12 Ways to Make a Banquette Work in Your Kitchen
Swap out your kitchen seating for this cozy alternative.
Adding a banquette to your kitchen is one of the easiest ways to create a warm and cozy spot for the entire family to gather for daily meals. They're also a perfect solution for smaller kitchens or awkwardly-shaped spaces in your home. Banquettes come in all shapes and sizes, and they work with a variety of design styles. Here, we've got 12 tips for getting the most out of a kitchen banquette.
1: Get the most out of a corner.
Transitional Breakfast Nook With Banquette
Mornings are cheery and bright in this breakfast nook with its warm, welcoming color palette and gracefully curving banquette. The accent pillows pick up the yellows and greens of the curtains.
Eric Roth Photography
In general, banquettes are made for corners. Even if you have a corner in your home that is not at a 90-degree angle, you can still manage to add a banquette. Mixing in traditional dining chairs is a great way to get more seats around your table.
2: Take advantage of an unused wall.
Charming Banquette Seating
This dining space maximizes charm, just off the kitchen. Built-in banquette seating accommodates more people in a smaller space. A large chandelier adds elegance without distracting from the calm, stylish design.
Sometimes you can fit a banquette into your kitchen by adding it to an unused wall. This small, floating banquette adds extra seating and creates an additional spot for kids to do their homework or enjoy an afternoon snack.
3: Create a booth-like banquette.
Retro Breakfast Nook With Black Banquette
Team Drew transformed this breakfast nook with a fresh coat of paint and layered lighting on HGTV's Brother vs. Brother. They opted for an L-shaped banquette with graphic throw pillows to serve as seating around the cool retro dining table.
Use a banquette to create your own at-home booth. Choose a vinyl seat fabric and restaurant-style table to complete the look.
4: Or, try a built-in banquette.
Sun Room with Banquette Seat
The window seat of this dining nook is decorated with a mix of throw pillows adding beautiful style and color. The remainder of the circular, dark wood dining table is surrounded with stylish upholstered chairs.
Stacy Zarin Goldberg
Banquettes also look nice with a built-in style that goes wall-to-wall in a room. Much like a built-in bookcase, a banquette can really pull a space together. Here, a bench cushion and lots of pillows make this spot extra plush and cozy.
5: Go glam.
Contemporary Dining Nook With Banquette
Moroccan style silver pendants cast a warm glow over this cozy dining nook. A navy blue banquette lined with an eclectic array of pillows warms up the cool-toned space.
Banquettes don’t always need to be casual. Here, a glam, round banquette would be a showstopper in almost any space. You definitely need more room to allow for a bench this large, but if you have the room (and a larger family!), this is perfect for you.
6: Don't be afraid of a super-long banquette.
Custom Banquette Offers Seating & Storage
This custom banquette gives the illusion of a separate dining area in a small but open space. Additional storage is cleverly inserted underneath the seating.
While most banquettes tend to be a bit shorter to fit into smaller spaces, that doesn’t mean you can’t go big, too. This one fills the entire back wall; however, it pairs perfectly with a longer, narrower dining table.
7: Try a bold fabric.
Eclectic Dining Room With Black and White Striped Bench Seat
This fun dining room features a white midcentury modern table paired with brown leather chairs and a gold starburst chandelier overhead. Green-blue textured wallpaper provides an accent wall for a black and white striped upholstered bench seat, while a framed beach photograph hangs above.
If you want to make a splash with your banquette, use a bold fabric. If you choose a brighter color, consider a simpler pattern, or go super bold and choose a graphic fabric that will really make a big statement in your space.
8: Get inspired by your favorite restaurant.
You’ll often find booths in older restaurants, and it's easy to create the same look in your own home. This red banquette could be right out of your favorite eatery. Don’t be afraid to use tufting or the bold, red hue to create the same vibe in your own space.
9: Build a banquette into your kitchen island.
Modern White Kitchen Banquette Dining
This transitional eat-in kitchen features a stylish banquette and marble kitchen table for quick mealtimes. Peach accents liven up the white kitchen, adding fresh style to this timeless space.
Again, if you're short on space, try building your banquette into your kitchen island. This bare-boned banquette is essentially a simple bench with a cushion, but it works great with the oval table in keeping a narrow footprint within the space.
10: Try one in a tiny space.
White Transitional Kitchen with Banquette Seating
Banquette seating makes perfect use of this transitional kitchen alcove as a modern pendant light hangs over a simple tulip table.
Even if you just have a tiny amount of space in your kitchen to set up a breakfast nook, a banquette could still work nicely. Here, an awkward corner between two doorways is the perfect amount of space to fit an L-shaped banquette. Because of the tight fit, you may not be able to leave additional chairs there permanently, but you can easily pull a few out if you have guests.
11: Create extra storage.
Fresh, Contemporary Kitchen With Banquette Seating
The kitchen receives a fresh update with a gray and white color palette that is super chic. The custom banquette is perfect for enjoying breakfast with family, including the furry family members.
Another benefit that's often overlooked with banquettes is extra storage. This design features a built-in pet food and water station at one end with additional drawers in the bench to fit bulk supplies or unused items.
12: Use a sofa.
Black and White Eclectic Dining Room With Green Sofa
Bamboo chairs and an upholstered banquette make sure there's plenty of seating around the narrow table. Their mismatched style continues the playful chemistry of the room.
While built-in banquettes are a great option, you can also create the same look with a standard sofa or loveseat. This velvet setee is paired with traditional dining chairs and an armchair, which work together to create a stylish and inviting space for a family meal.
Seating All Around
In addition to a kitchen table and island, designer Peter Salerno incorporated this quaint booth in his kitchen remodel in order to add a cozy spot for the family to dine. "The first cup of coffee in the morning was in the booth," explains Peter. "The kids’ breakfast was served in the booth or on the island. Dinner was at the kitchen table with the family. For big family parties all three are used."
Pretty in Pastels
A cheery blue paint job sets this banquette apart, while green upholstered cushions make it a comfy spot to enjoy breakfast with the family. A pair of wooden chairs and a white-washed table add to the home’s cottage appeal.
Seating With Storage
Designer Jil Sonia McDonald hoped to make the most of her client’s space while still incorporating a beloved vintage table. A white and tangerine window seat with built-in storage was just the ticket. "We started with the client's existing round table," explains Jil. "Initially she was going to just use chairs in this area, but I suggested that a bench with storage would be more practical and comfortable."
A tray of art supplies and a quartette of framed children’s art prove that this booth is good for more than just providing a sweet spot for dinner. The bold geometric wallpaper and bright green upholstery make this cute booth the most fun place in the house.
Bye Bye Basic
Inspired by over-the-top transitional wainscoting throughout the house, this banquette takes on a more streamlined, transitional approach. “This house started as a contractor build house, and this was the space that was allocated for the dining table,” says designer Stacey Cohen. “We wanted to maximize it and make it family-friendly, and the only way to do that was with a custom table. The clients loved the table top, and the tulip bases came from tables we found at Ikea. The top is stained in the same gray stain as the floors, which gave it a rich color without being too much of a dramatic change. The banquette pulls out on each end to store placemats and kids’ stuff."
Take a basic wooden dining table and add a custom banquette on two walls, and all of a sudden you have seating for a dozen. Emeco Navy chairs and a fresh bouquet of sunflowers add a delightful pop of color to this bright space.
Quaint is Great
You don’t have to have a large table in order to have a banquette. With this smart setup, an adorable round table makes it easy for people to enjoy a comfortable seat without having to disrupt those around them when they wish to get up.
Bright yellow upholstered seats make for a lively and comfy dining experience in this fun blue and yellow kitchen. An attached wooden table allows for plenty of room underneath the table, making the most of the space.
A sofa-inspired banquette and stunning chandelier exude glamour in this luxurious, contemporary breakfast area. A mix of patterned pillows and a black and white accent wall add to the room’s sophisticated appeal.
The Everything Banquette
Before a redesign, this kitchen’s dining area was anything but cozy. After some smart planning by designer Jane Ellison, the stylish banquette that serves multiple purposes completely transformed the space. According to Jane, "Now the banquette is the most used area of the home for leisurely meals, work on laptops, games, art projects and homework. And with electrical outlets built into the banquette side, a much needed IT station is there when needed."
According to designer Vanessa Deleon, for a family that loves to entertain, a built-in booth with island access is a great way to supply extra seating where everyone already gathers. "The island is always the heart of the kitchen, therefore people can congregate by the island and around the 30-inch high table versus a typical 36- or 42-inch bar. It’s especially nice with small children," says Vanessa.
Booths and banquettes are most often associated with modern and contemporary spaces, but this quaint country kitchen looks super sweet with booth seating for four. On top of its charming appearance, this booth also boasts practicality with a pair of large drawers built into each side.
Rustic Meets Modern
"The kitchen was designed as the main hub for gathering and entertaining large groups," says the room’s designer, Joseph Stabilito. "The owners wanted to keep the rustic quality of the original house but also wanted a more contemporary feel for the newer sections of the home that would blend in. So we used natural materials like wood and stone to add warmth, but in modern profiles. They specifically wanted a place for casual meals like breakfast, so I designed a banquette tucked into the corner by a nice window."
In this white contemporary space, a sleek blue banquette steals the show and adds a pop of color with a relaxing vibe. Exceptional lighting and an orchid centerpiece accentuate the room’s tranquil but stylish look.
Narrow No More
While redesigning an already narrow kitchen, designer Shirry Dolgin hoped to add a table without taking up a lot of space. "It was my goal to have a space that would allow the family to eat in the kitchen and not take away or make the kitchen feel small," explains Shirry. "So instead of stopping the kitchen just after the sink and creating a peninsula with bar stools (the way it used to be), I continued a banquette and added the table and chairs."
To make the most of an awkwardly shaped corner, designer Jane Ellison had to think outside of the box. "The walls are not right angles, so the bench and table are custom designed to fit," says Jane. The Burmese carved wood mandala became the focal point in the space and mimics the Asian style of the custom table.
Once home to an outdated galley kitchen, this N.Y.C. apartment got a major overhaul that included a fantastic new kitchen with a quaint place to dine that doesn’t take up too much space. This corner seating area includes a custom banquette that easily goes from breakfast nook to home office.
According to designer Barry Dixon, this home featured a charming Arts and Crafts/revival period style, which he hoped to maintain in his kitchen update. "The period lines of the banquette honor the home's history, yet the modern fabrics and bright colors keep it all fresh," says Barry. "Even the documentary wall covering was custom printed in bold citrus colors. In the end, this cozy corner feels casual and modern, yet reverent to a period home."
Fabulous and Family-Friendly
Who would have thought a family with children could have such a luxurious breakfast nook? Designer Jamie Herzlinger utilized white faux leather, which looks decadent but also holds up to a lot of wear and tear. She also opted to include a few pull-up chairs to make it easy for mom and dad to be up and down as they take care of the family.
Bright and open, this kitchen features smart zones for every activity, including eating. Designer Terry Kenney says, "The table was created using a stainless steel box for the leg and a piece of Cambria quartz as the top. To help tie it to the rest of the space, we lined the exterior edges with the same cherry wood that was used in the kitchen cabinetry. The kitchen features lots of natural light, bright paint and open space, making it a great space with a family-focused eating area – I love this kitchen!"