Banquette Seating Saves Every Square Inch In Your Small Eat-In Kitchen

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Cup of Jo)

There’s no denying that an eat-in kitchen has a certain charm. But finding enough room for a table, particularly in a very small kitchen, can be a real challenge. If you’ve faced this particular quandary, there’s a particular kind of seating you should consider: the banquette.

Above, a small 560-square-foot apartment in D.C., belong to Amira El-Gawly, and seen on a Cup of Jo. The small space didn’t keep her from packing it full of style, including the comfy-looking banquette in the back corner next to the kitchen.

(Image credit: Mid Century Home Style)

Seating areas like this were very popular in kitchens from the 30s and 40s, and for good reason: they are a remarkably efficient way to fit a lot of seating into a small space. (This also explains why you see them in restaurants.) As the size of the average American home expanded, banquette-style seating fell out of favor. Maybe it reminded people too much of their neighborhood diner, or maybe they just got tired of scooting.

But with the recent move towards smaller, more sustainable homes, built-in seating is starting to make a lot more sense in the kitchen. Not only does banquette seating take up less space, but also, unlike a typical chair, you can build storage into the space under the bench. That’s a double win.

(Image credit: Alyssa Kapito Interiors)

This one-sided banquette is from Alyssa Kapito Interiors, via their Instagram.

(Image credit: Lonny)

And here’s a different twist on the idea. In this dining nook from Lonny, the designers went vertical, creating an extra tall seating nook. It’s like a pub table meets banquette.

(Image credit: Kate Marker Interiors)

This sunny breakfast nook from Kate Marker Interiors features both banquette seating and traditional seating.