Informal banquettes help make kitchens cozier and transform corners into easy eating spaces.
Whether you call an informal banquette a banquette or a booth, built-in seating has become a popular way to maximize kitchen corners as breakfast areas or small dining rooms. In any style house, a built in cushion-covered bench can be tweaked to coordinate with the basic scheme and accommodate tables of different shapes and sizes. They also can be accessible DIY projects.
The base of a corner unit is made to match the paneling on the walls of a kitchen by Chicago designer Kara Mann [top]. While the handsome pendant light upstages the area, cushions line the bench, which seats at least three at the iconic round Saarinen pedestal dining table. Wainscoting serves as the informal back against which accent pillows are placed. Fortunately, the windows are high enough so the sills don’t intrude into the seating area – one structural aspect to consider carefully.
In a small apartment, the banquette corner is created by placing one leg of the seating space at a right angle to a wall so the back forms a low room divider and an artificial nook high enough to support back cushions.
A fully-upholstered banquette – including the back – also can float in a space the way a sectional does. This cocoa-colored beauty also includes accent pillows with a lively mid-century style print plus Arne Jacobsen Ant chairs, in white, as pull-ups.
Thick seat cushions and matching back cushions upholstered in a small-scale country print helps lend a French provincial feel to this banquette, which also features a rustic rectangular farm table and scroll-back upholstered chairs. Along the window wall the back is built well above the level of the sills and while it’s not enough to block light or air this configuration does make for a tricky space back there – especially if toddlers are in residence.
With the long, rectangular table this area can easily seat six and it makes great use of a very pretty corner with wonderful views. While the cushion is relatively thin, nearly a dozen back pillows allow for infinite adjustments.
Don’t miss Allison’s post on Formal Banquettes.
(Source: Kara Mann, Hutker Architects, House Beautiful)
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