Sitting Room in the Kitchen

Sitting Room in the Kitchen

Sitting Room in the Kitchen

When I was in 3rd grade, we lived in Greenville, Mississippi, in one of what we kids thought was the coolest houses ever.  The neighborhood was at the edge of town, with big shady lots for each house.  Ours had a playhouse in the backyard, a “tunnel” (which was actually a crawl space in the attic) upstairs between mine & my brother’s bedrooms, & the kids across the street had dirt bikes that we could ride around the neighborhood’s green spaces & empty lots.  But the thing I remember is that the kitchen had a banquette.  Why that would make an impression on an 8 year old, I’m not sure, but I loved it.  (I think it had orange pleather cushions, but I should check with my  mom on that.

In this case, a banquette is not a giant feast-ival, as if at Luby’s.  The term actually stems from the German word for bench.  Early on, banquettes were featured in a luxury home’s library or sitting room, to accomodate large numbers for entertaining.  But it evolved into a kitchen feature, designed for busy lifestyles.  While that is still a focus, now a banquette or even bench seating at a dining table is just as much of a style-driven design element in a kitchen.

This look strikes a great balance – it’s pretty kitchen dining, not too fussy for a family but not so casual that it feels too country.  I have to admit I’m more of a fan of one banquette like a bench instead of 3 sides, however.  Sides often make it more difficult to slide in & out, & therefore more wear on fabric cushion covers.  Or maybe I’m slightly claustrophobic.

I used this fabric on some Lee Upholstery chairs in the redo project I did for my sorority house at OU last summer & I’m crazy for it.  I tied it into a pear green settee, but I love it shown with turquoise.  Everything here is pretty – grasscloth on the walls, trim on the shades, great millwork, & it looks like the ceiling is painted a soft blue.

The settee shown here is a great alternative if you aren’t in love with the idea of construction.  Very pretty between the built-ins.

We sell a lot of settees styles like this at the store.  Our customers like the idea of a bench on one side of a table to break up the visual of so many chair backs.  Plus you can cram a bunch of kids on it when you need extra seating!

Isn’t this great?  Youthful & fresh, glam & funky.  And lucite = easy to clean!

Pretty chairs, & I love the kitchen overall, but not as much as I love the windows & the deck!

This set up is just flat gorgeous.  Everything!  Bonus:  Fiddleleaf fig!  From what I hear from clients & customers, they either are or are not glass top table people – no in-between.  I might hurt myself on these corners, so I could understand the concern if the house had young kids.  The texture of the rug is pretty also.

It looks like this kitchen wasn’t given, or the homeowners didn’t want, the option for barstools so backing the banquette up to the island is a great solution – very pretty plus it would save room.

I just love this.  Those slipped chairs get me every time.

Here the homeowner flipped the bench seating.  It’s important to the visual & the scale of the room not to have a sea of chair backs, so putting it at the island instead of barstools gives the room the needed balance.

This is simple & pretty, & a great solution to a small eating space in a kitchen.

I just want this for my kitchen – fabulous!  I would feel like I was eating out at a restaurant every night!  (So I would also need a chef.)

Love the curved, tufted banquette with the nailhead detail – wow!  Not to mention the light fixture, the ceiling, the brick backsplash.  Great style.

And if your kitchen needs some glamor, this high-back banquette is the answer.  It’s great in the detail while still clean & fresh.

These dining benches from Lee Industries are beautiful.  Pictured here in a more formal dining setting, depending on the fabric you chose they would work equally well in a kitchen.  Voila – instant banquette!

What about you?  If you were to have a banquette or settee in your kitchen, what would drive it – room size, design preference, practicality?






Libby Haynes