The right selection of table and chairs can make really transform your kitchen and sometimes a little advice is all you need to put you on the right track. We asked kitchen furniture expert Robin Wright what you need to keep in mind when picking tables and chairs for your kitchen.
Q: Robin, you've been dealing in kitchen furniture for eight years now. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when you're choosing your tables and chairs?
A: Too many times I've seen kitchens where people haven't chosen a style appropriate to their kitchen. They come into the showroom, fall in love with a table of a particular style, and that's what they want - you can't talk them out of it. So they get it home and it's either too big, or the look's all wrong or there's something else about it that doesn't quite fit. But once you buy it, well, generally you're stuck with it.
Q: So what should people do to avoid making that mistake?
A: The most important thing is measure your kitchen. Get in there with a tape and work out how big a table you can actually cope with. Keep in mind that you need to move comfortably around the edges of it, even when people are sitting there. You can try cutting out bits of cardboard and placing them on the ground to get a better idea of whether or not the table you want will fit.
The other thing is to make sure the styles match up. If you've got a modern kitchen, an old country-style table probably isn't going to work. I mean it might, if you're going for a quirky look, but it's not too likely. I guess what I'm trying to say is don't fall in love with an individual piece - make sure that your kitchen is a whole.
Q: Is there any other advice that you'd give to people who are buying a kitchen?
A: I'm personally a big fan of breakfast bars, I guess because I'm quite a busy person. The breakfast bar in my house gets so much use - for breakfast, obviously, but also for lunch and dinners on the run. If it's placed so that the people sitting in it are facing into the kitchen, it also becomes a great spot for socialising , keep tabs on the kids, and whatever else. So if you've got the space and the layout, I say go for it.