Open-plan kitchen living spaces are becoming part of our everyday lives, and with most families spending more time in this heart of the home, it’s important to consider kitchen seating. For times spent relaxing, catching up with friends, working from home, hosting formal dinner parties or breakfast with the family getting these zones right is essential.
Start by considering what you need kitchen seating for, do you have a large family and need a formal dining space? Do you love entertaining? Or just need a perch for a coffee in the morning. Once you’ve worked out your layout, whether that’s island seating, a dining space with table and chairs or a relaxing reading corner, you can then start to decide what style you need.
Bar stools are perfect around the kitchen island where you can indulge in your morning coffee, enjoy an informal breakfast with the family or raise a glass with friends.
Consider the aesthetic and style within your space. You don’t want the stools to be overbearing or dining chairs to take up too much floor space. If you have a contemporary kitchen go for a simple and timeless design with faux leather or fabric finish, for more industrial kitchens add rich textures with raw wood, iron finishes and metal frames. Even things like the time you’re going to be sat on a bar stool may affect your decision, do you go for seating with arms or cushioned varieties?
If you’re opting for bar stools, know what you’re working with and measure your cabinet height before making decisions. Most websites have the measurements of chairs, so it’s easy to determine what you need for the space.
To help you find your perfect kitchen seating we’ve selected some of our favourites below:
This bar stool has a considerable amount of interest in our Tom Howley showrooms and social media, so it’s only right to include it in our top 5. The Joe bar stool from Vincent Sheppard is perfect for adding a contemporary touch while still preserving character and interest with its Lloyd Loom weave. Choose from a black powder coated steel or brushed nickel steel base depending on what look you are after. You can pick from over 27 colours of Lloyd Loom making this stool the perfect choice fitting into almost any kitchen scheme.
As seen in our dark green Kavanagh kitchen, the Midas bar stools from Rockett St George are ideal for giving your island that instant wow factor. Adding to their appeal, they are finished in a gorgeous brushed-gold and the simple iron design is hand made making each one slightly unique.
For something a little more classic and contemporary take a look at the Palm stools from Calligaris. This site has so many fantastic designs; however, this particular style is designed to suit all interior needs. The ergonomic foam padded seat provides maximum comfort when sat at a kitchen island while the neutral colours can suit a vast range of kitchen styles and finishes.
For the design savvy, this Philippe Starck Masters stool is a popular choice. The design is inspired by the silhouettes of three iconic chairs by Arne Jacobsen, Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames. It also comes in a variety of colours to suit the theme you want to reflect in your home.
It’s worth considering comfort when it comes to kitchen seating and bar stools. For options without backs, it’s best to choose a design that has a footrest. This elegant yet straightforward Cox and Cox counter stool is beautifully crafted from weathered oak to ensure comfort as well as keeping a rustic country look. A beautiful addition to any traditional or contemporary kitchen.
When it comes to designing your kitchen, our Tom Howley designers can give you innovative seating and dining ideas that make the most of your space. Adding bench seating is a beautiful and space-saving way to incorporate a social area into the kitchen. They can be designed to fit seamlessly within your design either as part of a kitchen island, separate snug or dining space for the whole family to gather around. This neat solution can help to zone certain areas as well as creating ample seating space without taking up as much room as dining room chairs — disguise bench seating with cladding and the same paint colour as your cabinetry. You can also soften the edges with bespoke cushions and fabrics.
Whatever style of dining chair you choose we advise testing them out for comfort. You may opt for a chair with armrests, maybe a simple backless stool or rustic bench. For all designs you need to consider the size of the feet, whether the chair fits under the table, are they comfortable and will they stand the test of time as your family grows?
If you’re wanting to match the Joe bar stools or simply inject a little texture and visual interest into your dining area, then choose these stunning chairs. The Joe dining chair is surprisingly light with its Lloyd Loom and moulded design. As with the bar stool you can choose from a vast range of Lloyd Loom colours and even a variety of fabrics for the removable cushion.
For a comfortable yet classic chair take a look at the Evelyn design from Vincent Sheppard. Crafted from beech wood with its pure lines and high back, it’s bound to impress when guests take a seat. Its intelligent design and solid finish ensures optimum comfort as well as being durable, perfect for busy family spaces. Simply clean with a moist towel and natural soap.
Similar to the bar stools, this iconic design is a popular choice for contemporary kitchens. Supported on slender legs, the back shapes are created by solid lines and voids which flow down and join together along the perimeter making this chair not only comfortable but eye-catching too. Choose from 5 colours from classic white to a statement mustard.
The original Wishbone chair was originally designed in 1949 by Danish designer Hans Wegner as has become a timeless piece in many homes around the world. If you can’t get your hands on an original, then Cult Furniture’s Wishbone style chair is an affordable option that not only remains true to the original design but is also just as high quality standing the test of time in your home. The robust beech wood design with paper cord seat can be chosen in a variety of colours suiting Mid-century to contemporary kitchen living spaces.