Last week, we published our tips on buying the right sized bar stool. It’s the perfect guide to selecting a great product…once you know what you’re looking for. But one of the most frequently asked questions we get at the office is: what should I build, a bar or a counter for my kitchen? If you’re building a breakfast bar in your kitchen, is it best to build at the same height as the counters or is an elevated look a little bit more elegant? Here are a few things to consider:
#1 Kids and Comfort
You want to be able to enjoy your hot breakfast on the weekends, so thinking about comfort is key. For most people, either height will be comfortable. However, if you are a short individual, have young kids, or have older family members at home, building a counter will be the better option. Counter height eliminates the issue of climbing or falling, and it’s much easier on the back and body posture. So when it comes to comfort, counter height wins.
#2 Kitchen Practicality
Counter height is also preferable in terms of practicality. Build a counter height breakfast bar onto your counter or kitchen island and you’ll have a large flat surface that allows more space to spread out. This is ideal for homework projects, preparing meals, reading the newspaper, working on your laptop, etc.
That being said, bars in the kitchen do have a few benefits: a raised bar helps to hide the clutter that generally gathers around the sink, and they act as a fantastic place to serve snacks or hors d’oeuvres for hosting your family and friends.
Pro Tip: Seat back or no seat back? That is the question. And the answer typically comes from determining how frequently the bar stool is likely to be used. Is it just extra seating for when guests are over? Backless is A-okay. But if you always find yourself eating or working at the breakfast bar, choose a stool with a back for more comfort and support. Also, consider your design aesthetic. Stools sans seat back say “casual” and “industrial” while stools with a seat back bring a more classic look to the kitchen.
#3 Style Considerations
A bar in the kitchen can really help to distinguish the kitchen from the dining room or living room, especially in many modern homes with open concept floor plans. A bar in the kitchen also provides visual texture and appeal to a room that is generally not so interesting.
Pro Tip: When building a bar, counter, or kitchen island into your kitchen space, don’t forget the kitchen triangle rule. Do not put in a piece that obstructs the pathway between the stove, sink, and refrigerator. Kitchen design, more than most spaces, is all about utility.
Like what you read? Let us know your thoughts below!