More and more families are turning away from formal dining and are looking into more casual, eat-in kitchen designs instead. Unfortunately, not everyone has the space to include a standalone table ringed with chairs, or an island in the center of the room with a breakfast bar. In some of these kitchens, this space problem can be solved with the use of a banquette. Because banquettes are built into the corner of the room, they take up less floor space than a freestanding table plus they offer additional storage – a big plus in small kitchens.
What Is a Banquette?
A banquette is a set of built in benches that line the corner of the kitchen. These often conceal storage underneath, with a cushion on top for comfort. The table may or may not also be built in, and there may or may not be additional seating on the other side. Because you cannot walk around the banquette, you can use less floor space, while still providing the seating you need.
Ways to Design a Banquette
There are countless ways you can design a kitchen banquette, from having a couch put into your kitchen to building custom benches. One of the most popular and inexpensive methods of designing, however, uses kitchen cabinets as the bench.
Short upper cabinets can be easily bolted right to the floor and the wall behind them. Because each door swings open, you can use the cabinets to store a variety of things from pots and pans to seasonal items. To create the tops of the bench, just have a piece of birch plywood cut to fit and screw it down on the tops of the cabinets. Now all you need is a cushion bench top to make the banquette comfortable.
Another method involves using trunks or boxes that have flat lift tops. The only trouble with this method is that to access what’s inside, you need to remove the seating cushions, but this method can create a plainer, more contemporary looking banquette than cabinets.
However you decide to build your banquette, be sure to have it line a corner to maximize the amount of seating. You can also have it put partially into the room to wrap around the short end of a table on two sides. Banquettes can be a great addition to small spaces; consider building one in your home.