Your countertop seating area can be the main hub of your kitchen. Before you start your kitchen renovation, consider these 3 tips as you design your space to match your home’s needs.
Tip #1 – Overhang on both sides vs. one side
We built an overhang to one side of our countertops to preserve space for drawers and cabinets on the opposite side. After using the kitchen for one year, I wish we would have designed the countertop seating area differently.
This may make some people cringe but I would take out one area of cabinets. In order to fit two additional chairs across the countertop, I would build a wall or a bookshelf instead. There are a few benefits to this:
- Conversation is easier across the table
- You don’t have to use your dining room table for quick meals
- You still have countertop but it transitions into table space for parties
There are times when I want to sit across from my kids at the countertop instead of at the dining room table. It is an informal gathering place which is a nice thing to have in any home. If countertop seating is going to be your main seating area, then I would certainly consider overhang on both sides.
Tip #2 – Countertop Height
We will go into detail in another post about chair heights but here is a quick tip: Any height other than standard countertop height will add cost and complexity to your kitchen renovation. In our concrete countertop e-workshop, we will go into detail of how to accommodate the height that you choose.
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There are 3 general options for kitchen countertop heights:
- Standard countertop height (36″)
- Bar Height (42″)
- Drop down height (30″)
This picture from our local Sheetz helps you visualize two of the height options. When doing a renovation it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options available.
Placing the plugs below the countertop or above the countertop are additional options you will need to decide.
This was one that I knew would matter in my home because we love to entertain. Knowing how you would like your kitchen to function every day and in party situations is crucial.
Tip #3- Design for Maximum Flow and Sight Lines
Yes, I know I just went all “theatre” on you with sight lines but hear me out. This is the feeling you have when you like or don’t like something but you are not sure why!
Your countertop seating area will pull your eye to it if done correctly. Again, next week we will dive into this in greater detail but the type of chair you select can draw attention or cause you to not see it.
As far as maximum flow, you want to design your countertop seating area so the traffic pattern is clear and unobstructed.
For instance, if you are seated at the countertop and you can not get to the fridge without moving the chair, that is bad! It doesn’t flow. Here are some changes you could possibly make:
- Change the size of the chair
- When designing, make sure that your appliances and seats are accessible with a 3-4 foot gap
As always, we would love to hear from you. Comment below and tell us what type of countertop seating you have and if you love how you designed your space!
Have an awesome day!!!
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