Nothing feels more like a marathon than cooking with a chronic illness. Standing at the stove stirring food, chopping vegetables, and even pivoting between a stove and countertop can take their toll on a hurting or fatigued body.
Disability-proofing a kitchen does not necessarily mean making the whole room accessible, especially if the issue is one of fatigue, weakness, or limited mobility. Instead, think about the spaces where you will be spending the most time in the kitchen. If it’s possible, design those spaces with built-in seating, or at least a back-up plan to allow for rest on bad days.
Here are some simple solutions to provide seating in a way that enhances the look of the kitchen, and doesn’t scream out its real purpose. As an added bonus, you just might find that all that extra seating invites others into the kitchen to join you! And there’s nothing like a heart to heart with your teenager over a steaming pot of supper…
A metal swing arm stool provides convenient seating that can easily swing out of the way when not in use. The style adds a vintage or industrial feel to the space. These stools can often be found in salvage and resale shops, or the hardware can be purchased to make the stools by hand. Or check out these beautiful custom monogram stools from Etsy.
I love how the countertop wraps around to include the window seat in this kitchen. This would be a perfect space for eating, chopping vegetables, or even working with a griddle or Instant Pot. Plus, it’s a wonderful social space!
Full disclosure: this kitchen is actually mine! We built in a variety of seating options at the counter (with stools that tuck under the countertop and out of the way), and in a low window seat. This gives me plenty of options for sitting and resting while I’m working in the kitchen. The stools are close enough that they can easily be pulled up to the stove or the sink when needed. And the drawers on either side of the stove stash utensils and spices within easy reach while I am sitting and cooking.
A rolling kitchen island like this provides versatility and mobility. It can easily be rolled to wherever you are working, with easy access to small appliances, utensils, or whatever you use most in the kitchen. Adding a drop leaf to one side could add even more workable space, and make it comfortable to pull up a stool. This is an especially great design for small spaces.
A kitchen sink with open space beneath may be uncommon, but it’s a great way to make a space workable with seating or even a wheelchair. The space beneath allows room for your knees as you sit washing dishes or vegetables. It also makes the kitchen feel open and airy, with just a bit of an industrial or vintage feel. The green shade of this particular cabinet is especially stunning!
An adjustable heigh stool on wheels could be a great option for versatile seating, especially in a small kitchen. It can easily be wheeled to any work area, and the adjustable height makes it perfect for working at a low counter, sitting at the stove, or even working at bar height. Stools like this are sometimes available at thrift stores, salvage shops, or resale stores, too, for an economical option.
3 responses to “Kitchen Design with Built-In Seating”
[…] (or the floor!), so it would not be difficult to set it on the shelf. I’ve even considered a swing-out stool that could be mounted on the wall underneath, then kept out of the way when not in use. A shelf is […]
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