When you have guests to entertain and a family to feed, you need seats for their comfort and storage for yours.

More guests means you need more space for dining seating and more space to store the things needed to cook for them. Recently, designers have been finding all the ways to seamlessly maximise existing kitchen space to boast more seats and storage.

What if you could combine seating and storage? Storage seats do exactly that, both practically and beautifully. Read on to find out how you can implement them in your kitchen.

1. No more chairs

Chairs can be beautiful around the dining table, but they’re not necessarily practical if you’re looking to increase seats and storage. Whilst chairs seat each person separately and spaced out, benches make a great alternative to the traditional dining seating. They make the most of the space by allowing people to sit closer together, so you can have more spaces to seat people. So many benches also boast storage underneath the seats, maximising storage space massively. Replacing chairs with benches around the dining table also creates a more social feeling of togetherness. And with the right cushions and upholstery, your benches can be far more comfortable than chairs.

Many companies will make benches made to measure for you, so you can make sure they fit perfectly around the rest of your kitchen design.

Not ready for benches? Take advantage of ottomans, which provide ample storage space along with comfortable seating. Depending on the size of your table, you would be able to fit a few more ottomans than chairs because you can put them closer together. They’re also easily movable, so they’re a great no-commitment way to switch up your seats with some storage.

2. Unused corners

If you have an odd corner in your kitchen which doesn’t seem to fit much in it, fill it with storage seats. These corners can be quite a problem especially in kitchens with slanted ceilings, where the ceiling is too low for people and for substantial furniture. Low storage seating, such as storage sofas can be a perfect way to turn it into a corner of comfort, whilst discreetly adding that extra bit of space for storage. U shaped sofas with storage create a welcoming feeling, whilst L shaped seating leaves a little more floor space. With lift-up seats, storage sofas can be your fuss-free way to add storage seating.

Let your guests lounge in comfort with cushions and comfortable fabrics. Linens and cottons are usually ideal for the kitchen as they are breathable, easy to clean, and they stay cool. Avoid suedes and leathers, as these may easily stain and feel uncomfortably warm when the kitchen is hotter during cooking. Microfibre and vinyl might be ideal for those who have young children, as they tend to be spill and stain resistant.

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3. Kitchen nooks

Why not take it a step further and design your own breakfast nook? They’re a fun and practical way to make use of unused space, and you can decorate the space as you like. You can make it an eye-catching, stand-out corner, or you can make it a beautiful addition to your existing décor.

Starting with an unused corner, add storage benches or sofas, and if you really want to maximise the storage space, add an ottoman in the centre which can then double as seating when necessary. Cover it with a nice fabric or patterned throw to make it stand out from the rest of the seats. Kitchen nooks can add character and depth to any kitchen, and can be a perfect little space for morning coffee and cosy family meals.

See our three easy ways to incorporate a breakfast nook into your kitchen here.

4. Window seats

Let your storage seating be swathed in natural sunlight. A seat near the window is always the best seat, and a seat with storage near the window is even better.

Most of the time, the space under the window is left unused, or its use isn’t really useful. Turn it into stylish storage space with a series of storage benches, sofas or ottomans. Use light coloured fabrics and wood to reflect light and maximise the airy feel in the room. Add blankets and wools for warmth in the winter, and cushions and cottons for the summer sun.

As a storage space, it is best to store non-foods that won’t get spoiled in heat or sun. Store utensils, cutlery, table cloths or anything that is not temperature dependent.