Designing a comfortable seating/dining nook complete with a kitchen banquette is one of the hottest new ideas in interior design. A banquette offers an intimate, versatile way to accommodate a variety of needs. It creates more space in a small dining area, provides an out-of-the-way storage space, and also serves as an alternative seating area for entertaining.
Design the Perfect Banquette
While there are no rules when designing the ideal banquette, first ask yourself a few important questions:
- What function would you like it to serve--a place to put your feet up, a storage area, a breakfast nook, a formal, informal or kid-friendly dining area?
- How big of a space can you dedicate to the banquette?
- Do you want a built-in or a free-standing banquette?
- What is your current kitchen design scheme? Traditional? Contemporary? Transitional? Country?
- How many people do you want the banquette to seat?
Built-In Kitchen Banquettes
If you have a small kitchen space, a built-in banquette is ideal because it can double as both storage and seating.
Find an ideal corner or window nook, and then talk to a contractor about the size, shape and design. Decide if you want storage underneath, and whether or not you would like to access the storage area from the top or from the front.
When in doubt go with a simple, classic design that you can dress up or down with fun fabrics and cushions. Blue or red plaids suggest classic country farmhouse style. Vibrant jewel tones exude an exotic vibe. Simple dove gray or white offers a clean, sophisticated sense of calm. Use kitchen-friendly fabrics that are stain resistant or easy to wash, and slipcovers that can be removed for cleaning.
A built-in should sit approximately 18 to 20 inches from the floor, and be 18 to 20 inches deep (any deeper and you and your guests will have a difficult time reaching the table).
Free-Standing Kitchen Banquettes
If you love the idea of a kitchen banquette but don't have the time, energy or money to craft a built-in version, there are various ways to mimic the look and feel of a banquette with free-standing furnishings. Find a sectional sofa or high-backed sofa and push into a corner with tables nearby. Alternatively you can position a long armless sofa against one wall and use it as seating or a place to relax in the kitchen.
You can also place a low bench near a window and pair it with a long table or in a corner to create instant kitchen banquette seating.
Banquettes Make Great Transition Pieces
Banquettes have become an increasingly popular part of the kitchen because more and more homeowners are incorporating their kitchen into their living space. With plush seat cushions and fluffy pillows, a banquette is ideal as a transition piece that treads somewhere between the living and dining area.