Banquette, Booth, or Built-In? Cool Kitchen Table Seating

by Tim Layton on December 28, 2009 Google+

in Design,Kitchens,Trends

I’ve built-up quite the backlog in the “to-read” stack. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course, because there is no actual stack, we’re talking a cyber-stack here.

Maybe what I’m missing is a great place to read my stack. And since it’s so big, and I’ll be there so long, maybe I also need a table nearby. This way I can keep provisions such as food and drink close at-hand. I might even jot down a note or two… maybe even use real paper.

Banquette - BHG

One of the more prolific in-box fillers,, provided me with a little inspiration this morning. And they introduced me to a new term at the same time.

Banquette – pronounced “bank-ette”

I won’t go on about how a bank-ette would be more than sufficient for my account, or even a micro-bank, or a piggy-bank.

But what is interesting is what I found when I started searching for more of these, which heretofore I would have called “built-in booth style seating”. It seems like banquette is a bit more stylish term and maybe not quite as “booth”-like.


I’m a huge fan of the picture above, which was posted in a forum conversation about this very subject, here. This whole look works great from the floors, to the awesome open walls, to the shelves above the windows. The seating itself looks like a great place to sit and look out over the water view.

What About Booths?

I was too lazy to look-up the real definition of Banquette, but I noticed in many pictures that they didn’t really meet the picture in my mind of a “booth”. The banquettes seem to have built-in seating on one or two sides, combined with chairs. Booth’s on the other hand generally use all built-in seating.

Like this one by Kitty Hawk, NC architect Chris Jenkins:


I love the feel of a booth. Cozy and comfortable. I read in the above linked forum thread that some people felt that the seating would be restricted or problematic in a situation where there wasn’t a server bringing everything to you.

I don’t agree. We had a small booth style dining area in our motorhome and we all loved it. Both for eating and just for sitting. I want one of these one day.

Here’s more:


How cool is this? I could sit in there all day (possibly with slightly altered ergonomics). This can be purchased at the very interesting website Bars, Cigars, and Brew or you can make it. Look close…it’s just wood to begin with and worked into art.

Or from the always awesome


Love the seafaring style of the table and the light fixture, and I really think the three sided arrangement would be ultra-comfy. Who among us doesn’t truthfully want the huge three sided or circular booth at restaurants, even when we’re alone or in pairs? Big booths are sporty.

Built-In’s Rock

I love built-in stuff. I just think it makes great use of space and looks incredible. Banquette’s or booths, by any name are great built-in’s. While I was looking around, I came across this picture again:


Which I originally found at and used as the basis for an entire post:

A Perfect Space Saving Kitchen Window Seat

The post details much more than just the built-in, talking about a number of great DIY projects in that kitchen.

Have a great week!

Article by Tim Layton

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1 mombrud December 28, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I would love to build a long banquette along one wall in my large basement to use for storing toys and extra seating when we entertain. Have you run across any plans or instructions on how to build these (preferrably for dummies)?

2 Cottage Dreamers December 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I just love how cozy a “bank-ette” is. And they always look great!

3 Tammy December 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for the great post, Tim! Husby and I have been brewing an idea for banquette seating all Fall and Winter so far! I can’t wait to dig in once Spring arrives! Throw open the doors and windows and let the sawdust FLYYYYYYYYYYY!
I think I am opting for the built in seating against a wall, long farmtable, with 2 chairs on the opposing side (option of adding 2 addl chairs to either end of table, if needed!). I think that is fabulous for a small kitchen!! Whaddya think?

4 Pat Layton December 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

I’m thinking photo number 6 and ME!!
Let the lot shopping begin!!

5 Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish December 28, 2009 at 10:40 pm

My very first apartment had a built in booth with storage. I loved it. It was the perfect place to eat meals, sit down with my school books, or just curl up with a cup of coffee! Sigh! I miss it!

6 Lizanne Croteau April 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

The first bankette with the slats for back rests. Have any idea where I can get the plans?

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