What do Goldilocks and kitchen seating have in common? Well, just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you’ll want to try the small, medium and big versions of seating as you design your new kitchen. If you are planning a kitchen snack bar – and that’s one of the most popular features Morris Black does - you need to consider the counter and seat height options. First, think purpose. Most countertop seating is for in-kitchen casual dining or relaxing, like reading the morning paper or browsing cookbooks. Typically, you will be choosing from three standard snack bar or table heights: 30”, 36” or 42”
The normal table height is 30” high, with chair height of 18”. If you opt to have an extended kitchen counter top as your snack bar, it will be 36” high. Since the bar height is 6” more than table height, you should increase the seat height 6” to 24” high. Similarly, if the bar is 42” high, you should have seats 30” high.
Who will be using these seats? For small children and the elderly, 30” high seats may not only be uncomfortable, but unsafe as well. At that height, most adult feet will not touch the floor, so you probably want seats with a foot ring or a foot rail on the bar itself.
24” high seats are easier to get on and off of than 30” high, of course. But some people find even this height uncomfortable. 18” table height seats are easiest to use and probably the most comfortable. I find that most clients, however, will not want a table height snack bar in the kitchen if it is in close proximity to a kitchen table of the same height. Varied seating heights are visually more interesting.
Like most design decisions, seat height is a matter of preference. Examples of each are at our Lehigh Valley or Pocono showrooms. Like Goldilocks, try all three heights, and see what you and your family like best.
Dan Lenner, CMKBD
One of the first things that Morris Black designers learn while studying kitchen design (yes, there is a college course leading to a Certified Kitchen Designer degree) is the work triangle. The kitchen work triangle is the path between work surfaces; food preparation, refrigeration, and cooking surfaces. You can have a gorgeous kitchen but if it is designed inefficiently it can make your time spent in the kitchen a nightmare.
In a good kitchen layout, we try to ensure no more than twenty-six feet total between your refrigerator, food preparation area, and cooking surface, with not less than four feet between these areas. If you have less than four feet between each the space will feel cramped – especially when there is more than one cook in the kitchen. The furthest distance between work areas should not be more than nine feet.
While designing a kitchen for two cooks working together, we recommend a design with two separate work triangles. Neither path should intersect one another when sharing work stations.
Correcting Bad Kitchens
We’ve had clients come to us where oven doors opened onto dishwasher doors, where no one could exit the room when the refrigerator door was open, and, saddest of all, where it was impossible for the husband and wife to cook at the same time.
As design professionals, Morris Black designers have created kitchens in basic shapes such as L-shape, U-Shape, galley, G-shape, double L, even one wall kitchens. We even designed a kitchen for an octagon-shaped geodesic dome home. If your current kitchen design feels crowded or is difficult to work with a second person, call Morris Black Designs. We can recommend an alternate kitchen layout- using the principle of the work triangle- that will be a joy to use.
Elizabeth A Kerkusz, AKBD
Color plays a major role in your kitchen design. Every aspect of your kitchen involves making a color choice – cabinets, counter top, backsplash, lighting fixtures, hardware, flooring, walls — and the list goes on. Its part of the process: color selections need to be made when you are designing a kitchen. Here’s your chance to choose the deep rich hues of cherry wood or the cool sophistication of natural maple, the cool grays and whites of a marble counter top or the endless colors of granite. Every choice enables you to add the stamp of your personality to the room. Think about what you like. When you are shopping for clothing do you gravitate toward neutrals or are you more apt to pick a colorful pattern?
There are pros and cons to each style when remodeling: Subtle choices are safe and flexible, but may lack overall pop and bore an extrovert. Bold choices are dramatic and fun, but can be risky and become dated in a short amount of time and may scare an introvert. Ask yourself: Am I remodeling for a potential resale or to please myself?
Nervous? Don’t worry. The designers at Morris Black have created bold vibrant kitchens and subtle soothing kitchens – we can guide you through the color choices. We can make suggestions, or let you decide – we’re here to help! We also have tools that can help you visualize what the colors will look like in a room design. Our latest showroom toy is a computer generated system that lets you choose the door style, finish, hardware, countertops, wall color and flooring – then saves and prints the results. What fun!
No matter your choice, you can feel good about it knowing that it reflects your own unique style! Decide what works for best for you and let’s get started!
By Christine Shorr, AKBD