The built-in banquette in Suzanne and Jamie Jarvis’s kitchen turns what could be an awkward corner into a compact dining space. Banquette seating is a built-in bench, similar to those you find in restaurant booths, and it is a great option for tight spaces, because you do not need room to walk behind the seating or to push it out get in, so it takes up a smaller footprint. Work the seat around the shape of the space – you could opt for a simple bench along one side of the table, L-shaped, like the Jarvises, or go for a full U-shape to create a cosy nook. Add comfort to the hard seats with upholstery, or just top with a bench cushion. A pendant light above the table turns the area into a real focal point, and remember that a pedestal or trestle table will make it easier to get in and out.
The red legs on the footstool in the Awberys’ sitting room add warmth and personality to the space, and it is a fun way to introduce a pop of bright colour in an unexpected place. The striking bright red picks up the other crimson accents used through the room, such as the stripe in the plaid on the footstool’s upholstered seat, striped armchair and sofa beyond. Painting the legs of tables or chairs is also a great way to give them a quick update if they have seen better days. When choosing a colour, either pick a tonal shade for a soft, subtle look, or go for a contrasting colour that will stand out and make a statement. Ensure to go for a high-quality, durable paint such as eggshell, which is hardwearing and wipeable, so that the legs can stand up to daily kicks and scuffs.
Isabelle and Oliver Healy’s glazed half wall recalls the glazing in their local French bistros. These partitions are a good way to transform an area or carve out a new room as they take up minimal floor space and will not sacrifice any light. Internal glazing offers myriad uses, from creating a divide between the kitchen and dining area in an open-plan space, as a shower enclosure, or to fit an en suite into an existing bedroom. Crittall frames are enjoying a comeback after their Art Deco heyday, providing a modern touch with a nod to industrial style. For something more minimal, go for a frameless screen, which will divide a space physically, but not visually. If you are after more privacy, opt for frosted glass – combine it with simple frames for the look of traditional Japanese paper screens.