Putting in a new kitchen can be an exciting time but kitchen seating can sometimes be left as an afterthought.
A new kitchen is exciting because the planning stage is fun and all the desired appliances and gadgets can be fitted in how you want them this time. The kitchen can also be laid out to suit your individual tastes.
The work surfaces can be placed at the right height for food preparation and your breakfast bar/island placed at the right height, so that your kitchen seating can slot underneath them.
One item not to leave to the last minute is the kitchen seating. Kitchen seating can include a regular table and chair set or stools, both backed and backless that fit around a high table-top or island. You can also opt for built-in dining nooks and benches that can be both free-standing and fixed in place.
Here are some factors to consider before choosing your new kitchen chairs or stools.
Kitchen seating proportions are important
Firstly, ensure that your new kitchen seating (chairs or stools) are the right height to go with your kitchen base units. Straining up to eat or down to use the work surface can cause back pain and prove a nuisance, having furniture that is correctly sized will ensure that siting in your kitchen is as comfort as possible!
Other points to consider include thinking about the space available for the seating – there is no point buying wide-seated chairs with tall backs for a small space. Stools to be used at a breakfast nook can often tuck away under the table when not in use, while chairs and stools with backs will take up more space.
Harmonise with your colour scheme
Make sure that there is a good choice of colour variations in your desired kitchen seating– mismatched colours can throw off the whole look of a room very easily. If it’s not possible to exactly match colours, opt for a a strong, harmonising contrast instead, to add a pop of vibrancy to the room.
What’s it all made from?
Kitchen stools and chairs are made from a wide variety of materials, in varying strengths, levels of durability and cost. They can be plain, varnished, painted, or upholstered to varying degrees of comfort:
Metal stools are sturdy and can be elegant. They are sure to last a long time and can be painted any colour to suit the kitchen. Wood is always warm, especially when a strong-grained wood is used. Wooden chairs and stools add a degree of comfort to any kitchen, and the wood can be matched to the other units, coming in a range of natural shades.
Some kitchen stools and chairs are made from a mixture of metal and wood, with warm wooden seats and backs mounted on strong metal frames. Also falling into the ‘mixed materials’ category comes the laminate seating on cheaper metal frames. These tend to be cheaper than solid wood units, but they may be a little less durable – a consideration for those of a larger build or with a rowdier than usual family!
A final common seating material is plastic, especially moulded plastic. Moulded plastic is great for stylish unusual seating designs, ideal for those with a quirky sense of style. It can be sturdy and durable, and has the advantage of coming in a whole range of colours, sometimes with very subtle gradations, so perfect for exactly matching other décor features.
Funky kitchen seating ideas
Many high street and retail park stores offer a good range of funky designs and unusual features with their kitchen seating options. Kitchens on display in showrooms look even more striking with unusual furniture on display. Keeping an eye on how kitchens are dressed in showrooms with their accessories, can draw inspiration that will help you to pull the perfect kitchen together!
Hand made kitchen seating
Handy carpenters and welders can always try their own hand at making kitchen seating to suit. This is not recommended for amateurs, especially if other people will be using the seating: it must be strong enough to support them and be designed in such as way that constant use will not cause it to disintegrate or break.
Anyone who wants to make their own furniture would be well advised to start small, working their way up. If a coffee table collapses, the loss of a mug or two is nothing compared to what might happen should a home-made kitchen stool with the occupant still in it…
Another option is to hire a handyman/freelance carpenter to do the work: DIY without the ‘yourself’ bit, so to speak! Reputable workmen will have a wealth of experience and yet be able to provide the personalised touch that will transform any kitchen into a unique and easy-to-use space – do make sure to check references and testimonials before committing to any work.
A final choice would be to hire a shop-fitting company – many do private residential work as well as major store refits – to design and build kitchen seating. This option will guarantee a good job, but can be very expensive – costing almost as much as the new fitted kitchen, appliances and all!
To conclude, designing a new kitchen can be a joy but do take steps to think about all the features and fittings before beginning any work. This will ensure that the end result is a room that is a ‘joy’ to be in and sit with the family over breakfast.
More kitchen seating ideas to inspire you
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