While modern looking it will also work well with in-frame kitchens and in period homes. The table, 200cm by 90cm, costs about €2,126, while the chairs are about €431 each, ex delivery from UK-based Clippings. Petitefriture.com; Clippings.com