Pull Up a Seat

What do all the following things have in common?

Reading a book.

Eating breakfast.

Watching a movie.

Doing homework.

Seating of course!  All of these activities require a comfortable place to sit.  The type of seating integrated into a home can really help to express the style of the homeowner and can be integral to functionality. A sleek, low profile contemporary sofa, a 50’s era red leather barstool, an overstuffed wingback chair- all of these pieces work to define the interior and should be cohesive with other choices made throughout. These seating choices must also function, meaning deliberate thought (not afterthought) needs to be given to what purpose those seats will serve. Will they be used for reading the paper while drinking coffee? Grabbing a quick bite in the morning? Working on a laptop? Entertaining? Thinking about this early in the design process will ensure a better result.

One area of the home where seating can really take a prominent role is the kitchen.  Many kitchens incorporate some type of seating, whether it be at an island, a kitchen table, a window seat or bench.  All of these should align with the aesthetic of the space and their function. This kitchen employs two different types of seating- one, near the work island, a more utilitarian type of stool- easy to clean and near food prep, and the others by the raised island- meant for longer periods of sitting and conversing.

Two types of kitchen seating

The eclectic nature of this kitchen below required barstools that are not your everyday, run-of-the-mill seating. The angles in the legs beautifully echo the pattern in the colorful rug, and the unexpected linen slipcover lends itself to the unpredictable design elements in this playful kitchen.  Their function is not long term seating, but more casual visiting with the cook or grabbing a quick breakfast.

Dura Supreme Urbana door in Cinder, Designer Nicole Pilon at KSI Kitchen and Bath, Photo by Beth Singer

Next, the curves in this comfortable island seating echo the curves in the brick feature wall, and the chair backs mimic the diamond mullions in the exterior windows. All very well thought out, the seating is an integral part of the design. With the comfortable upholstered padding in the seats, a person could stay for a long while, perhaps doing homework while a parent cooks dinner.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Designer Kristen Peck, Knight Construction Design Inc.

The seating at the island of this rustic hickory kitchen gives a graceful nod towards nature.  The branches in the seat mirror the other organic elements in this design and the landscape that surround this home.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Craftsman Panel in Rustic Hickory, Morel finish, Designer Sandra Kloncz, Dura Supreme

While cabinetry and appliances obviously play a very important role in kitchen design, the seating absolutely needs to be a part of the early planning stages. Knowing the seating preferred at an island, for example, will drive the design of the island- affecting dimensions, traffic patterns and function. If arms are required on the seats, they will inhabit more width, and the height of the seating affects the countertop height. If window seat/bench seating is preferred in a kitchen, one will need to take into consideration traffic paths, surrounding cabinetry, and if a table is to be pulled up to the bench, the legs of this table should be conducive to people sliding in and out (ie: pedestal tables are best for this).  Seating should never be an afterthought, it should be one of the first few things considered in a design plan.

Sandy Kloncz's picture

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