Monday, June 20, 2011

Dining Family Style

One of my favourite new house ideas is a banquette.  

I really love a banquette.  I always choose booth seating at a restaurant.  I love the cozy, comfortable feel of soft seating.  But I wonder, is it too casual to use in a space with only one dining area?  

This is technically a sofa pulled up to the table but the effect would be the same as a built-in banquette.  Can't you just picture a big group of friends cozy around the table with wine and delicious food and great conversation?

Eventually, I want to open up the space between the dining and kitchen areas.  I want an island in the kitchen with stools and a separate dining table. The kitchen faces the dining room, which has a beautiful leaded glass bay window in it.  I would love to build a pretty bench into the bay area.  But there is no other 'formal' dining room in the house.  

I should mention that we don't, in any way, live a formal life.  The people we invite to our table to share a meal with us usually also share in the prep work and bring their children.  We live in a very casual, informal way.  

I love the colour scheme and beachy feel of the above banquette.  I would always choose the window seat.

This one is pretty casual, more like a breakfast room.  I love the linen textiles and that amazing light fixture.

This nook perfectly represents what I would call 'my style'.  I might choose a slightly different colour scheme but the feel of the room is just right to me.  

And the feel of the room is what is important, right?  I don't want to live in a space with a bunch of rooms I don't actually use.  In fact, real estate in my neighbourhood simply doesn't allow for it.  And I have a big rectangular antique table that would look perfect pulled up to a banquette.

Think it's okay to live that informally?  Does a house need a formal dining space?  


{all images via my pinterest}


  1. I have the same exact dilemma (though we're still probably a few years away from actually renovating the kitchen/bringing down the wall between kitchen/dining room). My husband prefers the idea of a formal living room - but, without an eat-in kitchen (and 2 kids under 5) - there's no "formality" in our house either. If we push the table against the window wall and use a banquette - it will open up the space much more. If we had a table in the middle of the dining room space - the island/breakfast bar would be pretty cramped. Can't wait to see if you try this!!

  2. Oh! My dining room is similar to the first photo and we've often thought about a banquette - thanks for the lovely ideas!!