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Blurring the lines between living and dining with a banquette

With decreasing floor space and increasing demand for entertaining at home, finding space for food preparation, dining and living can be difficult. Often something has got to give. But there are ways of combining these separate spaces so that your cocktail bar can become your dining table, which can become your TV area when your guests have left.

The way to combine these areas revolves around the seating and table configuration. Banquette-kitchen-livingåç

A wide banquette or bench along one side of your dining table provides for a more relaxed vibe as well as comfort and a great option for kids. Banquettes can be built in or free standing and can be straight or cornered. What is fantastic about built in banquettes is that they also provide oodles of storage! Beneath the cushioned base, fill your banquette with kitchen and dining utensils that will always be within easy reach.

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Seating banquettes can be straight along a wall or two-sided to fit into a corner. Cornered banquettes are great if you want it to act as a simple couch as well. If this is the case, don't be afraid in making the banquette a little wider than normal. This will make the them much comfier when removing the table and snuggling up for a movie night.



In front of your banquette, place a table of expandable size. The table should be long enough to fit at least 2 people comfortably on each side enabling it to be used as a formal dining room table for 6. Expandable tables are great products as when not necessary, the table can be reduced in size so not to clutter the space. Placing two matching smaller tables side-by-side also works well. If you are wanting to open up the space the tables can be pulled apart and placed on either end of the banquette as side tables instead.


On the other side of your table, opt for some comfortable chairs that will match the banquette and table design. Make sure these chairs match other aspects of your home as when the table is not in use, the chairs can be used in other rooms of the house, which will open up the living area space.

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One of the cleverest uses of space I’ve ever seen was this set up below.


Here, four elegant stools are clustered together to create a coffee table that also doubles as a piece of abstract art. When guests are over for a dinner party, the stools are pulled apart and a table is instead put in the space with the stools surrounding it for seats.

Don’t be afraid of the term ‘foldable table’. This does not mean trestle table nor does it mean a clunky, ugly, collapsible table that is going to make your living room look cheap and nasty.


This table below can be used as a coffee table or dining table depending on the height or surrounding chairs.

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Before designing your kitchen, living and dinning area, sketch a few different floor plan ideas and see what works best for you. With some flexible furniture, one room can become three different living spaces at different times of the day.