March 16, 2010

The Banquette Effect

Last week, I was discussing my kitchen renovation plans with a friend of mind and I told her that we are planning on incorporating a banquette into a corner of the kitchen. Her response? Ew yuck, along with a look of terror! Now mind you my friend and I don't always see eye to eye (she prefers Jean- Claude Van Damme, I prefer Matt Damon, she likes high heels and running (separately, of course), while I go for ballet flats and biking) but when it comes to design we usually have the same instincts.  So I was understandably shocked at her reaction to my brilliant plan. I demanded an explanation and got an earful of her phobias of dive-e, greasy spoon, poorly lit diners. You know the ones - the place where your *insert male figure with terrible taste* drags you to every weekend because this place has the best tuna melt/six egg omelet/other nausea inducing indelicacy. The type of place with fake flowers stapled to the wall, an inch of dust dating to the 80's, and a cold, sterile booth covered in plastic coated checkered cloth which makes a screeching sound as you slide your rear across it. Yes, at this point in our discussion my friend was curled up in a fetal position singing 'You Are My Sunshine." I get it, THAT banquette is bad. Fetal position inducing. 

So I dragged out the laptop and opened the folder titled "kitchen inspiration" and coaxed her out of her hell and into a happy place. Banquettes don't have to look like they were installed in the 50's by a red-faced screaming chef wearing a starched white coat and barking out orders in German. Banquettes can be good. 

Here are three reasons why I will be putting one in my kitchen: 

1. Banquettes are perfect for small spaces, an unused corner, or an awkward nook because they take up less space than a free-standing table with chairs.
2. You can create one with a free-standing settee or bench, or opt for a built-in upholstered bench which can provide an abundance of storage space (did you hear that? Storage space!)
3. There is always room for one more friend at the table, just scooch up a little closer on the bench. Relax, you're friends. 

Caroline Scheeler via Country Living

Rachel Ashwell



Chris Barret via House Beautiful

Metropolitan Home

What about you? Does the idea of a banquette make you want to curl up in a ball and cry? Or does it impel you to invite your friends over and whip up a big batch of strawberry crepes? 


Heather@PixieDust said...

i love banquettes, they look so cozy. I always go for the banquette seat at restaurants.

Destination Seaborn said...

Your pics are beautiful! I'm a huge fan of banquettes. Although ours is small, we can still comfortable seat five people and store LOTS of items underneath. Good luck with you decision! Lisa

Pine Tree Home said...

Those pics are fab. I am thinking of adding one to my kitchen.

Linds said...

I'm sold. Love this idea and hope to use it one day!

Londen @ Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Love, Love, Love your inspiration pictrures!!

Anonymous said...

LLLLLL ove it

Chris said...

I just found this post, and I have a few things to say. 1. You and I could be best friends! 2. I LOVE Matt Damon, flats, and biking. 3. I would pay GOOD money to have a banquette. I think it's a brilliant idea, and you found some gorgeous inspiration pictures!!

Willow Decor said...

I have always love banquettes! This is a great collection of photos. Perfect for my inspiration photos.


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