Banquettes, or built-in diner-style seating, can be a great solution for seating in a small area. Before you make the commitment, consider these factors:
- One person on each side will be pinned-in. Just like when you are at a restaurant, when the person next to the wall needs to get up for some reason, the person on the open side will have to move.
- The pictures in magazines can make uncomfortable seats look appealing.
- A custom-built banquette is an expensive item, so you need to get it just right.
Common design mistakes include:
- hard seat backs that are not sloped
- window sills that press against your spine or neck
- seat bottoms that are not deep enough to be comfortable
- too-hard seat bottoms
- too-small tables
- table legs in the way of maneuvering in & out
- not enough knee space
There are some guidelines for banquette seating, but the most important thing is to get it right for YOU.
TRIAL SOLUTION, ROUND 1:
Using a piece of 32" x 42" sheet of foam-core (available at art-supply stores) and chairs borrowed from the dining room, this mock-up allowed the homeowners to try the idea out. They determined that the basic idea was comfortable and functional, the table would be better a little longer (44"), the seat height is just right, and the subtle slope of the seat back works well. They also decided that a custom bench could be a little wider than the width of the two chairs together.
FOR ROUND 2, CLICK HERE.
FOR ROUND 3, CLICK HERE.