Should I Build a Bar or a Counter in My Kitchen?

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Breakfast bars and counters fall in and out of fashion, but there’s no doubt that for some families or individuals, it’s a great addition to the kitchen.

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a house while the dining room is one of the least used – it’s seen as the room for special occasions, but if no such occasions exist it can be a bit of a wasted space and could become a study or a music room. 

As such, adding a communal aspect to your kitchen could work. It would allow you to eat, talk, and cook at the same time. A counter or a bar could run along a wall, could serve as the boundary between kitchen and another space in an open plan setting, could jut out into the kitchen, or could form one side of a kitchen island. 

There are many design options. However, one thing to decide is whether you are going to have a low counter which is at the same height as the rest of the kitchen’s work surfaces or are you going to have a higher bar with barstools? Here’s 3 things to consider when making this choice:

Who will be Eating?

How tall are you and which would make you most comfortable? For many adults it would be sitting on a bar stool of some kind at a higher counter, maybe looking out of a window or over the living room slash open plan home or flat. However, there may be just more than you or you and your partner, what about kids? Bars are fine for taller people, but for those of us who are shorter, may find a counter easier to access.

The Practicalities of Your Kitchen

How big is your kitchen? Like with many things we’ve covered in this blog, it comes down to space and practicality. A small kitchen is not going to have the room for a bar. A counter may be possible if you are ok losing some cabinet space (as a seller of fine bespoke cabinets we obviously do not encourage this). 

Consider where the main fixtures of the kitchen are and it’s overall dimensions – not forgetting ceiling height. Furthermore, consider your storage needs and where the counter or bar might go. Are you going to have a kitchen island? Where are the windows? Is the house open plan or could it be open plan? And so on. Finally, on a practical level, are you going to use it? 

What’s Your Kitchen’s Style?

Both options might be practical, which brings us to style. Does a bar or a counter fit the style of your home? And of your new or improving kitchen? This one is purely subjective and down to you – can you envision the bar or the counter and in your mind, how does it look? If it feels like a good fit, then you are good to go.

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