I've been taking longer looks at banquette seating lately for some projects, so I thought I'd share some of the images I've been percolating on.
I've always loved them and I think they are such a smart solution to so many casual eating areas. All at once they are functional and good looking and what I really love about them is the effortless transition they make from a place where your kid does homework at the kitchen table, to soft, cozy couch-like seating when I finally get to sit down and flip through a magazine with a glass of wine. I have hard chairs around my table and really, I don't want to sit in them. At. All. What I want are some pillows snuggled around me and a place to set my glass and glossy mag!
Another thing I've found is that both houses big and small have a use for banquettes. In small houses, usually the older ones that were built before the "great room" era, there isn't a place to have someone sit and chat with you while cooking. When my husband and I bought our first house in the city, we had a kitchen that was screaming for a banquette, but we weren't there long enough to do it -- it was on the bottom of a long list and then we moved. It was from 1911 and the kitchen was separate from everything else in the back of the house. How nice it would have been to create a little spot for people to hang out with the cook? In big homes, they have the ability to cozy up the joint -- counter-acting the hugeness of all our mega homes by adding in softness and the unexpected.