Eat-in galley kitchen
Photo: Michael Weschler

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Dinnertime can be exhausting when you're shuttling food, dishes, and drinks between the kitchen and dining area. Eat-in spaces can help you and your family keep it together (in more ways than one), corralling prep, service, and cleanup chores in one room. The busy lifestyle of today's homeowner is more in line with this casual dining style anyway—not only does it make meal prep easier, it creates a central place for family to gather.

From large to small spaces, creating a kitchen with an eating area might take some creative shifting. For instance, since this narrow-galley floor plan rules out a central freestanding table, one arm of the U-shaped layout is extended with a table.
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