How To: Clever Kitchen Ideas: Seating Nook

Planning a comfortable breakfast nook in your kitchen is easy when you follow this guide. Get new ideas for kitchen seating perfect even for small kitchens.
By: Heidi Karpa
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clever_ideas_seating_nook_kitchenrk_1

Creating a comfortable seating nook requires the right furniture.

Materials and Tools:

bench
two stools
small table
wall hanging or painting
masking tape
newspaper/craft paper
measuring tape
hammer
nails

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clever_ideas_seating_nook_kitchenrk_2

Before: A troublesome walkway leaves little space for seating.

Steps:

1. Remove everything from the space. Clutter usually indicates that you're not sure how to successfully manipulate an area.

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clever_ideas_seating_nook_kitchenrk_3

Taping traffic patterns on the floor shows you what space you have.

2. Map out all traffic patterns in that area. Using masking tape and newspaper or craft paper lay out the traffic pattern directly on your floor. In designer speak this is your circulation flow. You're visually creating walking paths.

3. Tip: One width of newspaper is the slimmest walking space you should establish. Literally walk along the path(s) you have created. Is it wide enough? Do you need two people to pass through? Readjust as needed.

4. Look at and measure the remaining space. This is the area where you will create your seating nook. Keep in mind that it's important to remain within that footprint. Do this and it guarantees you'll actually use this seating nook comfortably.

5. Use masking tape on the wall to outline how large you want your wall hanging or decorative element to be. A large wall hanging or picture grouping will ground the space and give it a clear visual propose.

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clever_ideas_seating_nook_kitchenrk_4

A bench, side table and two stools will become a kitchen nook.

6. Bring in furniture from other areas of your house to get a better understanding of what size pieces work best. Think outside the box: end tables, sofa tables, benches and stools are all options. Tip: Remember scale. That's the height and actually mass of what you'll select to actually fill in your seating nook. Is a low bench (or a low profile) more effective? Or do you need a taller presence, like a bar height table?

7. With measurements in hand and a measuring tape, take a tour of your local home store or import store. Helpful hint: Always ask before taking a picture of merchandise in a store. If you let a store clerk know what you're doing they can be very helpful in locating good possibilities.

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clever_ideas_seating_nook_kitchenrk_5

All four pieces can be tucked away after use.

8. Purchase the items you need. Take into consideration the existing design elements in your kitchen: wood and metal tones, wall color and accent colors. Making everything match aexactly can create a bland design. In our space we used a bench, two stools and an end table to create our seating nook.

9. Thoroughly clean the area.

10. Arrange your furniture according to plan.

11. Step back, review and adjust as necessary. Remember your circulation space.

12. Tip: When locating the placement of your wall hanging/picture grouping, keep the center line of this element at 5'6". Have someone hold it in place so you can step back and review. This keeps the center of the wall element at eye level which will showcase the piece to its best advantage. Hang and adjust as necessary.

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