What do you think of having a dining area in the kitchen? It was popular in the 50's and 60's to have the kitchen closed off from the dining area so you would not see the "mess" in the preparation area. Nowadays it is popular to have big open spaces so the cook is not isolated in the kitchen. I really prefer having the open design in anticipation of the meal. It is nice to smell the food and gather around before the meal is presented. Here are some kitchens that provide the eat-in experience either as a full dining room or a casual eating area.