Creative Seating Ideas for Small Kitchens | Immovable
The kitchen is the center of a home, whether you’re cooking a meal, the kids doing their homework, or hosting a dinner party. But what if you have a small kitchen and there isn’t enough space for a traditional table and chair setup?
This is where you need to be shrewd, creative and willing to think outside the box when it comes to seating arrangements and eating habits, say interior designers and home organizers. It’s possible to find a way to get chairs, an island, or even a table that can comfortably seat six or twelve people, but you have to be strategic about how the space is arranged or how the furniture works.
Finding room for a traditional table or lots of chairs is the first step. The goal is to use every inch of that space, says Anna Popov, founder of Interiors by Popov. For example, Popov is a fan of a console table setup where it can convert into a larger table, ideal for holiday gatherings.
Popov worked with an owner who loved to entertain and at least twice a year hosted a dinner party for 18 people. The challenge was that she lived in an 1,800 square foot townhouse, so the design had to allow for flexibility and adapt to her needs.
Popov created a kitchen with an island, a dining table adjacent to the island, and an extendable dining table that were all the same width and, in the case of the latter two, the same height.
“The result is a seemingly continuous dining table that seats 18,” Popov explains. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ design approach for these situations; everyone has different needs. »
Here are some other space-saving solutions for adding seating for one, two, or even a dozen or more people to kitchens of all sizes.
Hang it up and fold it up
Building extra seating, a desk, or even a table using fold-down cabinets on hinges that allow items to be used and then put away can help add more functionality to a kitchen, says West Palm real estate agent Judi Kutner Beach, Florida, and author of Apartment Notes apartment advice website. “You can create an office space in your kitchen by using a raised platform, built-ins, or bar stools placed at different heights so you can work standing up or sitting down,” says Kutner.
Eugene Colberg, director of Colberg Architecture located in New York’s Brooklyn borough, says a modern yet stylish solution is motorized furniture that can fold up from a wall. “There’s another new kind of motorized furniture that comes down from the ceiling,” says Colberg.
Reallocate underutilized spaces
That unused closet or pantry? Turn it into a small dining room with a folding table and chairs. When you have finished the meal, everything is neatly stored away again. Another idea is to replace your oversized dining table with a pint-sized kitchen version, says Jennifer Spinelli, founder and CEO of Niche Home Buyer.
Colberg describes using a space that once contained a dishwasher to create a sitting area. “We removed the dishwasher and in this 24-inch-by-24-inch space we installed a top that slides under the counter with two stools,” says Colberg. “It comes out and serves as a temporary table and disappears when not in use.”
Mix storage and seating
The kitchen is the heart of the home, so you want to have a comfortable place for people to gather, says Denise Supplee, licensed realtor at Long and Foster in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and founder of Spark Rental.
“Years ago I saw one of the best ideas ever: built-in storage benches were used for seating, so they did double duty, and a small coffee table was placed in front “, explains Supplee. “It was very quaint and made the little kitchen feel warm and welcoming.”
L-shaped banquettes also take advantage of corner, typically underutilized kitchen spaces, says Ben Kuhl, home remodeler and CEO of Shelf Expression in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Bench seats can be designed in a variety of ways and can really provide additional opportunities for adding more unique design elements to the kitchen,” says Kuhl.
Do double duty
Those nooks and crannies of your kitchen? They’re ripe for seating solutions, says Stacy Lewis, an interior designer in Vancouver, Canada, and owner of Eternity Modern, an online store specializing in mid-century modern furniture and decor.
“A window seat is a great way to add extra seating without taking up too much space,” says Lewis. “Try using benches or ottomans that double as storage containers. If you have extra chairs or stools in your living room or den, bring them into the kitchen. It’s a great way to accommodate larger groups of people without your kitchen feeling cramped.
put it on wheels
Gunner Davis, a Tampa, Florida realtor, says if a kitchen island isn’t possible, go for a portable island on wheels. “Being portable, it can be placed anywhere and taken out in time for use,” says Davis. “These islands also work as great sidebars. Just rearrange when using it.
If you really want to combine comfort with an out-of-the-box solution, Vy Truong, co-owner and creative director of interior design Very Handsome Studio in Houston, suggests living room furniture. Yes, right there in the kitchen.
“Building a lounge area into your kitchen and breakfast area may be unheard of, but why are these spaces exclusive of each other when they have similar functionality? The addition of a lounge chair or even from a small couch to your cocktail tables could bring back memories of eating on your couch and watching TV at your parents’ house,” says Truong.
If you’re looking for inspiration, check out how people live in Europe and Asia for ideas on how to make small spaces both functional and beautiful, Popov says. These households are also investing in good quality “smart” furniture, she says.
“A smart piece of furniture that turns or converts into another functional piece, like a coffee table that lifts up, can be used as a dining table. Or simply opt for a small bistro table with two complementary chairs; which can offer a quick and pleasant solution,” says Popov.