Seating area against a wall, rather than on an island?

DCkitchen13April 8, 2013

Good morning! We are wrapping up our kitchen remodel but are still nailing down one corner of the room. We are making one 4-foot stretch of countertop, which ends in a corner, into a place where our kids can sit and eat or do homework. Our kitchen is a shade too small to comfortably accommodate an island or peninsula. So I'm trying to figure out the best use of the space. Right now, the plan is to put in 12-inch cabs underneath and have the counters hang over by 13 inches. (I know, many people like a bigger overhang. But that's all our room will allow.) Diners will face the wall. The 12-inch cabs will not be terribly accessible, I know, so I figure we can store rarely-used items down there.

My questions: Does anyone have a similar-sounding eat-in area? If so, I would love to see pics. Also, would it make more sense to just build a desk-like frame for the counter, instead of having the cabs underneath? And last: the rest of our counters will be dark-gray Caesarstone. Would it look weird to have this one section be butcherblock?

Thank you for all your wise advice.

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I'm doing something similar, except the countertop runs into the fridge and faces a window instead of a wall. We're not planning on having cabinets there so we can have the full depth for knees (and we have a small radiator under there we're just going to leave). I've had some advice to just forget the seating and put cabinets there, but I think I really want it since we have no other place to sit in our closed kitchen. So it is dual function- seating and prep space if no one is sitting there, but we lose the storage function, which is ok with me.

We haven't quite figured out yet how we're going to support the span- it was originally going to be in between 2 base cabinets (with support in between) but now I want to move one of the base cabinets to the other side and it would just run into the fridge, which I'm not sure will work. If not, we'll just go back to plan A.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Wolverine, your situation sounds very similar to ours. Our kitchen isn't tiny but it is closed, and I really want a spot for my kids (or guests) to plunk down while I'm working. I also don't care so much about storage--I just want a base for the countertop. My contractor is open to my ideas but not great about suggesting new ones, so I'm wondering if I am overlooking some great, simple solution.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:02AM
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I'll be watching to see if you get any other good ideas! I was thinking we might build some small frame at the end of ours so the counter has somewhere to rest, with brackets screwed to the studs in between to support the counter- we just have to figure out how much support we need and how to work around the radiator. We're leaning towards soapstone countertops, so they'll be quite heavy but I'm hoping we can figure something out!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:21AM
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I had something similar in my last kitchen. Having diners facing the wall is not ideal, but it is tons better than not having that seating space at all. You haven't posted a layout but I might suggest that if you can do backless stools or at least stools with a low back that tuck under the counter completely, you can push in the stools and use them for prep or as a serving/bar area if it is not in the way of your traffic flow. That four extra feet of empty counterspace might be much more useful if you can get the stools out of the way when you need to.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I considered that but instead of wall it would look out a window. I may still do it with a counter height table, but I decided I really didn't have the room for the counter and cabinets (and didn't think I'd like the look against the window).

Show us pictures if you do it!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:57AM
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I second NYCBluedevil's suggestion to post a layout. It always helps people to truly understand your question. IMO I also think it triggers more creativity.
Have you ever seen youngdeb's supercool pivoting countertop, it faces a window.
It is on Houzz.

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz kitchen

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:41PM
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I love all these kitchens, especially that one on Houzz. That pivoting bar is very cool. I think we may be stuck with a 24-inch depth seating area because of how far along we are in the process (ie, cabinets mostly installed). I wish I'd asked earlier but we had a very late-in-the game design change.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:22PM
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