Banquettes are sofas which are usually built-in or fitted to the wall, often armless which have a more tailored look. They create a more intimate space. I think they're sexy, practical and offer a sophisticated alternative to a standard sofa.

Pronounced: Bahgn-kette

Their Origins

(Source: Royal Mansour, Marrakech)
Bedouins originally sat on pillows and carpets which after centuries turned into built-in banquettes filled with throw pillows in wonderful luxurious textiles.

This Villa in Greece is purely authentic and that's exactly what we like about it.


(Designer: WADesign)
Fresh. Instead of cluttering this modern house up with the usual Design Within Reach stuff, this built-in banquette enhances the rooms clean lines. The ethnic pillows soften it and make it more user friendly.

(Designer: Sarah Richardson)
A small living room utilizes a banquette for dining and extra seating. It creates a clean-lined look and the tufting creates texture.

(Source: Beautiful Habitat)
The perfect chiaroscuro effect with the white Saarinen table against the brown backdrop.

(Designers: Jacques and Agnes Cho)
A small French cottage has cozy banquettes flanking the stove; sofas and chairs would look cluttered and disrupt the clean architectural lines of the room.

(Designer: Barry Dixon)
Dixon knocks its out of the park with this delicious banquette tucked into a link between rooms... It definitely beats the ubiquitous chest-mirror-lamp formula.

(Source: Pottery Barn)
Twin beds are used here as a banquette; they offer storage and two extra bunks for guests. The "French mattress" style cushions are definitely not from Pottery Barn.

(Designer: Toby Fairly)
Perfect, pull the curtains and git jiggy wid'it.

(Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright)
Wright used banquettes as he liked simple, built-in and organic.

(Source: Achados de Decoracao)
LOVE this alternative seating area in this living room. Get a book and chillax up in here.

(Source: The Brooklyn Home Co.)
Low-budge and beautiful; this inexpensive banquette is sooo simple - it is what it is, cheap and chic.

(Source: Nest Egg)
For the fussy southern gal who wants to live in Provence but is stuck in Little Rock... This pretty corner can be used for cards, small meals.

(Designer: Melissa Rufty)
Banquette in a foyer? It works perfectly as large parties need more seating for guests. Also, it's nice to wait for your ride - or throw your crap on!

(Source: Beautiful Habitat)
This handsome built-in is in a fills space and looks cozy and inviting


(Designer: Phoebe Howard)
This small dining room feels like a private restaurant and it's not feeling crammed because the banquette disappears and takes away the feeling of "too much wood."

(Designer: Phoebe Howard)
Try getting this much seating in a room this size without a banquette!

(Designer: James Michael Howard)
Who doesn't have enough storage, raise your hands?

(Source: Chicago Home and Garden)
Very Chicago, clean lined modern! (would a seat cushion kill ya?)

(Source: Traditional Home)
Want a place to sit other than the breakfast bar or in the dining room?
This cozy banquette is swanky!

(Source: AJC Homefinder)
Monochromatic scheme, antique for patina and built-in upholstery, done.

(Source: Cote de Texas)
A largely scaled armless banquette glances the scale of the room.

(Designers: Keith McNally)
This old farmhouse's banquette scream relax!


(Designer: Penny Drew Baird)
There ain't no way to get five chairs into that corner, but that built-in banquette makes it possible.

(Designer: Tracery Interiors)
And for you country-lovin' folk...
A sofa acting like a banquette provides a comfy seat for coffee and the paper with the TV on.

(Designer: Toby Fairly)
This banquette with its back against the island eliminates the standard 42" needed between the table and island for chairs.

(Designer: Bill Barr)
A Zen-inspired banquette?
Modern simplicity is the point here; clutter is eliminated by not using six or eight chairs.

(Designer: White Wave Design)
Old house with no room for seating?
Carve out a small nook next to a window and use an old table for patina - its charming and cozy.

(Designer: JPM Design)
You can seat four or six on the banquette when the kids bring friends over. Antique chairs and table temper the crispness of all the built-ins.

(Source: Coastal Living)
This feels like a boat with the mahogany trim and white paint! Handsome, compact and very useful. (I mean the banquette, not him)...


(Designer: Suzanne Kassler)
This banquette definitely looks custom! This isn't only a dining space, but a cocktail, coffee or tea space.

(Source: Barry Dixon)
Tuscany calling on line two:
This funky banquette is fun, it creates interest and works with the Italian-country flavor.

(Designer: Amy Bergman)


(Designer: Joe Minton)
A sofa jammed in there would look 'tight,' but this custom banquette creates a broad, lineal spot of color and comfort.

(Designer: Schoos Design Group)
This architecturally interesting banquette is perfect for this small bedroom and can be a third bunk if guests have a kid.


(Source: Australian Home and Life)
Large open decks needs large pieces to make them feel less like a 'country club' with lots of furniture everywhere.

(Source: Joseph Paul Davis)
These two semi-circular banquettes on this terrace in Capri are perfect for 'afternoon siestas' or seating 30 guests at a buffet dinner.

(Source: House Beautiful)
This banquette rocks the Casbah with its stucco form and comfy cushions jazzed up with multi-colored pillows.

(Source: Casa Diseno )
When you're next to the sea you have two constants; wind and salt spray. Here, the glass panels help keep the wind diverted while the deck and banquette are in California redwood which resists the salty weather. The seat and back cushions are covered in outdoor fabrics which can withstand anything nature throws at them, and they're flat and large - thus increasing their weight so the wind has less ability to lift them.

(Designer: Lynn Morgan)
Porches need banquettes too! A place to sit and pull your gardening boots on and off, or sit out of the sun while watching the kids play.

(Source: Gap Interiors)
Got Roof? Do something with it! The built-in banquette is perfect as it won't blow away and the large wicker trunk/table is for storing the blue pillows when not in use.

You can do it, I'm here to help!