Types of kitchen benches

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Types of kitchen benches
Upholstered leather benches are comfortable table seats. (Table for four. image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com)

Kitchen benches come in all shapes and sizes. Benches are good places to seat children or additional guests when hosting events. It can be convenient when cleaning to have one piece of furniture rather than two or three chairs. Kitchen benches have been made of wood, metal, stone, bamboo, plastic and modern composites. Some kitchens have benches already built into the dining area; this saves space and ends any need for excess furniture.


Angular kitchen benches are called nook sets. They bend at a 90-degree angle to fit into a corner, like a restaurant booth. Angular benches can fit more people and squeeze into smaller dining rooms. Nirgos, a European woodworking company, suggests using round or oval tables with nook sets to provide more elbow room for those seated around it. Built-in nook benches are not uncommon. They become the solid foundation of a dining area by dominating the space. Built-in benches often extend the entire length of the room--there is no need for them to end where the table ends.


Upholstered kitchen benches are comfortable because of their cushioned seating. If an upholstered bench has a back it is referred to as a kitchen sofa, according to Nirgos. A kitchen bench can be converted into a sofa by purchasing or making a cushion for it. Leather is a common choice for upholstered kitchen benches. It's easier to clean than other fabrics such as canvas or silk. Consider using the back of a tall breakfast counter as a kitchen bench by attaching a cushioned seat, such as the Mahoney Architects and Interiors bench featured in a recent Houzz Ideabook.


There are modern kitchen benches for every style preference. Stainless steel benches are chic and clean. They blend well in a kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Modern art deco style is a blend of art and functionality such as the Flowing Shape Bench by Arktura. It features eco-composite materials formed into a sculptural work of art that serves as a bench.


The classic kitchen bench is timeless. Traditionally made of stained or sanded wood, the classic bench is four legged. Some classic styles are elegantly carved with Victorian-style feet and bevelled edges. Others are plain and resemble church pews. Both of them have their place and look great when paired with a matching table and chairs. Some of them feature a storage space beneath the seat of the bench. Classic benches feature more armrests, sometimes elaborate and ornate. Modern kitchen benches tend to be more minimalist in appearance, leaving out any excess detail.


Contemporary style is slightly more reserved than art deco but still modern. Wooden benches of stained dark wood with white upholstered seats reflect a modern contemporary style. A slatted wooden back or an "X" back on a bench is contemporary, such as the IKEA Ingolf Kitchen Bench.

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