A banquette is a great way to efficiently accommodate a table and seating in a space that would otherwise be too cramped for a more conventional dining table and chairs.
Looking back at three recent projects, I couldn’t help but notice something they all had in common: a custom banquette. A banquette is a built-in bench that provides seating for a free-standing table, often with individual chairs on the opposite side. All three houses had small or narrow spaces that we wanted to maximize, and a banquette is a great way to efficiently accommodate a table and seating in a space that would otherwise be too cramped for a more conventional dining table and chairs.
If space is especially tight, a banquette can bump out into a window bay, as shown in one example here, in order to provide adequate circulation behind the chair side of the table. When a window bay isn’t an option or a desirable exterior feature, a banquette can still conserve space in a room when integrated along an interior wall.
A banquette also creates an opportunity to add character with a custom built-in. The examples here highlight the aesthetic of the spaces they occupy, whether it be ranch-house contemporary, Craftsman inspired, or a transitional Shaker style. Each displays attention to craft and creates a unique accent feature. Plus, a banquette is cozy and offers diners a choice between bench seating with a boothlike feel or individual chairs to suit their preference.
The banquettes illustrated here share common seat dimensions and a similar seat-back angle: Each has an 18-in. seat depth and a seat-back angle of 7° to 9°. Though one has a seat cushion and two do not, the finished seat height of all three (including the cushion on that particular project) is 18 in. The banquette lengths and seat-back heights vary, as do the table sizes that accompany them, but all have trestle tables. In general, a banquette works best with a…