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Years ago in traditional American home design, the fireplace and hearth were the primary space in the home where everyone congregated as one for food, warmth, and light.  Over the years this has drastically changed and instead, the kitchen has become the “center” of modern day.  It’s where hours are spent preparing meals, organizing, cleaning, and enjoying time with family.

Today’s kitchens are multi-functional and usually contain a preparation space, eating area, and a central command center where the happenings of the household take place.  With all that needs to happen in one spot of the home, the kitchen often gets quite tight.   A smart solution to save space, add storage, and have a cozy nook for the household to enjoy, is to create banquette seating.  A banquette is great way to bring a group of people together to enjoy each other’s company, similar to the fireplace years ago.

This type of seating allows for more intimate conversation and warmth.  Additionally, it lends itself to allow for storage underneath to hold extra linens, pillows, blankets, additional dinnerware, etc.  For a large family, extra storage always comes in handy!  Banquette style seating is also a way to incorporate color, texture, and a softness to the space by adding cushions and pillows, which can coordinate with the often seen surrounding windows.

Let’s tour some beautiful kitchens to see how they’ve incorporated banquette seating.

With open “cubbies” below, this “L” shaped banquette allows for lots of seating and storage.  The crisp white with yellow piping banquette is cheerfully accented cozy pillows and Ikat patterned fabric on the side chairs.  What an inviting spot to enjoy your morning brew and paper!

Without banquette style seating, this breakfast nook would have been difficult to layout using a typical “table and chair” set.  When using regular sized table and chairs, there needs to be additional space behind for someone to access the other chair and to get in and out of.  With benches of this style, one can easily slide in and out, allowing more space and seating.  And what a wonderful way to look outside the windows.

This cozy banquette is filled with soft pillows and a comfy bench cushion.  It provides adequate seating around a table that may have not with regular side chairs since there is a door to the exterior directly adjacent.  The addition of bright orange tulips gives the finishing touch!

 

I just adore banquettes and the colors and style of this design remind me of the 70s!     With the bright yellow and lime green, don’t you think so?

History of Banquettes:  The banquette can be traced back to Germanic culture.  The word itself is derived from the german word for bench and families of royal influences often used banquettes as window seating in formal rooms with cozy cushions and tapestries.

 

Another “L” shaped banquette, but used in a unique way with the kitchen island surrounding and creating the back.  Because of the dark stained island, the banquette feels like an extension of the cabinetry instead of a separate element.

A disadvantage often thought of with banquette seating is the person in the middle often gets “stuck”, but with this bench-style design, that can be avoided because there are two points of entry/exit.  This configuration doesn’t allow for as much seating, but is very welcoming and portrays the cozy feel, typical of banquettes.

Similar to window seats, when cabinetry flanks a window or a wall, it’s an invitation to introduce a built-in in between.  In this breakfast nook, the addition of a banquette allows for even more storage and a way to brighten up the room with vibrant turquoise cushions and pillows.  What an inviting place to seat, eat and relax.

With all the benefits of banquettes, what kitchen would be without?!

Stylish kitchen images featured in this post pinned by Jenna via Pinterest

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Jenna Burger

Jenna Burger is a talented and creative bargain-shopper, DIYer, and Interior Designer. Through her daily blog and resource website, SAS Interiors, she is dedicated to showcasing simple, affordable, and stylish interior design solutions, ideas, and inspiration for the everyday homeowner.