If you go on Houzz or any other website which you use for inspiration for your kitchen you will notice that majority of the most popular designs now incorporate some sort of seating area into the design. Whether this is in the form of chairs and overhang on the island, a breakfast bar, a traditional dining table in the kitchen area or a soft sitting area. Whilst most of these ideas work best in an open space kitchen, there are instances where they can be used in a closed kitchen room (space permitting).
The most popular option is an island/peninsula wide and long enough to accommodate stools. Usually you will need approximately 12 inches (30 cm) worktop over hang for the leg/knee space while you are sitting down, and around 2 feet (60cm) width should be used a guideline for every person sitting down in order for them to eat comfortably. This area can be used for breakfast in the mornings, a casual dinner, or even for kids to do their homework while you are preparing food.
A breakfast bar follows pretty much the same idea as an island, except it it is usually less small, and does not have cabinets underneath. As the name implies – most often this is used to have breakfast in the mornings, but can also accommodate kids doing homework the same way as an island.
Your 3rd option is to have a dining table in your kitchen if space and aesthetics permit it. While this is the most traditional idea, you need to be careful when choosing the style of the table. If you have a modern kitchen, needless to say we would recommend choosing a modern style dining table and chairs ie metal with glass and leather chairs, whereas if your kitchen is more of a country/cottage style then a rustic dining table would probably make more sense. Do not be afraid of experimenting and breaking the design boundaries as we have seen some amazing examples where a stainless steel table looked amazing in a modern kitchen, giving it an industrial contemporary look, or where a glass table but with feature design legs really complimented a shaker style kitchen.
Finally you can also think about a soft sitting area. German kitchen manufacturers offer special base cabinets which can be used to make an area useful for storage, but can also have soft padding and cushions on top utilised for cozy winter evenings.
A sitting/dining area is sure to make more kitchen a lot more useful, truly making it the heart of the home, however there are things which you should consider with your designer to decide which option you should incorporate in your design, and how to make the most of it, also consider thinking about:
- The space of your kitchen – depending on the size of the room, sometimes it simply is not viable to have an island/breakfast bar or a dining table in the room. This is especially true for a kitchen that is in a flat.
- The lighting – if you are going to use the kitchen for eating or doing homework then be prepared for more lighting requirements, for example if you are planning to let the kids do homework on the island while you prepare food then you might want to ensure that there are a few pendants above the sitting area to provide plenty of illumination.
- Extraction is another important aspect that needs to be planned. What sort of extractor will be most useful, whilst being the least intrusive? With so many options to choose from such as pop out, over the head, and built into the hob extractors you just need to make sure you go for the option which will suit your lifestyle.
- Appliances – do your research on the noise level of the appliances which you are planning to use – you don’t want the washing machine/dishwasher or extractor being overly loud to the point where you/ your family, our your guests feel uncomfortable in the kitchen.
Would you like to discuss your kitchen design? Get in touch with us today to discuss your options. Alternatively visit our kitchen showroom in London or Reading for beautiful inspiration on kitchen sitting/dining ideas.