Banquette seating is one of the most stylish ways to create a dining nook regardless of your kitchen's style or size. It’s a clever space-saver in a smaller rooms and can hold more people than the conventional dining table and chairs set-up. Not just that, you can incorporate storage into the design like a lift-up seat for like kids toys, or pull-out drawers for linen and crockery.
It is also a great way to add some color and texture to what can otherwise be a clinical space. Banquette seating can be built in a number areas, such as within an island, as a window seat or in the corner of a the room. And remember, it is not just about space for dining, the beauty of banquette seating is its versatility – it can be anything from a quiet reading area to your working-from-home spot.
Here are some banquette seating styles which you can include in your kitchen design…
These are our favorite banquette seating ideas – they've all transformed the kitchen they're in.
See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
1. Use banquette seating ideas to boost space
‘It can be tricky to achieve sufficient cupboard space in the kitchen alone. Banquette seating offers a fantastic opportunity to relieve storage pressures,’ says interior designer Clare Gaskin (opens in new tab). ‘Consider what you’d like to store and, most importantly, how often you need to access it.’
Here, drawers under the seat cater for rarely used kitchen gadgets and bulkier infrequently used toys. ‘We’re big fans of drawers, rather than lid-style lift up bench storage. Contents are more accessible, and there is no need to remove cushions to access,’ adds Clare.
Drawer units frame the seating and deliver storage for items in frequent use.
2. Choose a bold color to highlight banquette seating
‘Increasingly, clients are opting for bold, bright colors for their banquette seating, such as mustard yellow, electric blue and hot pink. This helps bring character and interest to the scheme, without overwhelming the space. Luxurious, soft fabrics such as velvet are also proving extremely popular,’ says Richard Moore, design director, Martin Moore (opens in new tab). ‘We tend to do everything in-house and either supply the fabric or work with client’s chosen fabric.’
For extra design definition consider fluted and button back designs and contrasting piping on curved arms and seat cushions. At floor level, plinths prevent dust traps, while legs can feel more elegant.
3. Integrate banquette seating into a kitchen island
‘More formal than bar stools but less formal than a separate table, banquette seating on an island creates a hugely desirable spot for cozy, low-key dining,’ says Louisa Eggleston, creative director, Humphrey Munson (opens in new tab), who has three tips for success.
‘Firstly, it’s essential to ensure there’s sufficient space to navigate around the island, including when any chairs are in use,’ she says. ‘Next, if a sink or hob is also on the island check there is adequate distance between the banquette for safety and cleanliness. Finally, choose materials carefully – any upholstery needs to be robust. We recommend leather or a solution dyed acrylic that is wipeable.’
See: Kitchen island seating ideas – ways to use bar stools and dining chairs
4. Introduce curved banquette seating for sociable dining
'Banquetteseating can make your kitchen feel even more welcoming, especially when it incorporates cozy soft furnishings. The key to sizing upbanquetteseating in a smaller space is introducing curved shapes rather than seating that follows the width of the wall,' says Sophie Hartley, kitchen designer atTomHowley (opens in new tab).
'This will increase the amount of seating available and will also create a more "conversational" shape, meaning that people sitting around the table will be directed towards each other.
'This example also features some neat, narrow storage, tucked behind the curve of thebanquettebench. When choosing a table, round shapes are best to echo the rounded seating.'
5. Layer banquette seating with complementary furnishings
Designing a banquette isn’t about furniture alone. Salvesen Graham (opens in new tab) has built up layers of texture and color in this compact corner banquette using art, accessories and low-slung lighting.
Allow between 70-80cm between table and pendant light to avoid obstructing sight lines. The comfy cushions with contrasting trims pick out colors from the prints above and coordinate with the kitchen. All these elements combine to make the space more inviting and feel like a cohesive part of the room.
‘It has become a firm favorite for weekend breakfast with the newspapers and evening homework,’ adds senior designer Nicole Salvesen.
6. Go for a simple, country style
Save the organization and expense of bespoke upholstery by opting for a simple painted banquette scattered with colorful cushions. Here, built-in seats are paired with a long, narrow table and a bench that can be tucked in tight to provide clear access to the garden.
‘Tongue and groove panelling, in this instance with a capping strip, is a traditional technique for protecting the walls,’ adds Merlin Wright, design director at Plain English (opens in new tab). ‘Painted in eggshell or gloss, this style of banquette is a practical and hardwearing solution, especially in a busy family kitchen with children jumping about.’
See: Country kitchen ideas – get the rustic look with our ultimate inspiration gallery
7. Maximize your dining space
When it comes to saving space and seating large numbers, banquette seating beat dining chairs hands down.
‘The rule of thumb is to allow about 90cm between a chair and the next piece of furniture or wall, minimum, but with banquetteseating you can reduce that down to as little as 30cm if the seat fits directly onto the wall,’ says Jamie Blake, creative director, Blakes London (opens in new tab).
‘Not only do you save space, but you can also accommodate more people. Children can squish together and get much closer than they would on separate chairs – perfect for birthday parties and family gatherings.’
8. Choose outdoor fabrics that are practical too
This banquette is in a large kitchen diner and living space extension. The open-plan room itself has been kept very neutral, with white kitchen cabinetry and concrete floors – however, the banquette offers a ton of dining space and draws all the attention due to its bold upholstery, a clever technique for distracting from a kitchen's proportions, and for adding color.
'Upholstered banquette seating is a great way to add some texture and interest to a kitchen, where opportunities to use fabric can often be lacking,' says Katie Cox, interior designer at Ham Interiors (opens in new tab). And, she says, don't forget about those sticky little fingers, adding: 'We also use outdoor fabrics for busy families to make them extra practical.'
9. Create a narrow – but fabulous – dining space
'Banquette seating is a really good idea,' says Emily Bizley, of Studio Bizley (opens in new tab). 'Designed correctly, you can make use of a tight area without any space getting wasted behind chairs. A banquette is a really good opportunity to create something special in what otherwise might be a difficult space.'
This is perfectly demonstrated in the room above, where the only space for a dining area is a narrow gap between the doors and the far wall.
'To make banquettes successful, you need to have a nice firm upholstered seat and back, and then additional scatter cushions to give squish and comfort.
'The cushions also allow you to bring in some other colors, patterns or textures to help build the scheme – it might be that your main fabric is plain or a leather, and the scatter cushions then add interest. There’s something really cosy and conspiratorial about a banquette – they encourage you to linger.'
She jokingly adds: 'They’re also good if you don’t like clearing the table, because you can sit in the middle and no one will ask you to do anything!'
10. Fill an awkward niche with banquette seating
When you make space for a dining table, you have to allow around 3ft/1m for the chairs to fit between the wall and table. However, if this will limit your table size too much to make it practical, a series of banquettes built into the space is a practical choice.
Note how here, the base of the seating is angled inwards to the floor – this makes seating more comfortable, plus it will be easier to navigate around the table with the extra floorspace.
11. Mix banquette seating with vintage furnishings for a high-end feel
This beautiful banquette seating area designed by Sophie Dries Architect (opens in new tab) sits in the Paris home of a street art collector. The kitchen banquette is paired with an octagonal Charlotte Perriand table from Les Arcs station and vintage Philippe Starck chair.
Sophie says: 'We often use banquettes at Sophie Dries, especially in the kitchen to create a small dining area, mainly for breakfast or a coffee break.
'They're a smart space-saver, but also very friendly with a holiday feeling. They are a nice alternative to the large empty dining table area when you just need to do a few emails with a cup of coffer or when children work after school while you're cooking.'
Speaking about the design of the banquette seating above, she says: 'The pearl grey velvet of the banquette is complementary to the orange tones of the cushions placed on it, and plays with alternations between colors. The walls, floors and ceiling are all a rich terracotta shade that creates a dynamic effect. Sophie Dries wanted to create a convivial space in this kitchen and not just functional. The custom made-to-measure bench creates a dining area around the famous octagonal table "Les Arcs" by Charlotte Perriand.
'Above the tailor-made bench hangs a watercolor by Giulia Andreani, and beside it sits a vintage stool by Philippe Starck in grey lacquered metal. The Haussmanien style was refined and pared down in order to introduce minimal lines better suited to the contemporary usage of this living space now occupied by a modern family.'
12. Choose a fluted banquette to add a sense of glamor
This ultra-chic banquette was created by Rosendale Designs, and pairs glamorous fluting with upscale materials like marble for an elevated finish.
Dale Atkinson, Founder of Rosendale Design (opens in new tab), says:'Banquette/ booth seating can really help to anchor the design as it not only provides the family with a communal space to dine at but they inevitably allow the kitchen to become the hub of the house. This is because banquettes are soft and comfortable. One can easily lounge and read a book or just relax.
'They give the kitchen an enhanced importance and improve family bonding times, in our experience, bringing people together, as opposed to just sitting on the sofa in the lounge or movie room watching the television, where perhaps there is far less interaction.'
When it comes to design, he says, using the right color can really bring the room to life, or it can be used to subtly complement or bring out another color used within the space, even if it is a different material.
Dale adds: 'The dining table of the booth seating can equally have a dramatic effect and we often use them to help reflect light into the space. We really like the effect of a honed white marble top as it can reflect the light softly and does not feel as visually cold as a polished table top. Of course, there are so may materials one can use, and various timber tops can provide a sense of warmth and and visual texture, too.'
13. Layering in muted tones creates a chic soft-focus banquette
We love how tranquil the above banquette by Jasmine Lam (opens in new tab) feels. Earthy tones are layered with textured cushions and soft stripes on the wallpaper, while the marble dining table adds glamour to the laidback-luxe look.
'We use banquette seating often especially in small dining areas,' says Jasmine. 'When you place the built-in seating at the wall, you actually GAIN space by eliminating the need to pull chairs in and out. They are comfortable and also can provide more seating at a table. I suggest choosing a fabric that is durable and easy to clean and/or treated with stain protection.You can play with color and textures in throw pillows or the back cushions.'
14. Go for bespoke banquette seating to max out space
In a small kitchen, a bespoke banquette designed to fit your room's proportions perfectly is a great way to ensure plenty of social seating. Often, the space under the window is perfect for banquette seating – and it's bright spot that's welcoming, too. In this kitchen, the banquette seats can be lifted to reveal storage, while open shelves at each end are perfect for recipe books.
See: Country kitchen diner ideas – cook and dine in a pretty, rustic space
What is banquette seating?
Banquette seating isa built-in seating unit usually placed against a wall. Also known as booth seating, a banquette is ideal for breathing life into a small kitchen. Once the domain of restaurants and cafes, its stylish look and excellent practicality credentials have seen its popularity rise in modern home decor, particularly in small kitchens where optimising space is necessary.
'To make banquettes successful, you need to have a nice firm upholstered seat and back, and then additional scatter cushions to give squish and comfort.Is it a good idea to sit on a banquette? ›
Banquette seating is an excellent solution for open-plan spaces with a large or small footprint. By including banquette seating, you can close the gap between the kitchen and living spaces making the floor plan more compact whilst simultaneously making it feel more spacious.What is the best depth for banquette seating? ›
When designing a banquette, consider how many people will need to be seated at one time. Allow a minimum of 21 inches of table and seating width per person. You should also allow 18 inches of seating depth, not counting the back support.Are kitchen banquettes comfortable? ›
Everyone likes to gather near or in the kitchen and banquettes make it everyone's favorite spot. They are cozy, comfortable, and good use of space! This is an updated post for 2023 with fresh ideas including pedestal and trestle table sources.How can I make my sitting bench more comfortable? ›
Well-fitting, good quality foam bench cushions are the simplest way to make your bench seat more comfortable. Take the time to measure your bench seat so that you know the dimensions you are looking for. With that information you can either purchase cushions from a store or you can get them made to measure.Does banquette seating save space? ›
“From a design standpoint, banquettes offer a very efficient use of space. You are eliminating the need for some of the clearances you would require with a table and chairs. This makes seating possible in areas where a table and chairs would just be too tight.”Does banquette seating have to be against the wall? ›
Banquette seating refers to upholstered seating unites which are usually built in and are particularly popular in restaurants and Cafés. They are typically, but not always, built against a wall. Alternative names include bench seating, booth seating and fixed seating.What is a bonket? ›
Banket (bahn-KET) is a type of sweet pastry filled with almond paste, which originated in the Netherlands.What is banquet style seating? ›
Banquet. A Banquet seating style is similar to a round dinner table, with the audience seated around the circumference of the table facing inwards. Positives: – Audience interaction fully enhanced, with audience members all facing each other.How deep is a comfortable booth seat? ›
A standard layout allows the table edge to align vertically with the outer edge of the booth seat, which results in a comfortable 16-18" seating depth.
If you have a 6 foot round table (72 inches), you can seat 8-10 people at the table. If it is a 30 inch by 72 inch rectangular table, 6-8 seats will fit around the table, with 3 chairs on either side and 1 chair at either end.What size is a comfortable bench seat? ›
That said, a bench seat designed for two people typically has a width of 42- 52 inches; a bench seat for three people is approximately 53-80 inches wide, and bench seats above 80 inches wide can accommodate at least four people.What makes a kitchen feel cozy? ›
Use “Warm” Materials
Lots of rustic wood makes a room full of clean white tile feel cozier. If you're remodeling, consider balancing the cold materials traditionally found in the kitchen, such as tile and stone, with warmer ones, like wood, leather, and textiles.
Kitchens need to have bright ambient lighting, as well as task lighting over food preparation areas, hobs and sinks. But softer mood lighting is important too – especially if you want people to be able to relax and chat over a glass of wine or a cuppa.Why the built in banquette is becoming a designer favorite? ›
“You can use pattern and color, because it's built in, so it won't invade the overall feeling of the room,” said Ms. Ruddy, who once used boldly patterned fabric from Turkey on a banquette. “By changing the mood at the banquette, it feels like its own destination, even though you're only walking a few feet away.”What is the most comfortable bench height? ›
The standard bench height is 18" – 20". This height is suitable for a bench at a dining room table.What is the best material for a bench seat? ›
Fabric such as cotton canvas, vinyl, duck cloth and others, as explored below. Acrylic fibres are incredibly strong and resistant to wear and tear. Often these fibres are used in high-end outdoor cushion manufacturing due to their price point.What is the angle of a comfortable seat back? ›
To be comfortable, there should be a 95-105 degree angle between the seat and the back, and the seat should be between 2 and 10 degrees off of horizontal. The depth of the seat should be 12 to 18 inches for benches with backs and 30 inches for backless benches.Why use a banquette seat? ›
The beauty of a banquette is that it offers optimum seating room, saves you from having to tuck and untuck from the table and gives a sophisticated, clean look to your interior.How much does it cost to build a kitchen banquette? ›
The total cost for the wood, hardware, and paint supplies cost $150 to build a built-in banquette. If you have scrap wood, hardware, and power tools, this project can cost less than that. Most dining tables sets have 1 chair for $150 so I'd say this is a great investment!
However there is a distinct difference between a banquette and a booth, and we've defined it for you to make it simple. Banquette Seating is a type of seat that you sit ON, and Booth Seating is a type of space that you sit IN.Can I use a couch as a banquette? ›
However, the look and feel of a banquette can be easily achieved by pulling a sofa, loveseat, settee or bench up to your table, without the expense and construction mess of a custom built-in.What is the minimum space requirement between a banquet chair and a wall? ›
Allow at least 24″ between chairs, as measured from the center point of the seat. For example, if each seat is 18″ wide, a minimum of 6 inches between chairs will provide sufficient elbow room. Wall Space: 30” from the back of the chair to the wall.Which wall should be the accent wall in a dining room? ›
If the room has only one entryway, the wall opposite of this is the first wall you see, making it a natural choice for highlighting. Walls with decorative windows or French doors make good accent walls. If the dining room consists of a nook off one side of the kitchen, choose the back wall as an accent wall.What is a synonym for banquette? ›
settee. couch. sofa bed. lounge. tête-à-tête.Where did the word banquette come from? ›
"raised platform in a fortification," 1620s, from French banquette (15c.), from Italian banchetta, diminutive of banca "bench, shelf," which is from Germanic (see bank (n. 1)). A doublet of banquet.
“Banquette” derives from the French word for an upholstered bench placed up against or built into a wall. Whether for dining or gazing out a window, a banquette is intimate and casual. Banquettes have been popular since the French aristocracy put benches in their dining rooms and covered them with tapestry cushions.What is classic banquet style? ›
A classic banquet setup is a simple design of long rows of rectangular tables, with seats placed on either side. This setup allows the most seats in the room. It also makes serving fairly simple for restaurant operations, and it can work for any style or theme with ease.What is the best seating arrangement for a large audience? ›
1. Auditorium or stage seating. This type of seating arrangement is ideal for gatherings and events of over 150-200 people. The neat rows of chairs optimizes the available space to fit in a large crowd, in case you get more attendees than expected.What size booth for 6 people? ›
Ideal for groups, this type of seating is popular in bars, as well as in restaurants, larger cafes, and eateries. Standard dimensions for U shape booths are 48” x 90” x 48” and will seat 4-6 customers comfortably.
By contrast, if you choose a booth that seats four people, this will take up approximately 21 square feet.How deep is a standard kitchen seat? ›
The average seat width is 15.5 inches in the back and 18 inches in the front. The average depth of the seat is 16-18 inches. A good rule-of-thumb to follow would be to allow 12 inches of space between the seat and table to give sufficient leg room.How many chairs do I need for 50 guests? ›
How many tables and chairs do you need for 50 guests? You should rent 50 chairs and 7 tables for a guest list of 50. You will also need a cake table, food tables and a table for gifts. The average table will accommodate 6-8 chairs, 50 guests divided by 8 (guests per table) is 6.25 tables.What is the typical banquette width? ›
Shipping joints can be added to the banquette to break up its size and allow it to fit through tighter spaces. Standard widths for sections usually start at 48 inches and go up to nearly 96 inches.What is the best seat angle? ›
The angle that has been shown to be optimal is 20-30 degrees forward and down. This puts the thighs at an angle between 120-135 degrees. It should look like this: For those that don't, chair wedges are available to help set to the correct angle.What is the ideal seat size? ›
A seat depth of 15 to 18 inches is recommended for most adults. The width of the seat often tapers by 2" to 3" from the front to the rear to allow clearance for legs and clothes in front while allowing elbow room in back. Many chairs have seats that are about 15" wide in the rear and 18" wide in the front.What is a good seat size? ›
For the most part though, it is fair to assume the following typical chair dimensions. (Listed dimensions are based on average-sized adults). Dining Chair: The seat height averages 18" to 20", seat width averages about 15-1/2" in back and 18" in front, and average seat depth is 16" to 18".What makes a kitchen look classy? ›
Colours such as creams and beiges can make a kitchen look elegant and expensive. If your kitchen is modern, you can use dark colours, such as blacks and greys, which can make it look lavish and extravagant. White reflects light and makes the space look bigger, so complement white with some wood and metallic highlights.How do I make my kitchen look welcoming? ›
- Since kitchens see a lot of action every day, they have to be hard wearing and practical spaces, but that doesn't mean they can't be a place for relaxing and unwinding in too. ...
- Ambient lighting. ...
- Use warm, natural materials. ...
- Add a rug. ...
- Personal décor. ...
- Create soft spaces and nooks.
Having a variety of utensils is helpful to make different recipes. If you like to cook, go-to utensils like a vegetable peeler, wooden spoons, a meat mallet, slotted spoon, tongs, a ladle and nonstick spatulas are perfect. If you like to bake, a wire whisk and a rolling pin are especially useful.
Adding a pop of color to your kitchen is an easy way to make it stand out. This could be as simple as adding colorful stools, decor, or wall color. Adding glass panel inserts into your cabinets will make a statement. They help change up the normal flow of the cabinets beautifully.What is the most essential part of a kitchen? ›
Kitchen cabinets are an essential component of any kitchen design. They not only provide storage for pots, pans, and dishes, but they also set the style for the entire room.How deep should a dining banquette be? ›
With a banquette bench, the bench doesn't need to be pulled out, so it can be tucked right up against a wall. Plus, most banquettes are about 26″ deep.What makes a bench comfortable? ›
To be comfortable, there should be a 95-105 degree angle between the seat and the back, and the seat should be between 2 and 10 degrees off of horizontal. The depth of the seat should be 12 to 18 inches for benches with backs and 30 inches for backless benches.What is a bonkett? ›
Bonket (Dutch Almond Pastry)What makes a dining room comfortable? ›
Dining room tables and chairs made of solid wood in a natural finish will immediately bring an inviting vibe to the space. If you want upholstered dining room chairs, try something in neutral hues like ivory, light gray, or tan. These soft colors make the room feel calming and comforting for all your dinner guests.What are the most comfortable bench dimensions? ›
The standard bench width is between 42" and 60" and depends on the number of people you are looking to seat. For reference, a 42" – 52" bench can accommodate two adults comfortably. A bench between 53" and 80" wide is typically for three adults, and a bench more than 80" wide tends to accommodate four.What is an almond patty? ›
Our single serving version of the Dutch pasty, banket, wraps layer after layer of our crisp, buttery and delicious pastry around a luxurious and unique almond filling to create our signature product. Freshly baked and delivered to your door.How long does banket last? ›
Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool. Store at room temperature for a few days (wrapped in plastic), or in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze banket; wrap each stick individually in plastic or foil.What does a good restaurant dining room design maximize? ›
A good restaurant dining room design is to arrange your furniture and fixtures in a way that maximizes your income while improving customer satisfaction.
The ideal is around 26cm. Most modern chairs have their seat height set at around 50cm from the floor and most dining tables are around 76cms high. Therefore, we achieve the ideal 26cm.