I am regularly approached for "a word" of design advice. What would YOU do in this and that case?
This is not a rare occurrence and as flattering as it is to be asked, giving advice for a space you usually have not seen is at best tricky.
Hence, this column: 
I will post  general advice in answer to non site-specific questions I have been asked. 
You may participate, of course. 
That would be so much fun. 
Just keep it relatively general, if you could. 


Brooke: I have a very limited space to devote to an eating area. What can I do to maximize it in terms of size and style?

One of the best solutions for fitting an eating area in a small space is a banquette. The word comes from the French for a small bench, un petit banc.
 banquette's great advantage lies in the fact that it stays stationary and thus does not need the footage necessary for, say, a chair to be pulled out to sit. You slide along to find your place and the table is at the right distance automatically. Of course, once there if you have someone on each side of you, you are stuck for the duration of the meal, which is the bad and the good news depending on your wish... to get up to help. Or not.

The configuration of the space available to you is also a factor in your choice. There are a few possibilities. You have a corner, a long wall, a small space between 2 cabinets.I'll illustrate the options.
Beforehand, remember that you must have a chair height banquette if you choose to have your meals there at a normal height table.(~ 17/19". ~50/55cm) The same applies to a sofa used for that purpose. 

The "booth"
the most compact, no chairs required

The L shape
the most common, the most flexible

The straight banquette
the most versatile,  tucks almost in anywhere

The dining sofa
the most formal, the utmost comfort guaranteed
images: rol.vn, coreasotropa, decorpad, houzz, kitchen and bath ideas, belle maison, my best friend craig

If you have a topic you may want me to analyze or any design question you would like answered, let me know at un petit commentaire below. It would be so much fun for me to put my 2 cents in. 

au revoir.


  1. Your design solution is perfect! I love the freestanding banquettes so you can move the seating about. In fact I’ve been giving banquettes a lot of thought for an area in my home, my living room where we like to play cards and such.

  2. YES, love the dining sofa! A banquette is a great addition to most rooms, but hard to get comfortable. Here at work we have details of how to make them the most comfortable and not feel like a church bench that we're always careful to use. These include an incline for the back and a generous toe kick so that the back of your legs don't rest against the woodwork.