Is Bench Seating Right For Your Kitchen?

Bench seating in a kitchen can come in all shapes and sizes; a breakfast nook, a sunny window seat or a cozy dinner table nose to nose with banquette seating. Whether your kitchen is open concept, traditional, or somewhere in-between, bench seating may be a great option for you, or it might be something that you could incorporate into another room, and skip it in your kitchen. Follow our guide for suggestions, ideas and more to see if this space saving seating option is right for you!

Basics of Bench Seating

Starting off, the spacial impact a bench has is big & thus should be carefully thought out. From the front edge of the seat to the wall, bench seating should be at the most 29 1/4", and minimally should be 19". The recommended seat width per adult is 24" to 30", and should be kept in mind while measuring out the overall size of the bench. This gives enough room functionally for seating and/or storage.

If you prefer to have a built-in with a wrap around bench, or perhaps a long banquette with a matching dining table you'll have to consider how it will fit in your current space. If space can be modified, then the next steps are to think about what options you like best & what each style has to offer for your family, guests and you!

Window Seating

Window seating is a great option for a smaller kitchen where space is as valuable as a home cooked meal. It's a great way to bring the family together & offer a peaceful place to read a book, drink a cup of coffee or bird-watch. This type of seating can either be built to be an independent seating option, where there is no table, or you can add a table with chairs if the space permits to create a dining area.

Below is an example of a long window seat that beautifully blends in with the cabinetry of the kitchen. Cushions & matching pillows were added to cozy up the space. Minimal window covering keeps this bench sunny & built in storage creates a place for odds & ends like mittens, hats, books or dog-toys. We can easily see ourselves snuggled up with a can't-put-down book on this crisp white bench seat.

Bench Seating

If entertaining is your forte, bench seating is a great way to add tons of seating with less bulk. Depending on the placement of the window seat, you can create an inviting space for your guests to mingle around where they are just out of the kitchen to allow you to prep, but within arms reach to chat.

Window seats are also great for families with kids--it's a perfect spot to work on homework, hang out and re-cap the day, or simply sit and have a snack. If snacks & drinks are a frequent spilling hazard, cushions can be kept off, giving way to a sleek, ready for anything seating arrangement.

Bench Seating

Breakfast Nook

With one easy step, you can turn your window seating into a breakfast nook--just add your favorite table and an optional chair or two! An L-shaped breakfast nook offers a unique seating arrangement & is great for any size family. Nooks are also a wonderful way to use up seemingly useless space--a space that is too small for a traditional dining table can be transformed to accommodate a family of 6.

If you are able to dedicate square footage to create a built-in double benched nook, you can create a separate eating area that can act as a multipurpose wing off your kitchen.

Bench Seating

Banquette Seating Options

If you think bench seating is a good option for your kitchen remodel, make sure to consider these design questions to create an ideal seating space:

1. What type of backing do you like? Will your current wall be your natural back to the seat? Is a decorative back an option? If it's up against a window, window treatments will have be addressed, along with keeping the window clean.

2. Do you want cushions and/or pillows? Cushions can be a great way to add comfort and decor to your seating space. Do you want to them upholstered or loose? Do you want complimenting throw pillows?

3. Storage: Do you want to incorporate storage into your bench seating? Do you want a hinged top, baskets, or drawers?

Banquette seating is a great way to add architectural value & appeal to your home. Done right, it can add a comfortable, space savvy, seating space for your family. How do you think you could incorporate bench seating into your kitchen?