A breakfast nook is one of those things you covet as a kid. The second you slide onto that bench, it’s like you’ve been transported to your very own personal restaurant (except in this case, the bill never comes). But it isn’t just the fact that these banquettes feel like exclusive clubs. They tend to fit more people than your average dining table and can even act as natural dividers in open-concept kitchens. Actually, they work wonders for many types of layouts: small kitchens, big ones, ones with islands, ones with bay windows—we’ve seen it all. Here, we rounded up eight stellar ways to make the most of this cozy seating arrangement.
Play Off the Architecture
This clean-lined kitchen by Crosby Studios is all about that plush pink breakfast nook. Picking up on the silhouette of the archway that separates the galley from the dining space, its half-moon bench and Gubi Beetle chairs bring the room’s curves full circle.
Turn a Corner Into a Destination
A lonely alcove can be transformed into an intentional breakfast spot with the help of a statement-making bench. In this indoor-outdoor kitchen by Australian interiors and architecture studio Alwill, guests can catch the cooking action from a crescent-shaped banquette aimed directly at the island.
Make Every Detail Count
An exaggerated arched floor lamp doubles as one big exclamation point for this two-tone, leather and velvet bench in a Melbourne house by Fieldwork. The curvy table and gallery wall drive the whimsical vibe home.
Keep Flexibility in Mind
A tiny bistro table, like the one seen in this sweet kitchenette at Los Angeles’s Hotel Covell, is easy to scoot out of the way when you want to turn the kitchen into a bona fide dance floor.
Save by Skipping Upholstery
Take some measurements, head to your local hardware store for wood planks, and voilà! A banquette. With the help of their carpenter friend, the owners of this Brooklyn condo created a simple maple wood bench out of basic 2x4s.
Start With Good Views
If you’re struggling to figure out where to situate your banquette, look no further than the most picturesque spot in your home. This XXL banquette (seriously, you could fit your entire extended family and then some) accentuates the giant greenhouse-style window.
Buy a Bench and DIY the Backrest
Jess Bunge made the back cushions for her Parisian-inspired kitchen nook herself with just velvet fabric, plywood, and batting. All that was left to do was affix them to the wall with keyhole hangers and slide in freestanding benches.
Go Curvy for Comfort
For maximum cushiness, Sydney-based designer Tamsin Johnson opted for two bolster backrests over one standard rectangular cushion. Her motto? “A curve is just more comfortable.” She knows the look will last forever because she had her pro upholsterer cover the entire banquette in outdoor-proof fabric—spills and crumbs are no match.