Do you love Banquette Seating?

cploverApril 5, 2011

I really love the look of banquette seating in the dining room/eat-in kitchen. Please show me your favorite photos and your thoughts on banquette seating. I found this designer's website and on a portion of it she discusses banquette seating. I love the window seat photo!

But does anyone have a banquette and hated it? If so why? Or was it just a bad design?

Here is a link that might be useful: Banquette Seating Article

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This is a very good question - I will be waiting also to see your answers. Thanks for asking this!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 4:24PM
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I love the look too, but don't know how well it works out. Someone is going to get stuck in the middle, just like a booth at a restaurant. Sure does help with small spaces and I'm working on dh to put one in our dining room. He doesn't like them though.

Here are some pictures I've saved to convince him.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 5:18PM
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I have a free standing bench (with back and arms) at our dining table, and we really like it. Our table gets used as a laptop space as well, so it makes for a comfortable working space. We just had house guests this weekend, and they mentioned how much they loved sitting on the bench for dinner. The only downside is that the arms make getting in and out a little tough when you share the bench for dinner.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 6:38PM
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I've got a bench at my table right now too. It came in really handy at Christmas. But like you said, the arms can get in the way. I've been wondering if there is a way to take the arms off without making the thing wobbly. I haven't had time to really study it though.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:24PM
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Hmmmm, well for me it is YES AND NO.
I love the window seat style of banquette shown in several of the photos that Marti posted, and at the article the OP linked.

But I do not like the "diner" style seating, which has two benches opposite each other with the table in the middle. For one thing, I had that in my houseboat, and it always was hard to find a place to keep your feet. That particular setup turned into a double bed when needed, had storage beneath the banquettes, and I always had to stand on my head to get things under the seats. Never again.

But I do like the L-shapes as well. I think that I approve of them because the built in seating by the L-shape or the window seat single built, would work even if you got rid of the table, moved it someplace else entirely. A coffee table could work just as well with either setup.

I would call a bench with arms an early American settee. Without arms is a bench to me. But then, I have not shopped for any such piece of furniture, don't know what they call things these days. They are all a multifunctional item for the house. Front porch, back porch, foyer, mudroom, dining room AND kitchen. What is not to like about a great simple straightforward well made piece of wood?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 12:02AM
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I LOVE banquette seating and we'll be putting in our new kitchen (halfway done, so no pics yet). We're only doing a bench against a window, not an L shape or anything, and I think it'll only a 2 seater, but I think they're very comfy if built right and as long as no one gets stuck in the middle.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 9:07PM
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We had the small couch in half way eat in kitchen at last house. Since we never have company I can not really say how well it worked. I love the look of it and those morgue drawers are really amazing. If I had it to do over again I would have built in banquet seating. Maybe not the L shape as mentioned above. The arms on my little couch are low so getting in over them is not a problem. I did have the area set up once when I was working on the cemetery maps and needed a long table to work on.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 9:14PM
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"Morgue drawers" is not a cheerful term for the long drawers, but no doubt about what you mean when you call it that. Brrrrrrr, creepy.

When I do the window seat built in beneath the dining room windows, that will be the kind of banquette seating I really like. Have yet to determine if it will have a lid to access the storage, or if two (shallow not morgue) drawers will work better. Since our table is so gosh darn heavy, I do not want it blocking access to the storage spaces. I'm really looking forward to DeMouy our contractor building it as part of our kitchen redo.

Like they used to say, a difference of opinion is what makes a horse race.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 11:41PM
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I do love our bench. Day to day, my husband and I sit there. If we have company we will seat our 6 year old between us. We also have morgue drawers which are so much better than if the bench lifted up for storage!
I would post a picture but I don't remember how. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 9:44PM
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islandmom42- Did you have your banquette with morgue drawers custom made, DIY, or purchase it?

Thanks! I have a very handy uncle who may be willing to make it. I am just not sure if I could buy one already done or not.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 9:58AM
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We have one and I have posted photos on another thread on here before (storage solutions, I think), so I won't bore everyone with them again.

Our banquette bench has full extension drawers underneath, which are wonderful for storage. We have a thick cushion on top with lumbar cushions. We hardly ever deal with the person-stuck-in-the-middle syndrome because we are a family of four and only one sits on the bench during meals. DS2 likes to lounge against the cushions and read. This is also the coveted spot for homework. Lately I have noticed that one of the kitties has discovered the sunny spot under the window. I am sure she sees this as one big kitty bed. :^D

Anyway, we really love it so far!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Shelayne- I read your other post and your drawers look great! We too are doing Ikea cabinets, but would love to custom doors. Where did you order your doors? How difficult was it to do? I know a lot of people have ordered doors from Scherrs, but I am not sure how they find the measurements and I am fearful of screwing up. Any advice you have would be appreciated. I really want white painted shaker, but if it is not possible, I will just do lidingo. We are not DIY since neither DH or I are handy.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:06AM
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Hi Newbie~ First of all, I love Lidi! I have seen so many beautiful Lidi kitchens--like Brickmanhouse's kitchen. To LIVE for!

About my doors-- I ordered my doors from Advantage Door Company. I looked at many door companies, including Scherr's--who come highly recommended from GW and Ikeafans, but would have made this project cost prohibitive for us. Advantage was quite a bit less $$ than Scherr's.

Scherr's does have all the IKEA measurements on file and will do all the drilling for you, so that is definitely a plus! All you have to do is tell them which cabinets, and they do the rest, which would make the whole custom door thing a piece of cake!

In our case, I worked with Darryl and Advantage and gave him the specs to do the hinge cup boring for the IKEA hinges (made by Blum). I not only told him over the phone, but I also emailed a copy of template. Still freaking out, I actually mailed the corner of a door with the hinge pattern to him. Hahaha. I really didn't need to do that, but I was so nervous. LOL. We did all the other drilling ourselves, using both a shallow and a deep drawer as a template--all shallow drawers are the same, and all deep drawers are the same. Before I sent everything, I went to IKEA and personally measured the doors and drawers myself. I brought a friend and we double or triple-checked each measurement I needed. I was pretty confident about the measurements. I also received tips from a couple Ikeafans/GWers who did custom doors with IKEA cabs.

Even though you say you are not handy, I bet you could do the assembly, it is really quite easy. Once you do one, the rest get easier and easier. If you wanted to give it a try, you could do what I did; I bought a 3-drawer stack, in the cheapest door (which is now Harlig), to see how difficult the assembly process was. I figured that a drawer stack would be the most challenging. It was actually easy and kinda fun! I knew that I could do it. The actual drawers are the easiest part, as they just click together! I did all the assembly, and DH and I did the install--mostly DH. I was the one who stood there and said, "Woo!" ;^)

Feel free to ask me any questions!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 8:10PM
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Thanks Shelayne!! Your banquette is truly lovely. I may need some instructions as to how you turned Ikea fridge cabinets into a banquette. Our main contractor said he could build one but I am afraid of the paint colors not matching.

I do like the Lidi doors and DH LOVES them. I was hoping for more of a white shaker because I am afraid my kitchen may start looking like a period/vintage kitchen (WHICH I LOVE) but cannot do since it would seem out of place for a 1957 ranch. I am planning on the original no stain oak hardwood floors, lidi cabinets, soapstone counters, stainless steel apron front sink and would love ss bin pulls. Hmmm.. this sounds like a new post!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Newbie, if you make a new post, I'll be standing in line to read it. I hope Shelayne keeps revealing her experiences with IKEA and the doors, and just what 3 drawer stack she ordered.

I'm still wanting to flank my window seat with two tall pantries from IKEA, and the Shaker style doors would work beautifully IMHO. And now mayybe the window seat itself could be from IKEA as well? That would mean I could do that part of the kitchen remodel, and bring down the amount of $$$ and work that the contractor would do.

My problem is the closest IKEA store is 400 miles away in Atlanta, and I might have to fly up there, buy my stuff, and rent a UHaul to bring it home. I have NOT given up on using IKEA though.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:14PM
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Shelayne- Is your banquette your only dining area? For me, my dining room is the only eating space, we do not have another area. I think if I had another dining room I would 100% go for a banquette in the breakfast area-- however, since it is my only dining area I am a little reluctant. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 10:29PM
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Newbie- I just found this picture and thought you might like it. It would be perfect for everyday...but then you could add leaves and more chairs, when company visits :)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 11:03PM
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I just now saw the questions posed to me, and I am sorry for not having checked in sooner!

ML, the 3-drawer stack I bought was just the 18" base cabinet with 3 drawers, and I ordered it with Arlig (now Harlig) drawer fronts. When you order it like that, everything you need for that arrangement is included in the price. I am sorry I do not remember off-hand how much it cost, but I know it was under $100 at the time. I see the price has gone up to approximately $150 now, but that was 4.5 years ago. That 3-drawer cabinet is in my linen closet now, and I have extra toiletries--toothpaste, shampoo, soap, mouthwash, etc. in one drawer, some cosmetic items and personal stuff in the shallow (top) drawer, and misc bath items in the bottom drawer. This was the cabinet that convinced DH that IKEA kitchen cabinets were a whole 'nother animal than their other cabinets.

Newbie, it actually IS my only dining area. It was the "formal" dining room, but we never used it as such, except for holidays and entertaining. Every other day, it became a catch-all. This drove DH crazy, as he cannot stand any kind of clutter. We had a small table in our kitchen area, and that is where we ate. We have two children, and when we first started this, they were a bit younger and SMALLER. ;^) We tore down the wall between the two spaces because it felt so cramped. It is such huge difference having that wall down!

I came up with the idea of the banquette when I was trying to create more storage. I looked online for some pictures and drew out the plan on graph paper first. DH was hesitant at first, thought it might be too "frilly-nilly" as he called it. He loves it now.

Our table has two leaves, and we have used it that way. There is plenty of room for entertaining and holidays. It would be nice if that were our "breakfast room", and we had a more grand dining space, but our house just is not that large. I am fine with the cozy cottagey vibe we have going. In fact, I am quite fond of it. :^) I imagine I will be even happier when we get around to finishing the basement, which is next on the list. DH wants a year off of house stuff, though, when this kitchen is finally done. I can hardly blame him. He has been amazing!

Here is a link that might be useful: IKEA--Harlig three-drawer stack

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 4:17PM
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Naomi Miller

Hello, I know this is an older post but I have been trying to see Shelayne's banquette and can not seem to find a "storage solutions" forum and a search offers nothing... please could someone send me a link to her original post with pics? TIA

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Hi, Heartzlink!!
If you will find one of Shelayne's posts above, click on the blue type of her name, and it will take you to her page.
Then, you can send her an email asking for the information. It might be just a GWeb user address, but she will get it if she still posts using her same email addy.

Another option is to go over to Kitchens forum, and do a search there for her posts, again using her screen name. She lists Kitchen Forum as one of her favorites.

Not sure but the STORAGE forum might now be ORGANIZING THE HOME. Have you tried that one?

When doing a search on GWeb, do not use the SEARCH box at the top of the page. You use the one at the BOTTOM of the page. There you can specify searching just that particular forum or all of the home forums.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 3:41PM
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That discussion is on this forum. This link may work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Storage Ideas

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 11:56PM
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