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Updated on November 9, 2010

Seat cushions are an essential part of decorating your kitchen or breakfast nook.  Because most of the kitchen furniture you buy will be, as a necessity, less formal than anything you might find in a formal dining room, it probably will not be upholstered.  As a result, you will want to purchase cushions for the chairs and benches to make your seating more comfortable.  In addition to comfort, chair cushions and bench cushions offer an opportunity for decorating.  They are a huge canvas where you can introduce or accentuate colors and patterns.  And perhaps most important, cushions usually have cushion covers that can be removed and washed.  In the kitchen, an upholstered chair might get dirty and you would have to rent or buy the right equipment to clean it properly.  Seat cushion covers are perfect because they can be thrown in the washing machine every so often and come out as good as new.

If you are interested in getting chair cushions or bench cushions for your breakfast nook set, then there are several factors to consider. It may seem like a simple task, but there are lots of decisions to make. If you are looking for more information on how to choose seat cushions for your kitchen then you might want to visit some web sites that could offer some insight like BNS Kitchen Furniture.

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Cushion Shape

The first thing to think about is the shape of the cushion. There are six main shapes to choose from. Many chairs could use several different shapes perfectly well; it is just a matter of the preference of the home owner. The first shape is a basic rectangle with sharp corners. This is the most basic model and perhaps the easiest to make if you were going to try and make your own seat cushions. This shape would work well on a corner breakfast nook bench where the bench back is not curved at all and the rectangle will fit perfectly. However, many chairs have a rounded back edge so that the chair back is more comfortable for a person to sit in. The rounded chair back provides a kind of cradle for your shoulders and offers better support. If your chairs have that rounded back then you might want to try one of the other shapes.

If the round chair back is not too severe you can try a rectangle with round back corners. This cushion still has sharp corners in the front, but the corners in the back are rounded. Another variation on this shape is the third choice, four rounded corners. The rounded corners make the cushion seem more casual and comfortable. Sharp edges are often associated with more modern styles or might be considered cheap looking. The rounded corners make the cushions seem more expensive because they are harder to make.

On the other hand, if the rounded chair back is more pronounced, a cushion with a rounded back might be in order. These seat cushions look like half of a circle was attached to a rectangle. They look something like the key on a basketball court. The rounded back allows for the chair back to be rounded and for there to be no amount of the cushion that needs to be sticking out over the seat. Along the same lines is a trapezoid shaped cushion. Cushions shaped like trapezoids are made for the same applications as rounded back cushions, but they have a more modern feel to them because of the angular lines. Finally, there are round chair cushions. Round cushions are only appropriate if you have round chairs, so they are pretty specialized and will be used most often with a small round kitchen table in the cafe style.

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Other Cushion Characteristics

After you have decided on the shape of your chair cushions or bench cushions, you will need to make a few additional decisions before settling on the final cushion product.  Your next decision should be what kind of edge you want.  Your cushions can be put together in two different ways.  The first construction is what is called a boxed edge.  Cushions with a boxed edge construction have two seems where a top piece of fabric and a bottom piece of fabric are connected by a third piece of fabric in between them.  The boxed edge is so named because this type of chair cushion looks very boxy when it is complete.  The other type of cushion construction is a waterfall edge construction.  Chair cushions with a waterfall edge have only one seam where the top and bottom pieces are connected together.  The waterfall construction cushions tend to have softer edges because the fabric falls over the edges rather than coming to a seam.

Your next cushion decision is about dimensions.  You will need to provide a depth and width and a thickness for each cushion you desire.  Make sure that when you measure your chairs you measure the actual seating surface that will be covered by the cushion.  Remember that curved edges might not be covered

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The next important chair cushion characteristic is the ties.  First you need to decide if you want ties at all.  Then, if you do, you need to decide where the ties should be placed.  You can have a wide variety of options.  Sometimes the ties are in the corners of the cushions whether they be rounded or sharp.  Other times, the ties are slightly in from the corners on the back side.  Sometimes, you order your cushions with four ties rather than two.  A good circumstance for four ties would be one where you are tying the cushions to something on the underside of the chair seat rather than the chair back.  Seat cushions can also be tied at the sides.

Your final seat cushion decision is the fabric.  You should choose something that will bring out colors already in the kitchen elsewhere.  For example, look for the small flecks of color in your granite counter top or choose cushions to match the accent tiles in your backsplash.  Just be careful that whatever you pick does not clash with the window treatments.  In addition, the fabric you choose should be washable so that you can take off the cushion covers and wash them whenever they get dirty from food and spills.


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