Creating a Sitting Space

We have a vacant piece of space, just off our kitchen. When we first moved into our house it was the perfect place for our stack of boxes to sit, waiting to be unpacked. Since then it has housed a book shelf, freezer, kids’ toys, a bird cage and rabbit hutch all at different times. Our house is split level, and this space is underneath the entry way and adjacent to the stairs. You see it as soon as you walk in the front door. I had thought a lot about what to do with the space, and after looking at Pinterest one day I decided it would make the perfect place to sit and have a coffee and chat with friends. When people come over, we tend to sit at the dining table rather than in the lounge room and I really wanted somewhere different where I could entertain and just as easily curl up and read.


The space – currently occupied by the Christmas tree

Creating a Sitting Space

After researching, I thought a long bench seat filling the entire length of the fall, and two wing backed chairs would be the best option for the space. Ikea Expedit book shelves from Ikea make great seats, but I was concerned about the fitting perfectly and also about the weight of people sitting on them. They are also quite narrow, and we wanted something a little deeper and comfier. Luckily for us, our very talented brother in law is a whiz with the saw and hammer. He is very generously going to build us the bench seat as our Christmas present.

Bench Seat 2

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Bench Seat 1

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I showed him some pictures of the type of look we were after. The benches will be built in two parts, with the lids lifting so we can have added storage underneath. I am looking forward to having some extra space to keep bits and pieces that usually live upstairs and will now be able to be easily accessed. We will have a thin cushion on both seats, and I will be able to decorate with scatter pillows.

Choosing the chairs was the next challenge. Something comfy enough to sit in for extended period was the main requirement. Our house is still a mishmash of furniture we bought when we had our first house, and now that we’re purchasing other pieces we want to make sure they’re in our style. I favour a classic country look, so that was what I was hoping for with the chairs. Wing back chairs can be very expensive and I wanted to make sure we bought pieces that would last for a few years to come. Originally I had my eye on some Ikea chairs, until I saw some in the Fantastic Furniture catalogue. Normally, that name would make me think of uni students or people moving into their first home. The chairs I found look be great quality, and are made in Australia. They are incredibly comfortable, and I can’t wait to bring them home. We thought about choosing chairs with funky fabric, but decided in the end to go with something plain and add patterns with cushions. This way, if we got tired of them they would be easier to change. Our couch which is in the lounge room, just off this area, is a dark olive green. Even though they are in different spaces, we still wanted something that would be complimentary, but not matching. The other factor to consider are sticky fingered kids! For that reason, we have chosen this indigo colour:


We haven’t ordered the chairs yet, so this plan could change! I liked the feel of the fabric, and it was a nice, neutral colour. I love blues and creams, and both of these would compliment the colour of the chairs.

I have been fun putting together a mood board and window shopping for cushions. I am undecided as to whether I will try my hand at making some, or just biting the bullet and buying them.

Sitting Space

1. Fantastic Furniture Wing Armchair – $299 | 2. Hello Home Cushion in city fabric – $39.95    | 3. Mercer + Reid Lotus Cushion – $39.95 | 4. Target Geo Cushion (in selected stores only) – $5 | 5. Escape to Paradise Palm Trees Sanctuary Cushion – $69.95 |            6. KAS Australia Sora Multi Sq Cushion – $49.95

Choosing a neutral colour will mean that I can change cushions and throw rugs regularly. You know I am a fan of classic pieces, and furniture is no different. I can’t wait to start playing and dressing up the area. I will share progress photos on Instagram, and will be sure to post once it is all finished. Next stop, a low-lying round (if possible) coffee table. If you find one in your travels please let me know!

Do you have a sitting space in your house? Do you have any design plans for your place?


3 thoughts on “Creating a Sitting Space

  1. I will apologise in advance – this is going to be a huge comment. I am on a total home revamp mission too and I have spent so much time both looking and doing stuff for our place. As I was reading your idea … I thought, Sarah should look at Fantastic Furniture. They have those chairs and for such a great price. It seems great minds think a like (or read the same junk mail!). We have a couch from FF and loved that we could pick our style and such a wide variety of fabrics and then it was made here in Australia.

    We are getting a new kitchen in the next few weeks and have moved our dining room to the family room (as the dining room was quite small). The dining room is turning into a sitting area too (well that is the plan at the moment) and we are building a new (bigger) dining table to go in the larger space.

    If your brother in law is handy, you could pay him to make you the perfect coffee table. The Ana White website has so many great and easy plans and I like being able to customize to suit the size you need. Otherwise Freedom & Milan Direct have some great round tables. We have the Noguchi one from Milan Direct and whilst it isn’t round the shape fits really easily.

    I love your idea for the sitting room and I can’t wait to see it when it is done. Just a completely unsolicited suggestion … have you considered painting your hand rails like the one in your inspiration pick … white with the dark tops? I love that look too. Sorry again!

    • Don’t be sorry – you are a gem! Thank you for your comment and the fantastic tips. I will definitely check out the websites you suggested. I might have to sweet talk my brother in law a bit, and get a new dining table while I’m at it 😉 Please share pictures once all your projects are done if you’re comfortable – I would love to see what you’ve done as it sounds fantastic!

      • No problem re the sharing. The tiles are coming off the kitchen today and new cupboards/benchtops are being installed Monday. I will share the before and after – because that is so much fun!

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