When I am designing a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen area, clients typically ask for an informal eating area. Sometimes this space can be set slightly apart from the kitchen itself, as in a breakfast nook, or it might just comprise in-kitchen eating, like a bar along a countertop. Although generally these areas don’t supplant an actual dining space, more and more these are becoming the location where families spend most of their time eating. Because our dining room is separated a bit from the kitchen, the backside of our peninsula counter has become the main congregation area in our home.Perhaps you live in a small apartment with a galley-style kitchen. A small table or counter perpendicular to the main space may be just right for two. Or add a small table against the wall to fit three. Raise a bar behind a peninsula counter to provide stool-height seating, or add one lower than the counter that can accommodate a standard chair height. Extend an island to fit seating around one end, or add a thin freestanding counter that defines the kitchen area and lets your guests take a seat. And don’t forget the standard nook style with built-in benches and a table. Whichever way you decide to arrange it, casual dining is here to stay.