When people eat together, they may actually be together in spirit—or they may be far apart. Some rooms invite people to eat leisurely and comfortably and feel together, while others force people to eat as quickly as possible so they can go somewhere else to relax.


Put a heavy table in the center of the eating space—large enough for a whole family or the group of people using it. Put a light over the table to create a pool of light over the group, and enclose the space with walls or with contrasting darkness. Make the space large enough so the chairs can be pulled back comfortably, and provide shelves and counters close at hand for things related to the meal.

… we have already pointed out how vitally important all kinds of communal eating are in helping to maintain a bond among a group of people - Communal Eating (147); and we have given some idea of how the common eating may be placed as part of the kitchen itself - Farmhouse Kitchen (139). This pattern gives some details of the eating atmosphere.

Get the details of the light from Pools of Light (252) ; and choose the colors to make the place warm and dark and comfortable at night - Warm Colors (250); put a few soft chairs nearby - Different Chairs (251); or put Built-in Seats (202) with big cushions against one wall; and for the storage space - Open Shelves (200) and Waist-High Shelf (201)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 844low-confidence