Iwona Danika. Kitchen Appliances. May 10th , 2017.
What makes a kitchen island a breakfast bar? A 12- to 16-inch countertop overhang that not only provides ample room for the legs and feet, but also enough room for meals and place settings.
When a kitchen island with a breakfast bar isn't providing a convenient place to catch up on the news or grab a quick meal, it also multitasks as extra countertop space for prep work or homework.
Breakfast bars may be the same height as the island counter, or raised up several inches to block the view of kitchen clutter, like unsightly dishes in the sink, appliances and more.
Just make sure the breakfast bar—and any breakfast bar seating—doesn't affect traffic patterns or disrupt the flow of the work triangle.
A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 24 inches (or as many as 30 inches, depending on the size of the space) of elbow room per diner.
Think of the design of the bar stools you'll be choosing. How tall do you want them to be? Do you prefer a bar stool with a back? Would you like bar stools that swivel? A swivel top can be particularly nice if your kitchen is part of a large space in which you entertain, as they will allow your guests (and you) to turn and join conversations behind you in the room. What material do you want your bar stools to be made of? For a traditional look, choose oak or other wood and stain or seal it to suit your tastes. Sleek lines in painted wood or metal will complement a contemporary kitchen. Or you can create an eclectic look by choosing bar stools in a contrasting style or color to the rest of your kitchen's decor. You'll also want to consider whether you want cushioned seats on your barstools. Fabric cushions add comfort, but they can be a hassle to clean after food spills. You can choose leather or vinyl instead. If you have children, you'll want your stools, including the seats, to be durable. A bar stool with a curved wooden seat can be just as comfortable—if not more so—than a cushioned seat. Do you want kitchen bar stools with backs? You'll need to determine how this style of bar stool will fit under the overhang of your kitchen island, and whether or not it will overpower your island visually. You'll also need to consider your budget. Bar stools come in a wide range of prices, from discount-store price tags to custom-designed big-ticket pieces. Last, but certainly not least—how many bar stools should you buy? You'll base your answer on the size of your kitchen and island, the size of the stools themselves, the size of your family and your entertaining style.
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