The look of the kitchen is changing. As open layouts continue to replace highly segmented floor plans, the traditions of the dining room are changing as well. Gone are the days where a dining room table is an absolute necessity. Although the simple concept of a table and four chairs may work for some, others are seeking alternative ideas. When designing your new kitchen, take a moment to think about how you and your family plan to use the space and if different and/or additional seating would provide more functionality. Counter and built-in seating are two options to consider.
Today, the kitchen has become more than just a place to eat and prepare meals. It has become a space for meeting and entertainment. A kitchen island often acts as the conversation center and having seating around it can increase the comfort and appeal of using the kitchen as a gathering area.
A peninsula is very similar to an island and generally functions as a congregation and conversation area. The only difference is a peninsula is connected to other countertops on one end.
Tip: Be creative with the shape of your counter seating. Rather than simply having a straight line of chairs, try wrapping the seating around on two or even three sides of the island or peninsula. This is better for conversation and interaction.
If traditional dining room table and chairs do not appeal to you, try banquette seating. Banquettes are often found in restaurants and feature built-in, bench-style seating. There are a variety of ways to incorporate banquette seating in your kitchen, and they often work well to maximize corner space. The simplest option is to have a bench on one side of the table and chairs on the other. Another option is an L-Shape bench with chair seating on the other two sides of the table. Or, a U-shape built-in surrounding three sides of the table is another option. Lastly, a booth can be created with two built-in benches facing each other.
TIP: The finished seat height for a bench should be 18″ to 20″. The finished depth for the bench should also be 18″ to 20″ deep (allow extra if you want a back cushion). The backing of the bench will vary in height depending on what is comfortable for you. The standard back height is 36″ to 48″.