An old seat­ing so­lu­tion is win­ning new fans as a stylish de­sign op­tion for any room, writes Chelsea Clark

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FOCUS -

Once the do­main of Mid-Cen­tury de­sign, 1950s-style din­ers and up-scale restau­rants, the ban­quette is fast be­com­ing a must-have in mod­ern homes.

Ver­sa­tile and space-sav­ing, it can work in vir­tu­ally any room but is most pop­u­lar in din­ing spa­ces which in­clude the ris­ing star of con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior de­sign — the break­fast nook.

“Our cul­ture is heav­ily cen­tred on en­ter­tain­ing and so­cial gath­er­ings,” architect Alex Roth says. “This, mixed with our ob­ses­sion with the re­fined and the ‘mul­ti­func­tional’ space, makes us seek ar­chi­tec­tural and in­te­rior el­e­ments which al­low for many uses for a va­ri­ety of peo­ple.

“The ban­quette seat is a great ex­am­ple of mixed and multi-use ob­jects and is both a func­tional tool while be­ing a fun and aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing piece.”

In fact data from on­line in­te­ri­ors in­spi­ra­tion site, Pin­ter­est, sug­gests the de­sign in­dus­try’s grow­ing ob­ses­sion with ban­quettes isn’t just anec­do­tal.

Year on year, the num­ber of peo­ple search­ing the term ‘break­fast nook’ has in­creased by 210 per cent, while peo­ple look­ing for in­struc­tions on con­struct­ing their own ban­quette has risen 100 per cent.

Less space, bet­ter de­signed

In­te­rior de­signer James Tre­ble says ban­quettes are pop­u­lar in our ever-shrink­ing floor­plans as they take up less floor space than con­ven­tional seat­ing such as stand-alone chairs or benches.

“They work well in dif­fi­cult-to-fur­nish cor­ners or nar­row spa­ces where ta­bles and chairs would be sim­ply too tight to work ef­fi­ciently,” he says.

And it’s not just in din­ing spa­ces this ver­sa­tile seat­ing al­ter­na­tive can shine.

Alex says: “While you gen­er­ally link ban­quettes with the din­ing space of the home, I be­lieve that they can be adapted to work in many ar­eas of a house.

“Ex­am­ples of this are out­doors spa­ces where you can cre­ate ex­te­rior seat­ing and en­ter­tain­ment ar­eas. Creating a ca­bana or luxury seat­ing around your pool is also easy to achieve by us­ing ban­quette seat­ing.”

Do your own thing

If you’re think­ing of do­ing it your­self, James says to first con­sider what you want from it.

“De­pend­ing upon your level of DIY skills, a ban­quette can be a home­made job for the handy­man or handy­woman around the home,” he says.

In this space by The De­sig­nory, stor­age is a key part of its de­sign. Pic­ture: Tom Fer­gu­son

An up­hol­stered seat and back in this space by Brett Mickan In­te­rior De­sign makes it the best seat in the house.

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