As the kitchen expands as a central living space, it’s natural include sofas, banquettes and chairs. The issues with upholstery in kitchens revolves around maintenance — given the natural propensity for fabrics to stain, absorb cooking odors and become difficult to keep clean. But that’s no impediment. New fibers, green fabrics and improved stain-resistant coatings are changing the attitude towards upholstered surfaces in food preparation areas because when family and friends gather they want comfortable places to sit and eat.
The breakfast room of a Manhattan apartment [top], has a fully upholstered, fitted banquette — or “booth” as my parents called it — along with chair seats are done in a slightly iridescent looking cotton-candy pastel. While it’s odd to see an über popular Eero Saarinen marble-top pedestal table and chairs lipsticked up like this, it does make a very sweet space. Created by designers Celerie Kemble and Anna Burke for a family with a small child, this nook packs a fun color punch.
In a traditionally styled white kitchen, the usual back-of-the-island seating is a leather sofa with traditional nailhead detailing. At first glance, it looks someone pulled a couch out of the den, backed it up against the island and – by a stroke of luck – it fit perfectly. A sofa, easy chairs and coffee table so closely integrated into the working area of a kitchen makes sense and it seems lovely to just walk around the island and flop down instead of trekking across the room.
I find this five-sided table a little weird. That aside, here’s a conventional banquette with loose upholstered cushions on the seat and a tight upholstered back. That structure can be built in along with the cabinets and the covering is relatively easy to change — so it’s popular both for contemporary and traditional kitchens. The key to comfort here is the thickness and material used for the seat and pads. But the flexibility and compact arrangement makes this a logical alternative to chairs.
(Source: Lonnymag, Bonesteel Trout Hall, 2michaels)
Here is more on Kitchen Seating and a look at Formal Banquettes.
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