Banquette seating is the name for built in seating around a table in a kitchen or dining room. Basically the custom seating is built buy a carpenter, to specifications of the space you have to work with. The typical shape is either U or L shaped. The banquette is built and a table is place in front of the built in.
This custom seating project is typically made of wood and topped with seat cushions and back pillows are placed against the wall. Extra seating can be added to the open side by pulling up chairs or adding a bench. These specific built ins can be made with accessible storage below, by hinging the wood part of the seat to the base. Simply remove the cushion and open the lid.
The amount of storage that can be provided can add ten to twenty cubic feet of extra storage. This is a good place to store seasonal dishware and decorations and possibly even cumbersome cooking equipment. This type of seating is also very functional because it can seat four or more people very comfortably, depending on the size of the area. Banquette seating is perfect for eat in kitchens for a family of four or more.
Make sure to hire a professional to complete this custom project. Most cabinet makers can make this for you. A professional should come to the home, find out your seating needs, take measurements and come up with a design for your approval. This project is not something you should take on yourself.
The back and seat cushions will need to be made by a custom upholsterer. The seat cushions should be rectangular with a foam insert (called poly core) at the center and wrapped with upholstery wrap. Stay away from down ticking for dining seating. Down ticking is a more luxurious material for formal living rooms. Any spills on the cushions would be absorbed by the down and cause mold to grow. Select a stain treated upholstery fabric that will keep spills from being absorbed.
The table can be store bought and the seating can be made specific to the table height. The other option is to have the cabinet maker, build a simple table out of wood with a sturdy pedestal base. The pedestal base is key for comfortable leg space under the table. The table can be made with legs, but once you add legs, the amount of extra chairs that you can add to the banquette becomes limited.