Care to wait for a booth? Those who frequent busy restaurants have likely pondered this question. And many of us are, in fact, willing to wait for a coveted booth. Why? There’s a cozy feeling in a booth that’s hard to beat. Homeowners can have that same comfort in a banquette in their homes. “I’ve got to have a kitchen that’s comfortable,” says New York kitchen designer Susan Serra, of Susan Serra Associates. “A banquette is really about comfort.”
To guide her clients, Serra helps them visualize such “lifestyle scenarios” as someone at the banquette with their laptop and their feet up, perhaps talking to the cook, or a gaggle of kids squeezed in side by side for a snack. She evokes alternative scenarios to “sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor.”
For budget-minded clients, Serra sometimes specifies stock refrigerator cabinets, at least 24 inches deep, with a base to create the proper height for the users. The cabinets then provide extra storage space with doors on the face. The base should be 14 or 15 inches high, she says, with a thick 4- to 5-inch cushion providing added height. “Those banquettes with a 2-inch cushion are not comfortable,” she stresses.
For Salt Lake City architect Warren Lloyd of Lloyd Architects, a breakfast nook in his own kitchen provided a solution to an awkward and narrow spot at the end of the room. “It was a dead end,” Lloyd says of the space where the oven once sat. “It was completely nonfunctional.” Most of all, though, the nook provides a place for breakfast together every morning. “From a family standpoint, it’s great,” Lloyd says. “It’s good for us to be close.”
—Kathy Price-Robinson, a longtime remodeling writer and videographer, maintains Kathy’s Remodeling Blog.