It’s cold outside but why go out when you can grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa with the kids and enjoy a little down time in your own slice of paradise?  These days it’s out with the formal (and stuffy) living room and in with the casual eat-in kitchen/family room.  Make the area where the family congregates for breakfast, snacks and even homework a cozy and stylish nook by incorporating a banquette (built-in bench).  Have fun mixing and matching chairs with interesting upholstery to reflect your own personal chic style.

Aerin Lauder kitchen nook Elle decor

Aerin Lauder uses a breezy blue geometric patterned fabric on her chairs and banquette and personalizes the space with art and personal photos.  Photos courtesy of Elle Decor.

bankuette with rattan lamp

This eclectic eat-in area pairs a pink table base with a rectangle wood top.  The pillows blend interesting stripes and patterns.  The vintage rattan lamp tops off the nook giving it a beach-inspired vibe.

Banquette with white table

This cozy corner is brightened up with contrasting bright fabric in the form of pillows and upholstered chairs surrounding a vintage Saarinen Tulip Table.

Black and pink kitchen nook

Pink and a faux zebra stripe work well in this French-feeling breakfast nook.

kitchen bench nook

This built-in bench with a soft velvet upholstered cushion and pillows is a great place to curl up with a book.

kitchen nook with ikea chairs and banquette

These rattan chairs and pendant lamp from Ikea create a coastal oasis in this kitchen.

serena and lily banquette

Serena and Lily’s yellow, gray and black patterned pillows on this banquette give it a modern look without being too stark.

Surfer chic banquette

This large banquette is totally surfer chic.  Photo courtesy of Coastal Living.

striped banquette

banquette from CA Home and Design

Fun stripes are always sunny and fashionable and vinyl means easy clean up if young kids are eating here.Ballard Designs coventry bench

If you can’t commit to a built-in, Ballard Designs makes the moveable Coventry bench in different sizes, configurations and can be customized using their many fabric choices (or get creative and upholster with your own choice.)

west elm elton bench

West Elm also has the Elton upholstered bench with tufting for a more sophisticated look.

World Market Hayden dining bench

And World Market now offers the Hayden dining banquette bench at a bargain price.

Better hurry before the relatives get here.

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