My solution is going to be a banquette. By pushing the dining table toward the far dining wall and using bench seating along the wall side of the table instead of chairs, we will have a much larger circulation area between the table and peninsula. Plus, if we ever get around to adding the screened porch off the dining area, the path out to the screened porch will be more open.
|View from kitchen over peninsula and into dining area.|
Dining table will be against far wall.
Here's what we have now...
|Not much room between stools and chairs.|
And photo shows bars stools pushed in - not out.
|An added bonus will be a better visual connection between tv room and dining area. |
The table will be located where the buffet is now.
Flanked Bench Seating. I would like to flank the bench seating with bookshelves or something similar to add storage and serving surfaces. I'm pondering the configuration of the storage and whether I want drawers, open shelves, cabinets, or a combination. Here's a picture with flanked bench. http://www.houzz.com/photos/363804/Light-and-airy-kitchen--for-two-cooks-contemporary-kitchen-san-francisco
I like the idea of having a handy surface for serving dishes so they don't have to clutter the table while eating, and a counter height surface on whatever flanks the bench seems like the best solution. Something like the below picture would work...which makes me think that even something as basic as kitchen cabinets mounted on either side of the bench would work.
Bench Storage. I definitely want a hinged bench seat for storage. I found a great tutorial here http://addicted2decorating.com/d-i-y-project-built-in-banquette-seat-with-storage.html.
Upholstery. I'm not sure if I want both a seat and back cushion or just a seat cushion. The back cushion seems more comfortable but it will mean making the bench seat deeper which pushes everything away from the wall a little bit more which , in turn, will steal circulation space from between the peninsula and the table. Something to ponder further...
P.S. - I need better photography equipment and/or take the time to Photoshop my blog photos. I'm noticing that my photos pale in comparison to my inspiration images!