This Dining Setup Is the Chic Space Solution We Saw (& Loved) in 2023

published Dec 25, 2023
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Living room with pink velvet loveseat with small round table, 2 extra chairs for dining. White oval coffee table in front of textured gray loveseat. white shelves under a wall mounted TV with books, a gold vase. Coffee table in foreground with vase of flowers. Green velvet chair with large painting above. Vases of flowers on both tables
Credit: Erin Derby

When you picture a dining room, visions of tables (whether they’re circular or rectangular) and four-legged chairs likely come to mind. But this year in particular, several banquettes complemented the homes featured in our tour coverage — and for good reason, too. 

Banquettes are great for all homes but are especially clever for small spaces because they often include storage areas in the base. This seating arrangement is cozy, and it encourages intimate conversations and being close to friends and family. In honor of this functional and stylish seat style, here are just some of our favorite dining banquettes we saw in real people’s homes this year. 

Credit: Erin Derby

1. A Clever IKEA Hack Helps with This NYC Rental’s Odd Living Room Layout

Fashion consultant and merchandiser Jasmine Hart had to figure out how to make the most of the awkward living room layout in her contemporary New York City apartment. Luckily, she worked with interior designer Kendra Cusic to create a chic, DIY, hot pink breakfast banquette out of an IKEA BESTÅ storage cabinet that doubles as comfortable seating and storage. 

See more of Jasmine’s small but stylish apartment in the full home tour.  

2. This Art Collector’s West Village Rental Maximizes Every Inch

Alex Bass made her small space stylish despite not owning it by getting clever with renter-friendly ideas, such as tweaking a Wayfair bench to look like a custom, built-in dining banquette, taking the doors off of a cabinet for an elevated storage look, and replacing light fixtures. She also made sure to maximize space wherever she could. “My boyfriend and I both work from home some days of the week, so we needed to create office areas. We set up a desk for him in the bedroom, and I have my desk in a nook by the entryway. In a small space, you need to use every square inch!” she wrote at the time of the home tour.

Learn more about how Bass got the most out of her space in the full home tour

Credit: Erin Derby

3. A Professional Stager Transformed This Studio Apartment

Designing a functional and stylish home layout is something that’s in professional stager Jason Saft’s veins. So it’s no surprise that he came up with ways to make the small space feel spacious in his 475-square-foot studio in New York City (that he shares with his daughter, Liora). One way was placing a banquette against the wall behind his CB2 Babylon Bistro Table. It seats two people, hugs the wall, and isn’t as clunky as traditional dining chairs. 

Visit the full home tour to see how Saft maximized his studio apartment. 

4. This Portland Rental House Is Somehow Both a Cute Preschool and a Cozy Home for Grown-Ups

For renters Jenny Subil and Chris Brodell, creating a stylish and functional banquette in their home (which doubles as a preschool) was super simple. In a corner of their kitchen, they placed two benches that they already had. To make the area comfortable, they used their upholstery skills to create supportive backrests that hang from the walls. “It is still a bit squishy, but it makes for very cozy family dinners,” they said at the time of the home tour. 

Explore the full home tour to see how they’ve created a functional and stylish space. 

Credit: Lula Poggi

5. A Small but Stylish Spanish Apartment Is an Oasis for Humans and Cats

The spaces in Miquel’s contemporary Barcelona apartment are curated for him (think: organic modern finishes and sophisticated designs) and his two cats (think: cat-proof). One of the spaces perfect for humans and furry friends is the banquette, where the cats can lounge out, and he can enjoy a delicious meal or cup of coffee. 

See how Miquel created a contemporary oasis in the full home tour.

6. A Renovated Coastal-Style Home’s Dining Corner Is Great

Banquettes are optimal seating arrangements because of the coziness and intimacy they encourage, and the dining nook in Nick and Travis Wayne’s sunny Long Beach bungalow is the epitome of snug. I can imagine the colorful conversations around the circular table in their home. 

Visit the full home tour to see more of their gorgeous space. 

7. This 344-Square-Foot Apartment’s Dining Spot Is Stylish and Scandinavian-Inspired

The living room dining nook (that includes a white-colored banquette) is one of Charlotte Ree’s favorite parts about her colorful home in Australia. “Adding the table means that it is a separate eating space but also where I work and write from during the week,” Ree wrote at the time of the home tour.

Explore the full home tour to see how Ree maximized her 344-square-foot space.

Credit: Erin Derby

8. A Vintage Marble Table from the 1970s Makes This Dining Banquette Sing

Some banquettes that are low to the ground, minimal, and don’t have a tall back allow the table to take center stage. At least that’s the case in Abby Silverman’s Parisian-inspired New York City loft. “I have so many favorite things about our home; it genuinely feels like my sanctuary, and it brings me immense joy,” she wrote at the time of the tour. “When it comes to specific objects, I’m absolutely enamored of our vintage marble table from the ‘70s.”

Take a peek inside Silverman’s gorgeous loft in the full home tour

Credit: Erin Derby

9. The Low-Level Banquette Makes the Dining Room in This Apartment Feel Spacious

Alvin Wayne has several hacks in his glam, modern Long Island City apartment, and one of them is selecting furniture that makes the space feel bigger. The white, rounded banquette that he put in his dining room does just that. “Low-profile furniture will always make a space seem/feel larger and the ceilings taller,” Alvin shared at the time of the home tour. 

Learn more about Alvin’s rental-friendly hacks in the full home tour

Credit: Viv Yapp

10. The Banquette in This Home Is Both Stylish and Completely Functional

It’s a design jackpot to furnish your home with furniture that’s both aesthetically pleasing and serves a purpose. In DIY professional Emily’s colorful Nottingham home, the banquette is that jewel of a piece. “Our bench seating in the dining room is one of our best buys — it has loads of storage inside the seats,” she explained at the time of the home tour. 

See all of Emily’s clever DIYs in the full home tour

11. A Banquette Was Just One of Many Incredible DIY Projects in This 1920s Home

Heath and Samantha Mitchell were DIY novices when they bought their 1920s home in Sydney, Australia. However, with numerous beautiful projects in their home, you’d immediately assume that they’ve always been professionals. One such project is the incredible dining nook that they created. 

To learn more about their various DIY projects, visit the full home tour