cassandrascott24

'To perch or not to perch?' that is the question!

cassandrascott24
13 January, 2020

Throwing open a discussion on whether one should perch precariously on bar stools round those dreaded islands that were so in vogue in the last decade. I say bring back the homely kitchen table and comfortable seating with a back... Yeah, those 'for' bar stools, will say you can buy them 'with backs' but for older folk, getting up on yer perch ain't so easy, back or no back.





Comments (41)

  • Tani H-S

    Well we have both but in our last house we only had the island as our main eating area and even my parents loved it. We had adjustable high backed padded stools though (gas lift) so you can sit on the easily then pump yourself up to the correct height.
    I used to also work on the them for hours and found it more comfortable than my dining table because I could adjust the height. Wish I had bought gas lift ones for my current place now, ha haha

    cassandrascott24 thanked Tani H-S
  • minipie

    Like Tani I find perching at a bar stool more comfy than a kitchen chair! Maybe because I’m short and the bar stools have footrests... I wouldn’t choose just bar seating instead of a table (kitchen table is useful for so many things as well as eating) but the ideal solution for me is both if space permits.

    cassandrascott24 thanked minipie
  • Related Discussions

    Kitchen diner inspiration

    Q

    Comments (26)
    We come in at the end of the project with exciting stylish chairs which can be supplied in 56 colours so you can link in the chair colours with other components in the room - Blinds, curtains, painted walls or a splash back (It is possible to get Glass splashbacks in virtually any colour. We can lend a sample card to be given to the splash back makers so that they colour the splashback to match exactly with the chairs.) I attach a photo showing some Doris P Chairs in Red Leather, complete with a dining table. The Next photo shows the bar stools with matching splashback in red, which was part of the same project. I know that you do not have barstools, but I am just demonstrating the idea. The dining table was made up using heavy weighted bases in a brushed stainless steel finish and a table top which matches the kitchen work tops. This is a picture of the 30 colours available in the Eco Leather range. We have another 26 colours in the Real Leather range so you have a huge selection to choose from. We have an App which allows you to make up different chairs, change the bases (chair legs) and change the upholstery colours. Then you can see the finished effect. Please copy and paste this link into your browser to see our App. http://www.seatingmyway.com/app/chairs. I would be happy to discuss your project in more detail if you are interested.
    ...See More

    Please help me with kitchen plan!

    Q

    Comments (40)
    Hi. I mean the wall with the utility door. I see where you are going with the symmetry for the wall with the aga, but I would make that tall end unit a pantry or place for serving plates, etc. and have the integrated fridge where you currently have the wood upper cabinet. I've been looking at your Ideabook and reading the aga discussion (I'm way behind minnie!) and I see what you are trying to achieve. But none of them have the same layout. When the feature aga corbel wall exists, it doesn't have an induction hob right next to it or it doesn't have a solid wall at the end (one of them is amazing with their deep cupboards either side but there is nowhere to put anything!). Do you have roof lights over the kitchen? Unless you have a giant lantern skylight and lots of under-cabinet lighting planned, please don't have black countertops. Apart from the fact that none of the kitchens in your Ideabook have dark counters, I come from a place of experience. I used to have a massive, terribly planned, kitchen with lovely black granite counters. Not only could only one person work in it even though it was the size of a dance floor, but the lights had to be on all the time and it was really depressing. And as there will be a dining table nearby to take in your beautiful garden, the island perches will be there to keep the cook(s) company, so facing in on the kitchen is perfect.
    ...See More

    Design dilema for bottom of stairs in hallway - wall partly knocked!

    Q

    Comments (5)
    If you don't physically need a handrail on that side you could just rebuild the wall at that point, only to about 18 inches high topped off with as wide a board as you can fit. Then you could use it to display something, put those things on that are waiting to go upstairs, or a perch when you have loads off guests, family or grandchildren around. Another way round the problem, but probably too late for you now, is to build the bottom couple of steps from a different material, say tile or stone to match a floor if the rest is to be carpeted, and start the newel/handrail at the changeover point.
    ...See More

    Vote to win over £1000 worth of prizes from Houzz of 2018! NOW CLOSED

    Q

    Comments (75)
    Thank you everyone for all your votes and great comments. We are pleased to announce the Sketches with the most votes and therefore winners of our [Sketch To Win competition[(https://www.houzz.co.uk/discussions/sketch-to-win-products-from-houzz-of-2018-now-closed-dsvw-vd~5178474?n=29) are: Sketch 3 Seasons in Colour - 68 votes Sketch 1 rachelmidlands - 58 votes Sketch 4 Danielle H - 45 votes And the winner of our Voter's Prize is: Mary Moore Thanks again to everyone that participated and stay tuned for more competitions.
    ...See More
  • Sonia

    I’m with you all the way Cassandra! I detest stools. Even the padded ones with a back are so uncomfortable for me. As I have arthritis and am short, perching on something where your feet don’t touch the ground (perches don’t do the job) causes me discomfort and pain. When you’re old like me, a comfy chair is is a number one priority! Love a kitchen table too.


    There is a hilarious sketch on Room 101 where Sandy Toksvig tries to climb onto a bar stool. Of course it ends up on Room 101, where it belongs.


    cassandrascott24 thanked Sonia
  • Little Jem

    Ah - found it ! Thanks, ChemistryKaren !! A friend of mine bought some very swish bar stools with the gas lift for adjusting height. When we went to visit, she was furious and disappointed that in one of them the mechanism had failed, and left it stuck in the 'high' position !

    cassandrascott24 thanked Little Jem
  • deborah eade

    I am small and find bar stools perilous - even worse if they have a back because you are lulled into thinking they might be safe! I have an artificial hip and really don't want to risk a fall. A very tall friend has them and guests perch in a line as she cooks. I prefer to stand. Even when I was young and nimble I never worked out how to climb onto a high chair with any dignity in a short or tight skirt or dress!

    cassandrascott24 thanked deborah eade
  • Ellie

    I think most folk have bar stools as an extra in the kitchen/diner, as well as their dining table. We have dining table which we use for breakfast and dinner everyday as a family. We also have an island that I will eventually get round to getting stools for! It is only worktop high eg about 95cm. Any recommendations if stool types/types to avoid are welcome. I can imagine they will be used just if entertaining eg once every few months!

    cassandrascott24 thanked Ellie
  • cassandrascott24

    So it seems that some bar stools are comfortable. Hmmm...

    Having just logged onto YouTube to watch Sandi Toksvig climbing up on one... thanks for this Sonia, it was hilarious... I'm more certain than ever that they are perilous forms of seating! To quote Sandi - "They're designed for 7' basketball players." And most do not come with 'gas lift'. They are as the above illustrations...

    Ellie, there is something so 'not homely' about islands which often incorporate a sink and/or hob as well as storage units. One can 'set' a table for dinner guests with a nice table cloth or runners if you want the wood to be visible. Islands are generally boring, characterless slabs and invariably white. Give me a table any day. Bar stools also prevent you from being able to stretch out your legs... You just perch...

  • Little Jem

    Me too, deborah eade - on the short side as well. I don't have a replacement hip, but I do have a touch of arthritis, and huge pain from an ultra-tight thigh muscle, so am much less nimble than I used to be !

    cassandrascott24 thanked Little Jem
  • cassandrascott24

    Off subject entirely, Little Jem, but can recommend BORAX for arthritis. It's a banned substance but I've been taking it for years with no problem. I had bursitis for a while... a painful, burning hip prob due to the 80 miles I walk each week... The pain vanished almost immediately and has never returned. You make up a solution of one level TEASPOON in 1 litre of water and drink a good sploosh 3 or 4 times a week... In trying to find the website 'Borax for Health' I see Google have now removed it from page 1 and instead promote all its dangers... You have to get to page 9 before its benefits are listed. Boron is needed for bone health and is lacking in today's diet. I reflect on the many folk suffering with joint problems, needing knee and hip replacements etc.

  • PRO
    Chris Goodchild

    I have a corner pew big enough to seat one person on one side and two on the other, on a third side I have a chair I have made to match the pew so that we can seat four. The fourth side of the table doesn't have enough space for another chair in our narrow kitchen so the arrangement is perfect this way.

    I have always liked corner pews for kitchens, they take less space for the same amount of seating as chairs plus many pews have storage under the seats.

    cassandrascott24 thanked Chris Goodchild
  • PRO
    Oak House Design

    Some bar stools are definitely more comfortable than others but in any case I prefer to have my feet on the ground with the opportunity to fidget if I so wish.


    Islands I do like though - mine is my main work area with the sink and dishwasher in it. It means I can work facing into the room rather than with my back to everybody. I would hate it if people were perched in close proximity following my every move though so there are no stools - gas lift or otherwise.


    So - it’s a no from me for stools but a definite yes for islands!

    cassandrascott24 thanked Oak House Design
  • cassandrascott24

    'Pews' now that's interesting, Chris. Summat with a bit o'character as well I imagine. When I get round to my dining table seating, I'm opting for a bench along the wall; one that can be tucked under the table to give me more floor space when I'm not wining and dining. And, yes folks, the bench will have proper seat cushions attached with tabs from a rail, while the back cushions will be suspended with tabs from another. Got this idea (plus the rails/pads) from Ikea.

    I can't say an absolute 'No' to islands, Oak House Design, as I have liked some projects and kitchen renos recently on Houzz, which did feature them. So many though, look 'lost at sea' (excuse the pun) on an expanse of floor; remind me of an iceberg; cold and stark.

  • Little Jem

    Cassandrascott24 - thank you for that info. As a matter of fact, I read about the benefits of Borax a few years back, and eventually dug out a packet I'd bought ages before that. I started using it as you describe - and then when I eventually came to the end of it, and went to replenish supplies, discovered that it was no longer available ! ! ! There was only something described as "Borax Substitute", whatever that is ... Did they get wind of the fact that some people were using it 'not as intended' ? Did they have to comply with some nannying regulation or other ? I believe it's still available in the USA, under the brand name "Mule Train" or "Mule Driver" or some such, but we probably couldn't import it without arousing suspicion. The cynic in me suggests that anything basic which works must be withdrawn, so that you are forced to turn to expensive and ineffective medication. Does anyone know, by chance, where it can still be sourced in this country ?? (UK) In other news, I can still get food grade Diatomaceous Earth !!

  • Martin

    We're just fitting out our kitchen with a 900mm deep peninsula (300mm overhang). I'm not expecting to spend much time sitting at it but I really wanted the extra deep worktop for food prep. Have a large dining table as well, we need to decide whether to get ones with backs that are a bit more comfy or accept they are never going to be and get ones that tuck away neatly

    cassandrascott24 thanked Martin
  • Sonia

    Popped in to my brothers sports bar today and we were all standing around chatting but I had to sit down (bloody knees!) and all there were nearby to sit on was high bar stools. I tried to hop up on one, but they are metal and I just kept sliding off! Should have filmed it and given you all a laugh! :-)

    cassandrascott24 thanked Sonia
  • LTS

    Love my comfy stools which swivel (but do not go up and down) so are mega easy to perch on & off. My dining chairs are mega comfy also. I’m sure there is a stool out there for everyone, lol.

    cassandrascott24 thanked LTS
  • PRO
    Oak House Design

    Martin, if you’re not sure stools are going to be comfy, and you don’t want them cluttering the place up while being rarely used, how about putting shelving in their place for cook books etc.? Like you say you have a big table anyway. 😀😀😀

    cassandrascott24 thanked Oak House Design
  • deborah eade

    LTS, I doubt there is a bar stool one for someone like me who is only 155cm tall, getting on a bit and with an artificial hip - hence got rid of bath tub (only ever used as a shower anyway in almost 25 years, even when children were small) in favour of a walk-in shower. Bar stools, however comfortable for agile people with long legs and wearing trousers, are academic since I couldn't fit a table in my kitchen!

    cassandrascott24 thanked deborah eade
  • Sonia

    @deborah- think we are twins! I have a metal hip joint too. I’m a bit taller at 5’4” and got rid of the bath about 3 Years ago. Stannah Lift anyone? :-))

    cassandrascott24 thanked Sonia
  • pmasmith3

    In my last house I had a large kitchen diner with a 4'x4' island - no sink, no cooker, no stools - just a lovely large worktop.

    It was really handy for informal get-togethers when I could set out a buffet on the island, guests could then help themselves and sit (on chairs, not stools) round the table.

    Also loved setting up my sewing machine on it - I like to sew standing up - with a huge surface for making curtains etc.

    Sonia, I'm just starting out on the arthritis thing. Had it in my fingers for quite a while, but now waiting for test results for knee and hip! I guess it's inevitable .....

    cassandrascott24 thanked pmasmith3
  • Martin

    @Oak House Design that's a good idea and one we envisaged early on but two of our tall cabinets have open shelving which we will struggle to fill!

    cassandrascott24 thanked Martin
  • Little Jem

    deborah eade - I think I may be as much as 1/4" taller than you ! LOL ! Hardly any seating is designed with people of our dimensions in mind. I have trouble with sofas, dining chairs - everything. I had a lightbulb moment a while back, when I realised that just because you have a certain number of cup broads, shelves etc... does not mean that you HAVE to fill them ! My aim is to not need to use the top shelves at all. (Because it's awkward trying to climb soon the kitchen steps, too !)


    cassandrascott24 thanked Little Jem
  • PRO
    NCM Building Ltd

    I think it really depends on your personal preference and how often you plan to use the island. There are lots and lots of trendy and comfy stools out there.


    Some houses have large islands and they were often used for food prep, work/study or somewhere to gather during parties.


    I like both, to be honest. Dining table for dinners with the family and the island for meal prep or working. Like the one in this picture



    cassandrascott24 thanked NCM Building Ltd
  • deborah eade

    NCM Building. Do they make stools for people of 5' (155 cm)? Because the ones that would be really easy for someone like me – vertically challenged and not in the first flush of youth – would leave me with my chin on the counter!

    cassandrascott24 thanked deborah eade
  • Angelica Sweetheart

    But... the height of the seat and the table is the same pro rata to a normal chair and a dining table... it just has longer legs. So it wouldnt actually effect the sitting position of a shorter person... its just the getting up and down on the stool/chair. My kids are both way shorter and dont have a problem with their chin in their plate!!! :-) Most bar chairs have a foot bar... but this probably isnt strong enough for a climb up... altho my kids use it! :-) We love to perch as we close our dining room off unless we are entertaining. and it keeps all the food that manages to fly off the plates in one room!!!

    cassandrascott24 thanked Angelica Sweetheart
  • cassandrascott24

    Yes, Little Jem, if anything is deemed 'dangerous' by the powers that be, one can assume it's not. I mean table salt taken in large quantities is dangerous too! It's available still in Oz so packets of white stuff could be sent from there but would they get through customs checks?! I got my first lot from a company online but made the mistake of only ordering a small amount and ticked the boxes saying I was not using this for personal use/for children or animals but the next time I went to place an order, there was a large disclaimer, in red, stating that if they had any reason to believe I was purchasing this for personal use, they had the right to prosecute! However eBay came to my rescue... apparently it makes wonderful slime though that is now coming under scrutiny for 'Elf & Safety' reasons. Re Diatomaceous Earth, I take that too. Part of my ongoing heavy metal detox prog. Good luck and message me privately with how you get on...

    Back to stools... those pictured by NCM Building Ltd, do look more comfy but the 'getting up on them' will pose a problem for some, as above.

    pmasmith, whilst your island proves perfect for your needs, I'm still firmly in the table 'n' chairs camp.

  • PRO
    OnePlan

    Which is the perfect stool to prop up a rather squiffy person - asking for a friend ?!!!

  • PRO
    The Rigid Kitchen Company

    We find that many of our customers are now opting for the cozy kitchen - Adding sofas and armchairs into the room, rather than stools.

    cassandrascott24 thanked The Rigid Kitchen Company
  • deborah eade

    Angelica, my point is that if it is something that a small woman in her mid-60s can comfortably and safely ascend and descend - and with dignity in a short or fitted dress - it has to be the same height as a normal chair, which is why my chin would be on the counter! Do watch the Room 101 where Sandy Toksvig tries to climb onto a bar stool ... captures my predicament perfectly! Perhaps a step ladder with a seat on the top might work?

    cassandrascott24 thanked deborah eade
  • chemistrykaren

    Wow, Cassandra, look at all the activity this has generated! Wonderful!

    i have never liked bar stools. My newly divorced Dad bought a pair in the 1960s for his ‘bachelor’ flat. They had white vinyl cushioned seats but even as a 10-year-old I had an instant aversion to them, aesthetically and ergonomically (I was precocious). I would rest my feet on the crossbars which, of course, soon broke away from the legs. The beasts were heavy, too, so moving them out to clamber on, then moving them forward to be near the counter, then moving them back to dismount, then moving them back to tuck them in ... exhausting just reading about it, isn’t it!


    PS: I remember whopping with joy at Sandi Toksvig on Room 101.

    cassandrascott24 thanked chemistrykaren
  • chemistrykaren

    As for islands, they can look good but only when designed with care, love and a great eye. Too many people go for islands because they’re seen as signalling socioeconomic success. They end up giving the impression of no soul, no thought, no love, sterile, bleak and oppressive.

    cassandrascott24 thanked chemistrykaren
  • deborah eade

    chemistrykaren they can indeed look good but all too often remind me of the large granite or marble tombstones in Italian cemeteries, where that side of our family is buried!

    cassandrascott24 thanked deborah eade
  • cassandrascott24

    Indeed yes, Deborah... Forget icebergs... They are indeed like marble tombstones!

  • cassandrascott24

    The Rigid Kitchen Company - indeed yes, if Houzz is anything to go by... Bathrooms are looking more like rooms too but the practicalities of sofas and armchairs in a kitchen... from the cleaning point of view? Oh yes, you're going to say that extractor fans will eliminate the oil and grease particulates from the air but even so... At least with seat pads they can be slung in the wash if mishaps occur.

  • cassandrascott24

    Well One Plan... A bar stool could spell disaster if they fell off it! At least with a dining chair they'd not have far to go!! Armrests would prevent a fall to either side and it the seat was rammed against the table they'd just take a nose dive into their takeaway! Lol

  • tamp75

    We do have bar stools (with back) at our peninsula. I’m also not a lover of islands as they just get in the way. I like to ‘perch’ with a cuppa on a stool but hate it when visitors also perch there & watch me cooking, esp my FiL who always makes a beeline for our stools! Last time they were over, my husband moved the stools away from the peninsula to the table area which looked a bit odd but helped! Lol.

    cassandrascott24 thanked tamp75
  • deborah eade

    tamp, I've always wondered about the wisdom of having an audience and/or commentary while I'm preparing food. I prefer to concentrate on what I'm doing because there can be some colourful language if I cut my finger, something boils over, or I burn my hand on the oven. To say nothing of mess. While I try to clear up as I go along the bag of peelings waiting to go into the compost the following day isn't a display item!!

    cassandrascott24 thanked deborah eade
  • chemistrykaren

    tamp and deborah, I don't actually worry about people seeing my kitchen (or house, for matter) in a slight mess: (a) my friends are not judgmental (or they wouldn't be my friends) and couldn't care less if they can see my compost/mulch (I'm bilingual, y'know); (b) I do try to stay tidy when I cook; it's a bit like being in a lab.

    As for friends actually *watching* me cook - or rather, *talking* to me while I cook - no! I can't even fill a kettle with water and chew gum at the same time, let alone carry on a conversation while I try to create!

    But I don't have bar stools, and people still want to gather round me while I cook. So I ensure it's *all* done before anyone arrives. :)

    cassandrascott24 thanked chemistrykaren
  • cassandrascott24

    Hadn't thought of that aspect of bar stools - folk can look down on you while you cook... or try to! Not necessarily great...

  • pmasmith3

    The island in my previous kitchen (no stools) acted as a barrier, keeping me safe from kitchen intruders!

    cassandrascott24 thanked pmasmith3
  • Little Jem

    I did find the Youtube video of Room 101, with Sandi Toksvig demonstrating the problems of short people and bar stools ! Extremely funny - because it's true !!


    cassandrascott24 thanked Little Jem
United Kingdom
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.