For most homeowners designing a new kitchen, the seating often gets forgotten about or is the last item on the list. When designing a new kitchen for our clients we focus on both the practical elements of how a family uses the space, how the space functions, and visually how it looks. There is a fine balance between these, and choosing the right seating for your kitchen is an important practical design element to consider carefully.
The kitchen is almost always the “heart of the home” for us all; we cook, gather, work, entertain, chat and catch up – the list could go on! So having the right seating in the space that works for you, your family and the space itself is crucial to the success of the overall design.
Before you can begin shopping for new seating for your kitchen, there are a number of things that need thinking about and deciding on in order to narrow the search down.
Let’s take a closer look at what you should consider when choosing the right seating for your kitchen, and ultimately how to choose.
This is up there in the top three things to double and triple check when looking at buying new kitchen seating. Using appropriate chair heights for each area that needs it ensures that no one runs the risk of hitting the underside or sides of the table. Most of these points also apply to choosing new dining chairs too.
For counters, always use specific counter stools. This may sound basic or self-explanatory but you would be amazed by the number of people who overlook this! Counters, bars, and tables have different standard surface heights, so there is no one size fits all, unfortunately.
Similarly, for bar height tables you will need specific bar stools.
If your counter is between 35.5 – 36.5 inches tall, you should be looking for a stool that has a seat height of 23.5 – 25.5 inches.
And if your bar is 39 – 42 inches tall, you should be looking at stools with a seat height of 27.5 – 29.5 inches.
In general, most kitchen or dining tables have a standard height of 30 inches. This means your seat height should be between 17-19 inches. If your table height differs from this then adjusting the seat height required is necessary to reflect this.
For families with children, we do not recommend stools that can swivel because kids can play around and fall. Choosing a style that is weighted at the bottom or heavier will help to avoid any accidents.
In small spaces, you should opt for a backless stool or one with a small back that can still slide under the counter. This allows you to use the full surface of the counter for prep and makes the space look visually clean. If you put tall-backed stools into a small space, it will look cluttered and overcrowded.
Another really important consideration when choosing the seating for your kitchen is the material or upholstery for them.
If you particularly like and prefer upholstered seats, we recommend performance fabrics to help protect them from any food or drink spills. There are many fantastic performance fabrics that both look and feel premium but are extremely durable and practical. Many are even washable or wipeable at the very least.
We recommend wooden chairs or vinyl upholstery for families with small children as these finishes are usually easier to clean.
Style of Seating
Now that you have a better understanding as to what seat heights to look for in each situation and the different material finishes, you will be much better equipped to start a much better shopping search. If you have an idea as to exactly what height will work and the finish you need, your search can be filtered down very easily so it feels less daunting.
We have seen an increased interest in bench seating lately… And while they do allow for more people (especially children) to fit around the kitchen table, they are better for older children who can balance well. It is important to take into consideration that bench seating isn’t appropriate for older people as they don’t provide enough support. This reinforces the fact that examining the type of people that will be using the space is critical to purchasing seating that will last many years.
On the flip side – if you have space to do so, banquet-style seating is fun for kids and adults alike. This creates a more casual seating area and will provide more support for the older generations too.
It’s important to find seating for your kitchen that fits in well with the rest of the room’s design. If you are using rustic finishes for a farmhouse kitchen, wooden seating may be the most appropriate. For kitchens that take design cues from industrial settings, seating with black metal legs will work well.
The decision for the right seating in your kitchen ultimately comes down to what is the most practical style for those using the space, do the style and finishes reflect this, and the overall design of the space, and will we love it in 8-10 years time? We often suggest items to our clients that will stand the test of time and fit in with their lifestyle.
Have you recently updated the seating in your kitchen? We’d love to hear your stories and thoughts on the points shared within this post in the comments section below!
If you need assistance with choosing the right seating for your home – please contact us today so we can help.