Design Details: Kitchen Seating

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    Mariko Reed

    This classic counter seating setup features a below-counter blackboard that functions like place cards. Project: Hillside House, Mill Valley, Calif.; Architect: SB Architects; Builder: McDonald Construction & Development

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    Treacy & Eagleburger Architects

    Seating is outside the working area of this galley kitchen, but definitely a part of it. Project: Kitchen Wedge, Silver Spring, Md.; Architect: Treacy & Eagleburger Architects; Builder: Jos. Klockner & Company

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    Ken Wilson

    Swivel seats that are positioned in the kitchen facing the living room make it possible to take in what’s going on in both places. Project: Gupta Residence, Reston, Va.; Architect: Envision Design; Builder: Great Falls Construction

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    Paul Finkel

    For this kitchen remodel, the clients asked for a centralized hub for entertaining. Seating makes good use of the island’s corner spaces. Project: Mountain Villa Residence, Austin, Texas; Designer: Tamie Glass and Ulrich Dangel; Builder: Pilgrim Construction

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    Robert Glasgow Studio

    Seating located in a few different places marries family room functionality with a warm and casual vibe. Project: Conrad Poor Residence, Maplewood, N.J.; Architect: Clawson Architects; Builder: COTA Group

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    Whit Preston

    Clients downsizing from a large family home to a small, single-story one still needed seating space in the kitchen—but not as much as they previously had. Project: Barranca Residence, Austin, Texas; Architect: Alterstudio Architects LLP; Builder: Pilgrim Building Company

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    Robert Canfield

    “We cook, eat, watch the news, read the paper, work at the iPad, and read the mail here,” say the owners of their remodeled kitchen. Work spaces of varying heights make it all possible. Project: Ranch Updated, Sacramento, Calif.; Architect: Carver + Schicketanz; Builder: Otto Construction

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    Andrea Rugg

    A dual-height peninsula accommodates seating, lets guests be close to the kitchen, and hides kitchen chaos from the living area. Project: Rautio, Mounds View, Minn.; Designer/Builder: Otogawa-Anschel Design Build

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    Susan Gilmore

    Diner-style seating makes for an appealing nook. Project: Minnetonka Cottage, Minnetonka, Minn.; Architect: Rehkamp Larson; Builder: J.S. Johnson & Associates

Spring selling season often means staging a house, and making sure the staging makes sense--and looks great. Kitchen seating is an easy way to spiff it up fast. These seats are the ones everyone seems to gravitate towards, whether it’s for a Saturday afternoon cup of coffee, Tuesday evening homework, or Thursday night pot luck with the softball league. As for why this room is such a draw, everyone has their theories. It could be anthropological (we humanoids like to be near fire). Maybe it’s instinctual (our nose leads us to where the good aromas are coming from). Or, it could be social (the party’s getting underway, and watching your friend debone a chicken is more interesting than pictures of your neighbors’ trip to The Finger Lakes). In the end, it doesn’t matter why. The kitchen is the hotspot, and no matter how big a room we’re talking about, a hub of activity poses a special design challenge: Where to put the people? Where can they sit so they’re a part of the fun but not underfoot? For some inspiration, check out the slideshow.