A relative who is working on plans for a new beach house in New Smyrna was recently describing to me what he wanted the kitchen to look like. The kitchen table, he said, would have seating “like they do at Taco Bell.”
It was a funny moment, but once he began describing it, I knew he was talking about a banquette.
This type of seating is popular for several reasons. Banquettes provide ample seating while acting as a cozy vignette in the kitchen, typically a room with mostly hard angles. A banquette calls to mind the idea of sitting down with the family for a Sunday supper or an early morning breakfast before the rush of a weekday.
Banquette seating also works with round, square or rectangular tables, so you could add a built-in banquette while still retaining your existing dining table and surrounding chairs.
At Michael J. Fox's home (below), a banquette in the kitchen is complemented by a teak dining table and Knoll Saarinen chairs. The space is elegant, but casual enough to be inviting.
Some banquettes can even be build with secret storage underneath, which would be great in a kitchen without much cabinet space. These little nooks would be perfect for kitchen appliances that are used infrequently, like a bread maker or slow cooker.
So if the idea of a banquette is still reminding you of this:
Have a little imagination and start thinking of ways to make this functional seating situation something that could just as well translate to your kitchen -- while looking great at the same time. A banquette is the perfect little spot for a cup of coffee or a dinner to catch up with family and friends.
Jessica Lipscomb for Walter Price Design Build
(images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)