Trend Watch: Stylish Ways to Include Bench Seating in Your Kitchen and Dining Room

It’s no secret that the kitchen has long been considered as a communal place to lounge, the favourite gathering place for family and friends to share a meal or meet to chat over coffee.

Photo: BHG

While built-in benches, banquettes and booths are nothing new in kitchen design, they have been making a comeback in an area where kitchen islands and breakfast bars have dominated.

Photo: James Yochum

Banquettes and booths provide a soft, inviting feel to a kitchen dining area, immediately transforming it from a place to sit into a place to linger.

Photo: Nat Rea

“They are so cozy and social, it’s like having a restaurant booth at your house,” says Monarch designer Jackie Schagen.

Photo: Westwind

In addition to offering more of your guests a place to sit — a bench that seats three will take up the same space of two single chairs — benches can make your dining space feel less cluttered and can give the entire room a ‘cleaner’ look.

Photo: House & Garden
Photo: EK

Banquettes also offer great space-saving benefits for small homes, nooks of space, or cramped corners.

Photo: BHG

A corner built-in banquette allows for extra seating around a small table.

Photo: BHG

And for smaller kitchens where cabinetry space is limited, a bench allows for added storage.

Photo: BHG

When it’s time to furnish the dining room, we often consider a table surrounded by individual chairs as the only option, but bench seating can be a viable alternative, especially if you live in a smaller home or condominium.