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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Kitchen Seating: Off the shelf solution, customized.

Things have been crazy lately, and I haven't found time for all the projects I want to do. Instead I've just been checking a few minor things off my list. Nothing too complicated.

One of them was the need for stools to go under my kitchen island. When we were working on the design for this house, we decided to knock out the wall between the kitchen and the dinning room. I was also pursuing the dream of a double oven and island, which meant we had limited space for a stove and vent if we wanted to have any upper cabinets for storage (only one full wall remained and it belonged to our fridge).

The answer came in the form of a downdraft venting system that could go in the island itself. But, that also left us with a slightly awkward configuration since we needed room in the middle of the island for the actual vents.

See that little nub? There's one on each side and that's the space we have left for stools. While I don't necessarily need the seating, it looks a bit odd without something and I think it'd be nice if the kids could sit at the counter while I'm making dinner. Maybe when they're older it will be a place for them to do homework instead off clinging to my hips while I'm trying to make pork chops. One can dream.

Anyhow, I always thought a simple saddle stool would be just the right size and wouldn't hang out into the walk space ... also known as the race track where toy shopping carts are regularly flying by at frightening speed.

Just about every store sells saddle stools, usually in two heights and for a reasonable price. I spotted the taller version on sale at the WalMart by my house for $30 each.

Right width, yes. Right height? Not for these thighs (much less my hubbies). Color? Clearly not. Solution? DIY. Easy.

I love projects like these because they require very little work. All we needed to do was trim the legs down two inches. It made it just slightly taller than the shorter version sold at the store, but brought it down to a height that was perfect for our counter and left enough room for any sized legs. All that was required was pulling out the little rubber pieces on the bottom, marking off the right height, a quick zip of the saw and then reattaching the rubber pieces.

Oh, and that little color issue needed to be addressed. When you pick extremely dark cabinets that are brown but nearly black, it's tough to buy anything that will match. Thus the need to customize a bit. What do do ... what to do ... oh yes - spray paint. (shocking, I know).

I found a color that I've never used before but will certainly use again: Rustoleum Satin Dark Walnut. It's basically that really dark brown color that's so popular in furniture today, like the legs of sofas and chairs and the like. The chairs only required one quick coat and they were done.

Works right? We've done this with metal chairs, now wood. It's an easy way to make something work for your space.

I'm hoping to have some more time in the next few weeks to share some other projects. And I also wanted to share a sneak peek at an upcoming post about the Halloween party we're having for my son. I've got some spooktacular ideas in the works, like these mummified juice boxes and spooky eyed water bottles for the little goblins that are invited. More to come ...

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