|Look at my new kitchen! The new banquette seating is a DIY hack of four IKEA benches. Stay tuned for sources and instructions to make it yourself.|
I had to find a way to seat more people in my kitchen. Even when it’s sweating hot with machines whirring, my party guests always want to congregate here. I love that they keep me company while I’m still fixing food well into the party, but the way I had everything set up with the rectangular table and knock-off Eames chairs didn’t feel very comfortable for a crowd of conversations. It also meant that I could only invite three people to a sit-down dinner. And all of the wasted space in the corner made the room feel barren and cavernous when I was home alone. (I will however continuously admit that having a massive, 120-sf kitchen in a NYC studio is a blessing and testament to where my priorities stood when apartment hunting.)
|Remember what my kitchen used to look like? See, my friends at my first Harlem dinner party could have been a lot more comfortable. Also, don’t buy these chairs- one of the four I got from Amazon sent me crashing to the ground the first time I sat down on it. I only got rid of it yesterday.|
To put it clearly, my challenge was to devise seating that could accommodate up to eight for a dinner party while not jutting into the long runway of my cooking space.
Enter the banquette. Banquette seating involves a long, upholstered bench placed along, or sometimes built into, a wall. They’re perfect for kitchens and breakfast nooks because when you don’t have to move the bench in and out to take a seat, you can save at least a foot of space. They also lend a sense of permanence to the space and can up your cabinetry with shelves and drawers. Yes, storage is key!
So naturally I took to Pinterest to collect ideas. Here are some of my favorites that informed the concept. I’ll cover the materials and sources to DIY and bring it all together for not too much money in another post. Make sure you like the Runaway Apricot Facebook page so you can see when the how-to is posted!
|So many repins for this one! Built-in banquet/booth with abstract chevron cushions and crown moulding detail via Domino Magazine|
|Would you look at the table on this one via Apartment Therapy? The pedestal shape is ideal so you can easily slide your knees under. Also love the denim and funky mix of pillows.|
|This one is built right out of the same high-gloss material as the cabinets for the ultimate built-in look. With some added seating. Couldn’t you see 8 people there? I believe the source is Better Homes and Gardens.|
|Something a bit more formal: a dining room table banquet built into an over-sized bay window. I covet this in a future house. And the owners from this Vogue article say that the expandable table has fit up to sixteen guests!|
|This tiny little corner cafe table can now fit 4 or 5 adults. That’s winning. Also, this construction looks so easy I almost convinced myself I could DIY.|
|Last, but certainly not least, the stunning pop of that orange band against this very neutral seat might have been what got me hooked on the idea. Check out the under-cubbies at Remodelista.|