Don’t you think that kitchen island designs with seating are the best thing that ever happened to kitchens? The host cooks, the child has breakfast, the guests interact: everybody is happy!
Needless to say, islands do magic for small kitchens/apartments that can always make use of more seating. There are plenty of ideas for kitchen islands with seating, and some can even replace a proper dining area.
Choosing the seating for your kitchen island will require time and energy, and the first things you should consider are: the space you have on disposal, and the overall style of your kitchen.
But before you do whatever else, sit and read these tips on discovering the perfect kitchen island designs with seating:
The priority is comfort
Image source: Sealy Design Inc.
A good kitchen island stool is supposed to be both: beautiful and comfortable. Many people take this rule for granted, and they are sold easily on trendy solutions that look perfect, but have nothing to do with proper seating.
A single trial minute in the store is not enough to make a proper decision; and you should do some serious research before you make a purchase.
At the end of the day, you don’t want people to have a backache after only few minutes spent in your kitchen.
Price matters as a criterion, but it is certainly not the most important one. You wouldn’t believe all those luxurious designer chairs that are terribly uncomfortable.
Leave appearances aside, and consider that the island stools can turn into proper dinning seating one day. The more comfortable they are, the more often you’re going to use them. That’s why you’re buying them, isn’t it?
Backrests-yes or no?
Image source: THINK architecture Inc.
Backrests are a logical and preferred choice, but the reason why people avoid them is that they want to emphasize their beautiful countertops, or the overwhelming style of their kitchens; and they are not willing to let stools dominate the impression.
Its true-backless seats are also modern nowadays, but the big question is: are they practical?
Somehow, they are. They occupy less space, and can be placed easily under the island when they are not used. However, safety considerations are also involved, and most of the time they are a good deal to sacrifice looks for.
At the end of the day, why not? A backseat with an interesting color can complement the space, and make the kitchen look even more beautiful than it did before.
How do you use your kitchen?
Image source: Chelsea Construction Corporation
Are you a passionate chef? Do you like to throw awesome cooking parties? A kitchen can have various uses, and you have to take all of them into consideration.
Calculate the average number of people that will frequent the place, and choose seating accordingly. Besides, you’re not going to run to the living room every time cooking exhausts you, so the seating you choose also has to be comfortable. Take a look at these options:
- Spacious kitchens with large islands provide enough space for all the seats you deem necessary.
- For long, yet narrow kitchens, the best choice is to put seating on one side of the island only.
- Smaller kitchens will restrict seating possibilities, and the best way to go is to put seats only at the corners of the island.
The ‘must-know’ guide on stool height
Image source: Annette English
The first thing you have to consider here is the height of the island, or more precisely the countertop. For an average adult to feel comfortable, you’d need a 25-30 cm gap between the stool and the underside of the countertop.
The gap is essential for leg comfort, meaning that too low stools will force people to keep arms in an unnatural position in order to reach for the food, while too high ones will free less knee space than necessary.
Again, this is not an absolute measurement, but an approximation that will draw your attention towards the things that need to be considered.
Feature and accent pieces
Image source: Harvey Jones Kitchens
Feature and accent pieces are ideal for plain kitchens, or such that were designed in minimalist fashion to appear modern and de-cluttered.
For instance, you can choose stools whose color reminds of colors used in a nearby room, or to use materials with warm and homey textures (marble, stone, timber, etc).
The overall feeling has to be natural, or to resemble a well-executed mix of metal and industrial bases with timber seats to make the stools unique. Timber will also go well with leather or polypropylene bases.
Image source: Laurysen Kitchens Ltd.
Remember-your kitchen island needs more than a single chair where you would sit to rest after cooking. This is especially true for large islands that serve as dining tables or party areas.
They need to be completely surrounded with stools, or even full benches with/without backing that can accommodate more people.
Still, the more stools you bring around the table, the more uniformed the place has to appear- ideally, the island and the stools will be in the same color, or they will be made from a single material.
Focus on practicality
Image source: seattlehometours.com
When choosing stools for our kitchen island, we all want to make a unique decision that will impress our guests and will make cooking more pleasant. Driven by this vibe, we often make impractical solutions that provide everything, but the essential feature: comfort.
Kitchen island stools are an important element for every home: they stand right where food is prepared and eaten, or where the family members read their newspapers, or check emails with their morning coffee.
That’s why stools need to be big, covered with padded seats, and reinforced with stable footrests. You could also purchase stools with gas-lift or swivel mechanism, so that they would suit inhabitants of all heights and ages.
Focus on stability
Image source: Darren James Interiors
If it is a stool, stability is your number one concern. Needles to mention how children like to swing on their chairs; and adults happen to lose balance too.
Therefore, pick stools with solid and wide bases, ideally prolonged with an equally wide back support.
What if the kitchen island is the only dining area?
Kitchen islands with seating are no longer optional for those who live in small houses/apartments, where there is simply no place for a dining room.
The good side of it is that island seating has less strings attached that classic dining furniture, and you’re free to choose whatever you think would improve the space flow in your kitchen. Therefore, take your favorite décor magazine, or browse the internet and get inspired!
Choose children-friendly seating
Image source: Bluebell Kitchens
When you have kids, interior design transforms completely. You switch your top aesthetic priorities with such that are children-friendly. The kitchen island seating is not an exception either.
The materials need to be user friendly, but also maintainable and prone to damage. We recommend you to choose leather (vinyl), timber, polypropylene, or metal chairs.
An important thing to consider is a soft back rest attached to the solid base, in order to keep children’s bodies snug and still.
Image source: Landmark Services Inc
Why not mixing several types of stools instead of going for a pre-combined set? Even the most different stools can look amazing together, had you succeeded to match them properly.
For instance, you can add interest to a set of classic dining chairs with a single metal/bright-colored chair in the middle (timber islands with white chairs are a trendy combination). A timeless solution could also be a black-and-white contrast.
If possible, take a removable seating
Image source: Normandy Remodeling
It happens that kitchen islands overlook into walking paths or adjacent areas, meaning that even the most modest seating can turn into a traffic obstacle.
We’re not saying that you should forget seating completely, but that you should go for a removable option. You can buy single-leg stools instead of proper chairs, or to think of multipurpose seating that looks good in other rooms too.
Whatever your choice is, it has to incorporate pieces that can be replaced whenever they’re not needed. Think of this as a security tip too: you don’t want your children to bump into chairs while running around the kitchen!