Rais­ing the bar

Slim, por­ta­ble or stow­able al­ter­na­tives to a kitchen ta­ble

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

ABREAKFAST bar is a great ad­di­tion to the kitchen if you have the space for it. The ad­di­tional seat­ing can be a great place to hang out, grab a quick meal or do home­work, es­pe­cially if you don’t have room for a ta­ble. Adding an over­hang­ing top to an ex­ist­ing is­land is a great op­tion but there are other ways to add a break­fast bar to your home that are af­ford­able and some­times even DIY. A break­fast bar doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be used for meals. You may be able to add a sim­i­lar seat­ing so­lu­tion for use as a home of­fice in a hall­way, bed­room or den. Even in tight spa­ces, such as un­der an open stair­way, a break­fast bar-styled setup can add style and func­tion to your home. If you have a large enough kitchen that can ac­com­mo­date a ta­ble and chairs, then the ad­di­tion of a break­fast bar is just ic­ing on the cake. If you don’t have a lot of ad­di­tional space in your kitchen, you might have enough room to in­stall an over­hang­ing shelf on a wall open­ing (such as a pass-through) or a suit­ably sized shelf on a solid wall. Sim­ply add stylish stools un­der­neath and voila! If you choose to in­stall a shelf on a solid wall, con­sider hang­ing a hor­i­zon­tal mir­ror on the wall above the shelf so you’re not star­ing at a blank wall when seated. An­other op­tion would be to in­stall a drop­down shelf that can be low­ered when not in use. This can be a great so­lu­tion for a din­ing space in a small apart­ment or suite. The stools can be tucked up against the wall. In this in­stance, you’d want to choose stools with a slim pro­file for op­ti­mal space us­age or col­lapsi­ble stools that can be hung on hooks on the wall. For a less-per­ma­nent so­lu­tion, es­pe­cially if you’re rent­ing, pur­chase a con­sole or sofa ta­ble for use as a break­fast bar. Th­ese ta­bles are long and slim so they can work great as an in­stant break­fast bar or home of­fice. They are also taller than coffee or end ta­bles so the height is con­ducive to a break­fast-bar set­ting. Be sure to choose a style that will ac­com­mo­date stools. If you’re in­stalling a wall-shelf break­fast bar, you’ll want to choose the stools be­fore you in­stall your shelf. When choos­ing stools, look at the over­all space in the break­fast-bar area to en­sure they will fit. Big, cum­ber­some stools with backs and arms might not work in a nar­row hall­way, for ex­am­ple. Height is an­other is­sue. It’s best to get the stools first and then in­stall the shelf at the right height rather than try­ing to run around to find stools that will fit af­ter the fact. When you DIY, you can cus­tom­ize the height of the bar by way of choos­ing the most com­fort­able stools for your body type, then in­stalling the shelf to ac­com­mo­date the stools. If you’re look­ing at space-sav­ing op­tions, choose stools that are stream­lined, low-pro­file and com­fort­able. In most cases, you’re not go­ing to be sit­ting down for a long, for­mal din­ner at a break­fast bar so choose the stools ac­cord­ingly. You can add a break­fast bar us­ing a move­able kitchen is­land. Th­ese can be pur­chased as a unit to fit into an ex­ist­ing kitchen. Some styles of­fer an over­hang­ing shelf to ac­com­mo­date ad­di­tional seat­ing. If you have the room, an is­land with seat­ing and stor­age is the way to go. Hav­ing an is­land that can be moved gives you more op­tions. Cut an old, wooden din­ing ta­ble in half length­wise and place it against a wall to cre­ate a break­fast bar. (In­stall brack­ets below to se­cure it to the wall.) Imag­ine that old, beat-up ta­ble be­ing re­painted and re­pur­posed into some­thing use­ful! This item could also work as a small home of­fice in a wide hall­way or in a bed­room. A tall saw horse would make an in­ter­est­ing break­fast bar, es­pe­cially if the wood is worn and weath­ered. Make a bench for seat­ing in­stead of bar stools for a rus­tic look. Check the In­ter­net for ideas. I hap­pened upon a neat pub-style, wall-mounted, half-moon ta­ble on Sears.ca that could work as a break­fast bar or in a games room as a dry bar. There are lots of great ideas out there.


Choose the stools first

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