Create a casual, cosy dining spot in your kitchen with banquette seating and relaxed styling
Houzz Contributor with over 15 years as an interiors writer, stylist and content… More
Kitchen booths or breakfast nooks – however you refer to them, they all have one thing in common: a delightful, cosy charm that invites you to sit and take five. But what gives these booths their easy-going appeal? Maybe it’s the combination of relaxed seating teamed with the sociable kitchen location, or maybe it’s their association with casual American diners that feature cosy and intimate banquette seating.
Whatever their attraction, kitchen booths offer an easy and versatile seating solution for many spaces that otherwise couldn’t accommodate a table. Check out this selection to whet your appetite.
Focus on family time
An alcove is an ideal spot for a kitchen booth, as the side walls can be used as the back of the benches, with a table positioned in the centre. For a relaxed, family-friendly look, decorate the walls around the table with photos and drawings, while the benches can be used for discreet storage.
Segue from casual to formal
For a multi-purpose kitchen booth that covers all your bases, pair an elegant dining table and chairs with casual bench seating around the edge, so you can dress it up smart for a grown-up dinner, or keep it relaxed for a quick breakfast.
Tip Make sure built-in seating is standard dining chair height to fit under the table, and don’t forget to factor in the height of the foam cushion that sits on top, too.
Likewise, this setting is both chic and laid-back, thanks to a freestanding bench alongside a majestic dining chair at the head of the table.
Make it tea for two
A breakfast nook is a great idea for compact kitchens that can’t quite squeeze in a standard table. A narrow bench fitted to the wall can be teamed with a similarly narrow table to offer a brilliant space-saving solution. Cosy up the bench with cushions and it will be even more appealing.
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Carve out a cute corner
A round table gives this simple set-up contemporary appeal. A fitted upholstered bench sits snugly in the corner, making the most of every centimetre, while dining chairs can then be used on the other side of the table for more seating when necessary. It’s the perfect solution for a tight space.
Similarly, this tiny nook tucked into the corner makes the most of an unused spot. Extending the banquette seating high up the wall creates the illusion of more space and adds a punch of bold colour to the otherwise neutral scheme.
Kitchen-diners are the hub of activity in most homes, so it pays to decorate it with homely appeal, just as you would in your living room. Tie in the colours and textures you’ve used in the kitchen by selecting matching cushions and window dressings for a cohesive feel.
Fashion a friendly focal point
If your kitchen is lacking a feature, a booth can bring instant impact. Team a comfortable bench seat with a robust dining table and sit it against the backdrop of a blackboard wall to create a family-friendly, usable space that will grab the attention and focus.
Aim for intimacy
Keep the chaos of the kitchen out of view by building a tall back for your bench seat. Not only does this create a cosy dining space, it also provides plenty of back support that can be softened with cushions.
Introduce low-level seating
Make the most of garden views by keeping the bench seating below windowsill level. The space below the benches can also be maximised with cubbyhole storage built in – ideal for shoes, books and school bags.
Slice the end off a galley
Slender kitchens can prove tricky when it comes to creating an eat-in space, but sacrifice one end of the room and you’ll achieve a fabulous dining area that will make all the difference. Wrap bench seating round the compact corner, team it with a small table and hang a striking pendant above to draw the gaze.
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Cosy up with cushions
To keep your kitchen booth super-casual, display an abundance of plump cushions along the benches and pair with low stools to continue the relaxed pull-up-a-perch look.
Work in a slice of Americana
Take a cue from retro American diners and source 1950s-style banquette seating, preferably in sugary-sweet pink or pistachio. Continue the stylised look with a period pendant and black-and-white flooring that suits the look. Now all you need is to whip up a milkshake!
Big up bespoke seating
Highlight the drama of a stunning window with tailor-made, wraparound banquette seating. Choose a buttoned-back finish for a classic effect, and stick to a neutral colour, so you can ring the changes with brightly coloured cushions when the seasons shift.
Keep it elegant
Nothing shouts luxury and style more than stunning, deep-buttoned seating in a sumptuous fabric. Heighten the glamour with chic cushions and accessories, but stick to a simple palette.
Factor in fold-up chairs
In open-plan rooms where space is limited, a booth with foldaway chairs will tackle the issue of entertaining head on. Choose the same pale palette for the backdrop and bench seating, so the room remains light, bright and spacious, then opt for dining chairs that can be packed away to increase the sense of space.
Celebrate a contemporary mix
Bold pendant lights are a sure-fire way to give kitchen booths a sense of containment and intimacy. Hang the lights low to bring attention to their design and choose an odd number for more visual impact.
Choose sleek and slimline
You might be leaning towards a sharp, minimal look, but ensure your nook still offers plenty of comfort by fitting a backrest cushion at an angle to create back support.
Do you have a kitchen booth in your home? Share your experience and photos in the Comments below.