As the weekend is coming up, my mind naturally goes to all those great get together's that will be happening, especially with summer right around the corner. I love casual entertaining, sitting with friends as we cook etc etc, and nothing is more conducive to that than the banquette. Made popular in the 30's and 40's as a space saver in the "modern kitchen", this handy device is making a great comeback. I have included two examples;
- The first is an old home that we renovated, originally built in the late 1920's, this space was the old Breakfast Room. I wanted to create an area for the whole family and their friends, so I thought that a simple banquette that wrapped around three of the walls would do the trick. The family can sit almost 12 people at this table when the need arises, far more than a freestanding table and chairs would ever allow, and it feels neater and tidier on top of that. Just as an aside, a cool thing to notice, the walls are upholstered, which cuts down the noise and provides a convenient location for bus and soccer schedules! Don't miss the center light fixture either, it was designed to hold the family gold fish, the best seat in the house.
- The second example is a bit more typical, using a spare corner, I created a curved seating nook, flanked by two chairs. This Kitchen had a bit more of a mid-century kind of feeling, so laminate was used on the table, with a stainless steel edge trim, that gives it a "diner" kind of feel. Upholstery is in vinyl, so it is stain resistant, and the color brightens up every morning.
Banquettes don't just need to be used in Kitchens; look around the house and see if there are any unused areas that could benefit from this handy item of furniture. Maybe a bay window, the foot of the bed (especially in a small studio type apartment) or even in your office for meeting space, where you occasionally need to be able to squeeze in more people. It offers flexibility, comfort and economy of size, all good things in my book.