Whew. Comment Explosion.

Who knew a half-baked banquette idea could bring on the chatter like that? Over 800 comments within a few hours time? Insanity. We’re loving all of the ideas and suggestions that you guys are throwing into the pot and promise to keep you posted every step of the way! There are definitely a lot more things to consider and nothing’s set in stone, so I think we’ll probably change our plan by the minute. But you know we’ll gab incessantly about it to anyone who’s willing to listen as we go.

In the meantime, since I should be painting office cabinets (but haven’t had a second to tear myself away from the blog), I thought it would be fun to share this awesome rendering that a sweet (and apparently very good at Photoshop) reader named Amber sent our way:

Now can you kind of start to picture it? Of course lots of things might be different (the counter might not be that color, the table might not be that shape/color, the lights may change/move, the floor will change, the cabinets won’t be brown and have eyeballs on them, there might be open shelves on the back of the banquette instead of just cabinetry, etc). Basically nothing that you see up there is “for sure,” but it definitely helps us start to picture it. So we thought sharing it might help you guys too. And a big wet kiss goes out to Amber for her ninja-like photoshop skillz.

I think the hardest thing for people to “see” before this rendering (us included) is that the banquette won’t block any more of the room than the table that used to sit there did. And people sitting at the banquette will have the same open POV that they would have had at the table (since the banquette seating will be the same height as table seating). And the countertops behind the banquette will also be around the same height as the base cabinets in the room. So hopefully it won’t feel closed off at all (everyone can see over base cabinets… well, except for Clara and Burger). Look, here’s John faux sitting in the new area now:

Now that we see this we’re thinking it could be cute to even add two small stools to the back of the banquette so that the closest-to-the-kitchen countertop could be used as a casual seating area too. Not sure though, because it might also be great prep space. And I can definitely picture us using it to set out things like appetizers if we’re entertaining. It’s all complete speculation and guess work at this point! But thanks again for all of the suggestions this morning. Who knows where we’ll end up!

On and there were actually a few folks who thought seating that faced the hallway and the fireplace was less intuitive than something that faced the work area of the kitchen, but we like the counter being the close part to the work area, and also think the two best views of the room are the frame wall and the fireplace. Plus I’m not mad at the fact that I wouldn’t have to look at a sink full of dirty dishes when I’m relaxing in my nook. Haha. Also because that fireplace is in the corner of the room, turning the L to face the other way (with the seating looking back at the prep area of the kitchen) wouldn’t solve the balance issue that the L-shaped arrangement does when it faces the fireplace. Hopefully this sketch makes more sense of the reasons why (top setup: what we want to do, bottom setup: what it would look like flipped):

See how that fireplace in the corner would make way less sense that way? Sorry for not including a sketch like this in this morning’s post for ya.

Anyway, you’ll have to excuse me, I have some office cabinetry to paint. I bought some new stuff last night (Benjamin Moore Advance paint) and I hear it’s awesome for cabs, so I can’t wait to pop back in with all those details – probably early next week if I ever get all those coats done and snap some photos. Anyone else painting cabinets? Or dreaming of banquettes?

Psst- We just announced this week’s giveaway winners. Click here to see if you’re one of them!


    • bridget b. says

      hey, no fair commenting before reading! :) so in my mind, i’m officially the first commenter. lol!

  1. bridget b. says

    wow! that image really does help. from the kitchen and dining room, it basically looks like an island until you go to the side where there is seating.

    you guys are so visionary!

  2. Lisa says

    Wow, Amber did a GREAT job helping everyone visualize this! I wasn’t sold on it before, but this has totally convinced me that it would work beautifully! (I also love that the peak into the dining room shows wainscoting on the walls..I see another project being added to your list!)

  3. Heather W says

    What is going on. I could see all your pics on the blog yesterday and now they are gone???? What changed. I can see your wedding pics still and your old house tour most of those pics are there but your current house tour pics are not there just a white box with a red x. All was fine yesterday.??????

    • says

      So sorry- nothing on our end changed. We have stored our photos in the same spot for the last three years. Maybe your office blocked them? Or it’s just a passing glitch?


    • Heather W says

      It looks like the address under properties for some of your pics are different.

      I can see all wedding pics except one and all of the old house tour pics except a few etc. Anything lately I can’t see anymore.

      Under the post from two days ago where you show your kitchen cabinet drawer w/your tools to show it painted but the inside still wood. That is the only pic I can see but the property address for that is http;??ww.younghouselove.comp wp-content/uploads2009/04web/kitchendrawers.for

      Pics I can’t see have an address under properties that have

      So there is a difference now that is impacting my computer at work which has had no changes made to it. So any pics with out the amazon address are not showing now but other pics that don’t have that under the properties will???? Just wanted to let you know. so disappointed……;(

    • says

      Yes, very few photos on our site are stored on our actual site server (the ones that you can still see). The reason for this is because when we store more on our YHL server we crash almost instantaneously. There’s just no wiggle room for the hundreds of pics we post each month. So we pay around 12K a year (ouch) to store them on amazon.cloud, which we have been doing for the past three years. They’ve always been there and we didn’t change anything, but we’re so sorry your office or computer is blocking them for some reason. We wish there was something we could do on our end!


    • Heather W says

      oops meant with amazon address won’t show. If pic doesn’t have amazon address is still showing. Sorry.

    • says

      It’s weird, as of this morning I too can not see the photos – and I’m friends with the tech guy and he said nothing changed. Not that I read blogs at work. :)
      It’s extra weird because none of the ads are blocked, which would be more likely to happen in this office.

    • says

      So sorry for the trouble Jane (and Heather W!) – we did hear from a few others who couldn’t see pics this morning and they’re inexplicably back now, so maybe it’s some sort of regional glitch?! Wish we could do things on our end, but photos aren’t something we really do anything with. We just upload them and put them into the post and click publish. And the hosting site/uploading method has been the same for the past 3 years. Sad you can’t see things though!


    • Heather W. says

      PICS ARE BACK… PICS ARE BACK!!!!! It hasn’t worked all day and just now thought I would try again and pics are there. I knew nothing had changed at work.. Wierd.. Oh well I can dry my tears now :) whoop whoop! Just wanted to let you know.

  4. says

    I resisted commenting on the previous banquette post because I wasn’t sure if I was feeling it yet. I wanted to let it sink in and see if I was buying what you’re selling… Haha. But after seeing this post, I had to comment. I’m liking it. The visual mockup really helps to picture what it’ll look like! It’s unusual, but in a fresh, fun, unique way… not in a what were they thinking way. I agree with the open shelving that you mentioned or glass doors that a commenter came up with. I can’t wait to see what you come up with (for this project and the new desk)!

  5. Lindsay says

    Awesome image! I love how she removed the wall going into the dining room too. I agree that this is the best layout. At first I thought you would want it open to the kitchen but it makes sense that you don’t want to stare at any mess you may have in there. I think putting a couple seats against the back of it would be good too. Especially for when Clara gets older.

  6. says

    Sorry for the double comment, but also if you got those narrow stools they may be able to tuck right under the hypothetical counter. Voila, no issue with the prep space!

  7. Stephanie says

    Ha, yeah I’m now trying to scroll back thru to see if my comment is still there and it’s all wonky! This is definitely a hot button topic!

  8. says

    I could picture it before I saw the photoshop images, which were extremely generous! Looks like a great solution. A place to put your stuff NEAR the kitchen table but not ON the kitchen table is brilliant! Good luck painting!

  9. says

    I think that the banquette actually saves the fireplace. Especially if it’s opened up to the living room. Just imagine sitting around a cozy comfy banquette playing board games with friends sipping hot cocoa around the fireplace. It will bring that ‘sitting around a campfire’ feeling into your kitchen and you’ll have it year ’round. I’m completely jealous.

    • Sarah W. in Oregon says

      I agree. This idea totally blew my mind. It’s brilliant. That designer is super talented.

  10. Valerie says

    I love it… when Clara is ready to help you cook she can stand on the bench site with you guys on the opposite side so it’s perfect for both your heights…

  11. Rebecca Torres says

    It looks like a cute idea… but it eats up so much space and makes the kitchen area look smaller as well as making the clear walkway disappear…. I would like to suggest an alternative that you may like. You know where your wall oven is? add a counter next to there that can be somewhat in your someday to be bigger wall opening somewhat, kind of making an L shape coming out of the wall.. this way you can more easily get to your counter space without having to walk so much, (which really helps when cooking) as well as having a seating/appetizer ready area on the other side of the counter where your guests can be seated as you prepare meals( or John and Clara ) :). You will also have room for a small table like you wanted (sans the banquette/unless you put it in the corner..?) It also makes the kitchen a little bit a part of the dining room which makes the two spaces seem larger. I could draw this up for you if you would like. I just think maybe you should look at an alternative that isn’t so awkward/ space consuming. I am not a designer or anything, just making a suggestion. BTW- I love your blog! :P

    • says

      Thanks for the idea! We must admit we’re pretty excited about going down this route, but we know some folks would do things differently if it were their house! We fear that another table with the opening to the dining room nearby is just one table too many (two tables “in a row” kind of feel odd, which is why we love the banquette solution since it breaks them up). We also think since there will be so many nice airy doorways into the room that it’ll feel open and not too crowded (it’s a 25′ long room- so it really feels big in person!). We’ll just have to see where we end up!


    • denise says

      I like this idea a lot! I’ve been thinking since I read the original banquette idea this morning that the fireplace end of the room would look so great set up as a “keeping room” area with a couple of cushy chairs or even a loveseat. That would give seating for people to hang out while others are working in the kitchen and it would also provide a much more comfy place to sit by the fireplace. The solution of having a peninsula counter added would provide counter seating so there would be an area for homework, breakfast, etc.

      Really just a thought…it’s fun being able to dream up someone else’s room! I do like the banquette idea quite a bit as well.

      And btw, I have used the BM Advance paint to paint some cabinets recently. I love it for its self-leveling properties and its soap-and-water cleanup. But I will say that it took LOTS of coats (4 or 5?) to cover my white cabinets with a medium brown paint. Now that they’re done, they look terrific…very smooth and enamel-like.

    • Meredith says

      LOVE LOVE the peninsula idea coming off the wall where the wall oven is. I just moved from a house with a peninsula and it was fantastic. Prep on the inside, “kitchen side” and bar seating on the other side. This is where my kids ate breakfast, after school snacks, did homework – so much easier to prep a PPJ sandwich and slide the plate over to them then carry it across the room with a counter in between. I loved that they could face me while we worked on prep. We usually kept 3 stools there but in a pinch could seat 5. You could still make a cozy sitting area facing the fireplace as a cool hang out spot.

    • says

      I think we just worry that creating a peninsula and then still having another area behind it to deal with (which wouldn’t be as big with the peninsula there) would be more of a challenge – and just break things up more. But a friend of mine had a peninsula and it looked great in her space!


  12. Marie says

    I think it is beautiful, but as mommy I would say be sure that beautiful banquette has nice smoothed edges and no sharp corners. I vowed never to have furniture with sharp corners, growing up in my house the coffee table always seemed to reach out and grab you as you walked by. May save you a trip to the ER :)

    • Amy says

      I love this tip! I’m VERY clumsy and I have had so many bruises from hitting sharp furniture. The banquette is a great idea!

    • says

      I was reluctant to share this comment, because of the huge response (and it may be buried in there somewhere), BUT I liked the curved upholstered banquet on the board for this space and for the round/oval table. You could still put cabinets in back and a counter on top. The cabinets could be angled to form a rough curve and the counter could be curved.

    • Rebecca says

      I agree… the sharp corner on the L could be scary with little ones running around… maybe a rounded corner? I’m really starting to love the banquette idea!

  13. says

    I love the idea of the L-shaped Banquette table. Growing up, we had a booth in my kitchen and it was so cozy to sit in after school and have an after school snack and do homework there. It was also a good chance to be near my mom while she prepped dinner without being in her way. I can see Clara hanging out there down the road or having all of her friends pile around the table for breakfast during a sleepover.