Kitchens are a common gathering spot where family and friends come together to eat meals and spend time together, and are often referred to as the heart of the home. When designing the kitchen, incorporate a bench to serve as extra seating for family gatherings or as a spot to do homework. Versatile benches fit into any style, shape and size kitchen, and are simple to build. Alternatively, assembled benches can be found in home improvement stores. Surround the benches with comfortable chairs and a few decorative pillows for an inviting space.
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Storage benches offer more than just a comfortable space to sit. When tucked under a seat lid, a storage space can hold tablecloths and other kitchen items to help declutter the space and keep the kitchen looking tidy. Storage benches with a built-in box under the seat are an ideal area for storing cookbooks. Drawers or storage holders in the front of the bench can be set on wheels to easily roll in and out as needed. On the top of the storage bench, place a thick, comfortable cushion in a fun, whimsical pattern like a stripe or trellis design to create added comfort and provide a burst of colour to the space. Add a set of arms to the storage bench for a chair-like design. Because storage benches often have tall backs, they provide added back support to users.
Utilise an empty or underused corner of the kitchen with a built-in bench or banquette bench. Banquette benches are attached to the wall and designed around a table, similar to the booths found in restaurants and diners. Banquette benches create a cosy, intimate space for eating meals or doing homework. Because they are tucked into the corner, they take up less space than normal freestanding tables and chairs. When determining the dimensions of the bench, use a comfortable dining chair as your guide to create the appropriate height and depth for the bench. Decorative trim moulding can be applied to the face of the bench to dress up the design.
Many kitchens have an island that centres the room and serves as the family gathering space. To add extra seating around the island or another spot for family meals, install a freestanding island bench. Island benches offer informal dining seating or a space to relax with a cup of tea. Place the bench next to the island to create the look of one continuous object. Ensure that the bench is no wider than the island to avoid eating up essential space. Streamline the island with one long, narrow bench or put two small benches side-by-side. Freestanding island benches can be easily moved around the space or removed as needed.
Curving chairs with stirrup-shaped seats can be fitted together to form one long bench. Three or more chairs connected together using platform screws can create a makeshift kitchen bench. Linked together, they provide a fun twist on the typical bench shape. Add a coat of bright paint to the chairs in a colour that echoes the colours found in the kitchen. With a custom-sewn cushion, you have your own curving, dramatic bench to tuck against the kitchen wall or use around a dining table for an unexpected display.
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