In Design

EVERYTHING About Banquette Seating: My Project, Ideas, and Trends

everything about banquette seating for design solutions

Note: This post was originally posted in 2018.

Come on in and gather ’round the table folks. It’s time for me to tell you ALL about my favorite space-saver: banquette seating!

I’ve got lots to cover in this post, so squeeze in and get cozy on the bench. Read on to:

  1. See how my finished built-in banquette turned out.
  2. View project process pictures.
  3. Learn what the best dimensions for a bench are.
  4. Get 13 great design ideas to inspire your bench project.
  5. Hear my ideas on why this design element is trending.
  6. …and a bonus: Find out what object Euna chose on her first birthday (see what Jack chose at his choosing ceremony here).

Ok, let’s dive in.

My Banquette is Finished

For years I had thought of building this corner banquette in our dining room because the corner windows were just begging for one. Do your windows tell you what to do, too? I felt like a wrap-around bench seat there would pair perfectly with those windows, plus I just really love the casual coziness of a banquette seat. As my other idea of opening up the wall between the dining room and kitchen developed at the same time, I realized that the banquette would actually be a really good space solution in the dining room as well. By shifting the dining table and seating into the corner I have the ability to make space for future counter space with with bar seating.

After about four years of talking about this idea, I finally did it!

The Process

Here is what I was looking at when we started this project. See the air vent there? I needed to make sure the new bench would incorporate a panel for to allow for air flow.

The materials I used were mostly leftovers from other houses projects. This made my DIY project affordable.

As you can see, I added a decorative metal sheet insert to accommodate the air register on the wall.

Do you see those two holes on the top of the bench? I will attach piano hinges and add a flip-up top order to utilize space for storage within the bench cavity.

Adding panels along the bottom face of the bench did the double duty of adding charm and blending in the vent outlet.

Finally, all that was left to do was paint the whole bench and backing.

Time to Celebrate

After a few weekends and lots of paint, it was time to celebrate the completed project, just in time for Euna’s first birthday party.

“Ten little kids sat on a bench one day, one got off and ran away…”

We did the Toljabee choosing ceremony with Euna and laid out all the items for her to pick on the bench. (Read here about the Toljabee and Jack’s first birthday) She chose the harmonica so it looks like we have a future musician!

The Results

I am totally in love with my new bench and it adds charm and function at the same time.

What are the Dimensions of a Banquette?

A lot of folks search for dimensions of a banquette. My rule of thumb is that the finished height should be about 18″ high and the bench depth should be about 18″ deep, but can be more or less depending on your space and preference. My bench ended up being 19″ high and 22″ deep. I made it a bit deeper to accommodate lots of pillows on the back. If I were to do it over, I would make the height around 17″ high so that I could have a cushion on top. Mine is a bit too high to comfortably add a bench cushion to sit on.

13 Inspiring Banquette Design Ideas

Here are some great banquette ideas that I think deserve some love and attention.

Instead of continuing the kitchen cabinetry around a corner, wrap a built-in seat to create a cozy kitchen breakfast nook.

Save space in a dining room by using a bench seat on one side of the table like this. Use the bench as an opportunity to feature a great fabric you love.

Rather than placing bar stools at the counter, you can run a banquette right up along the backside of a kitchen counter.

You can run bench seating along almost anything: windows, walls, kitchen counters, and bookshelves.

Even the smallest of corners can accommodate a little built-in bench.

A U-shaped seating nook works well in this space. The seating potential has now doubled with this arrangement.

Remember to use a pedestal table like this one if you are doing a banquette seat so that there is room for legs to move around the table.

This one has a foot rest in brass along the bottom which coordinates with the other brass accents in the room. You can get really creative with banquette designs.

Don’t forget lots of pillows for an ultra cozy corner!

Booth style seating ain’t just for restaurants folks.

built in dining banquette modern interior design

Span a floating bench between two walls to maximize space in a niche like this one.

black and white stripe modern banquette

Take advantage of the view with a wrap-around seat under corner windows and put drawers below the seat for extra storage.

Mix and match art, textiles and chairs for an eclectic and fun seating area.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13

Home Design: From Banquet to Banquette

I think we are going to see a lot more banquettes. Kitchens are getting bigger and dining rooms smaller. As the two rooms are being combined, many new solutions to casual dining are emerging. Lately, I’ve been playing with vintage house plans and rearranging the layout of the rooms to work for modern living. As I’ve been reimagining, a banquette seating arrangement almost always serves as a great solution.  to replace the formal (banquet style) dining rooms in old houses while leaving room for a great new focal kitchen.

Here are some trends that I’ve noticed with banquette seating in new construction and kitchen remodels:

  1. Running a built-in banquette along the backside of a kitchen island instead of bar stools.
  2. Eliminating a corner sink and replacing it with a corner seating nook.
  3. Eliminating the Dining Room altogether and replacing it with seating at an island and an informal seating nook.
  4. Replacing the pantry area in an older home kitchen with a new seating nook expanding the kitchen into the dining area.
  5. Building banquette seating around the base of a flight of L-shaped stairs.

My family loves our banquette. It’s perfect for eating, working, playing, and the kids of course love to look out the window.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

You Might Also Like

  • beth
    May 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Hi Tamara,

    Your banquette seating area is gorgeous- great job!
    I was flattered to see that you had included one of my shots in your ‘inspiration’ images below, and it would be really great if you could credit it or link it to Imperfect Interiors please. http://www.imperfectinteriors.co.uk
    Thanks so much in advance

    Beth

  • Tori
    October 9, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Tamara –
    I’m a writer, living in Asheville, NC and would LOVE to have you do a consult with me!! I’ve wanted a nook/writers coffee shop look so I can feel like I’m at the coffee shop writing! Are you available for a chat?

    • tamara
      October 10, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Hi Tori! Thanks for the comment!!
      I would love to chat and I will send you an email – thanks for reading. 😉

  • Rebecca
    March 29, 2023 at 7:52 am

    Hi Tamara
    I am wondering if you would share the wall paint color on your finished pic?

  • Popup Builder Mailchimp extension requires authentication.