Kitchen stools, baker’s racks and buffets, oh my! Where do you start when picking out your kitchen furniture? It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Even if you have a small, eat-in kitchen you might have room for a kitchen trolley that you can pull out to create some extra workspace. Medium-sized kitchens might also benefit from movable kitchen island furniture that can be tucked away when necessary. Unless you have a hallway-style kitchen with very little room, you can add furniture that will make your kitchen both more beautiful and more functional.
Kitchen Island Furniture
Have you ever watched a show on television where the family in the show didn’t have a kitchen island or some type of similar set up with some kitchen stools around it? A kitchen simply feels cozier and more usable with an island. If you don’t have room for a permanent one, look into a rolling kitchen cart or kitchen trolley that will serve as an island. Many islands are made to be moved these days because the trend lately has been for smaller homes that require smaller mortgage payments, and that means smaller kitchens. A cart is a piece of kitchen furniture that’s become synonymous with a microwave cart, but can be used for anything you need. It’s common for people to use the bottom cabinet for extra storage and the top as a workspace, a place to display cookbooks or pretty dishes, or as a space that’s kept clear.
If you don’t have an island but have a high counter, some kitchen bar stools can add more seating for gatherings and offer a place for kids to do homework while having an after-school snack, or a great place to sit and peel veggies or do other food prep. Use your imagination as you look around the room and you’ll probably find a place where someone could perch and have coffee or get some work done.
Choosing Kitchen Stools
If you go with a kitchen island, then make sure you get stools that are the appropriate height. Bar stools and kitchen stools might not be interchangeable, because most bar counters are 5 to 6 inches taller than the countertop on a kitchen island. The most comfortable height for kitchen stools is about 10 to 12 inches lower than the countertop, so kitchen bar stools are usually around 30 inches tall and island kitchen stools are 24 or 25 inches high. Using a stool that’s too high means you’ll have to lean over, and one that’s too low can make you feel dwarfed by the counter. You probably wouldn’t end up using the stools much because it would be awkward. Measure the countertop to get the best fitting stools rather than relying on the name of the stool. And choose a countertop with a rounded edge to make it more comfortable for those seated at the island.
Extra Kitchen Furniture: Buffets, Sideboards and Baker’s Racks
What about those pieces that are nice to have in a kitchen but hardly essential? A breakfast nook is a great place to enjoy any meal without having to transfer to the dining room. If you have room and want that cozy seating, then it’s certainly an option. A baker’s rack is a great place to cool baked goods, but they’re usually used for décor and simple storage in modern kitchens.
Buffets and sideboards are more commonly found in dining rooms, but they also work well in a large kitchen. In addition to the extra storage, there’s extra space on top to display dishes and serving ware, or even serve food for a large gathering.
Despite what the rooms in the home and decorating magazines look like, the most important thing is to choose furniture that fits both your kitchen and your style.