July 19, 2024

Take inspiration from these dining spots that blend seamlessly into the home

Banquette dining offers a stylish solution to maximize space utilization while infusing a bespoke touch into your home’s interior design. Its built-in seating optimizes room layout, fostering a cozy, communal atmosphere. This adaptable approach allows for personalized configurations, creating a unique and functional dining space that seamlessly integrates with the overall design aesthetic. Take a closer look at three of our favourite projects augmenting kitchen-dining areas with the beauty of a banquette.

Interior Design
The breakfast nook is intentionally adjacent to a picture window to capture the kids’ curiosity. Photography courtesy of Scott Norsworthy.

Izen Architecture 

Somewhere among the neo-classical opulence of Forest Hill is a cluster of streets where mid-century still reigns supreme. When Izen Architecture’s clients purchased their home in 2019, they knew that whatever updates they did to accommodate their family of five would have to celebrate its history. The studio took that directive to heart, and by the time demolition began, she was stashing away kitchen drawer pulls for later use. The new kitchen makes up most of the ground-floor plan and blends seamlessly into the other spaces.

Banquette Dining
Walnut features heavily throughout the home, a nod to the millwork of its original mid-century design. Photography courtesy of Scott Norsworthy.

The final product is a sophisticated mingling of eras and textures. The kitchen, the “heart” of any 1950s home, projects a softer side. A rounded kitchen island is prime for lingerers or homework-doers. An upholstered banquette, invoking the familiarity of a diner booth, invites bouncy kids and pizza dinners. But in this home, duck a l’orange will work just fine, too.

Banquette Breakfast Nook
This family’s U-shaped kitchen doesn’t fit an island, so their son often plays sous-chef from his perch on the banquette. Photography courtesy of Felix Michaud.

LAMAS Architecture

When it comes to talking design, James Macgillivray weaves skillfully between high-level concepts and real-world applications. He, along with partner Vivian Lee are the duo behind the buzzy architecture firm LAMAS, and it’s quite possible they, who came up in the industry together, speak their own language. Sensibly, when time came to renovate their own home in 2017, they tapped themselves for the job.

Dining Area
The dining room is also casual and approachable with books providing much colour and warmth. Vintage Murano pendant from Zig Zag. Photography courtesy of Felix Michaud.

The home today, a detached in Little Italy, also plays with form vs. function. The kitchen is no exception with an informal dining nook set in a bay window. “It’s cozy,” he says. “And warm. We wanted a place for our son to do his homework while we cooked.” “And when he was younger,” Lee chimes in about the conveniently recessed space, “it was a built-in babysitter.” Form? Check. Function? Check.

Post Architecture
Koy fish print in vinyl tile by the Good Tile lines the back of the butler’s pantry adding additional warmth to the cozy corner banquette. Photography courtesy of Arnaud Marthouret.

Post Architecture

The family of this house knew they wanted a banquette in or near the kitchen area, especially for weekend brunches. “They explained their wish for an eating area that is more casual than a dining area, and more convivial than eating at an island,” says Gloria Apostolou of Post Architecture. “We had to work hard to make the banquette fit in the kitchen area and meet all their storage needs, so a butler’s pantry was built next to it, which was intended to look more like furniture, rather than an extension of the kitchen.”

Kitchen Design
It was a challenge to get enough storage in a room that also serves as a passage to the living room. Photography courtesy of Gloria Apostolou.

Storage was also built into the banquette seating. Putting the pantry and banquette on one side of the room helped to separate the function of serving drinks and snacks from the function of cooking, which keeps traffic flow very clean.