Have you Ever Considered a Banquette?


There’s something about banquette seating in a kitchen that’s just so inviting.  A banquette carved into a cozy nook under a window is a place that I would want to spend a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and the paper.  Add some bookshelves, as in the picture above featured in Better Homes and Gardens, and I’d never leave!  Creating cozy spaces where people can sit and eat comfortably encourages people to linger long after a meal is through.  I don’t think my guests would ever leave if I had a banquette such as the one below designed by Jeffrey Bilhuber.  The tufted back cushion and an assortment of beautiful fabrics would be perfect for an elegant space.

A banquette is often employed as a space-saving option, as they are usually tucked away out of the flow of traffic.  Whatever your reason for building a banquette, the sky is the limit when it comes to your style options, since you and your architect and/or builder will likely collaborate on its design.  When building a banquette keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • The height of the bench ideally should be 18″ off the floor (make sure to factor in the thickness of the cushion)
  • Consider a cushion thickness of 4-5″ for maximum comfort
  • Plan for a minimum seating width of 21″ per person
  • Plan for a seating depth of 18″
  • An angled back will make leaning back more comfortable
  • Consider a pedestal table to maximize leg room

When designing your banquette be sure to keep in mind how you plan to use the space.  Will it be for casual meals for adults and/or children?  Will it be a homework station where papers will likely be spread out?  Whether you decide on a banquette with a bench that’s straight, curved or L-shaped, or one where the table is between two benches like a booth, a banquette is a great option which you can design to best accommodate your family’s needs.


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