Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Freestanding Pantry Ideas

Short on storage and space? No worries. These stylish go-anywhere pantry designs house everything from baking pans and cooking staples to party supplies -- exactly where you need them most. As a bonus, many of these units are transportable so they can travel with you when you move.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Subway Tile Backsplashes

When it comes to a classic backsplash, nothing beats the traditional subway tile. Subway tiles make cleaning up kitchen messes a quick and easy task, plus the variety to choose from seems almost infinite. One thing is for sure, subway tile will never go out of style.

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Built-In Banquette Ideas

As the benchmark of kitchen furniture, banquettes are the perfect addition to any dining area. We've gathered a collection of the most popular styles to teach you how a banquette can add extra seating space, storage, and style to your space.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Cozy Banquette

      Banquettes don't have to hug all available walls. A built-in window bench boosts seating in this casual eating area without adding clutter to the room flow. Bright blue cushions and patterned throw pillows add a splash of visual interest to the soft dining area and adjoining kitchen.

    • Dainty Breakfast Nook

      Banquette seating doesn't need to be abundant to be useful. This small wraparound bench tucks snugly into an unused corner of this bright cottage kitchen. Soft seat cushions and throw pillows add comfort so the banquette can easily be converted into a cozy window seat outside of meal times.

    • Semicircular Banquette

      Banquettes lend a casual alternative to formal dining spaces. This small, semicircular built-in is perfect for family meals or for enjoying your morning coffee and paper in comfort and style. The table bears a dainty circular tabletop that tucks perfectly into the bench seating. A dining chair and a garden stool provide extra seating for entertaining without causing the small space to look cramped.

    • Space-Savvy Banquette

      Banquettes naturally feel cozy, but a narrow space makes it hard for people to get in and out. A circular tabletop promotes easier entry into this sunny dining area, where two large window benches provide plenty of seating for dining, homework, and more. Surrounded by three window walls, the dining space looks light and airy despite a rich wood table and flooring.

    • Designer Tips for Your Best Kitchen

      Hear what designers have to say about creating your best kitchen!

    • Dining Room Banquette

      Bench seating need not be reserved for breakfast nooks. Banquettes are also a great solution for small dining rooms. Here, a large bank of windows creates the perfect backdrop for a sleek black built-in bench paired with a modern white dining table and wooden chairs. In lieu of a high back, large lime green pillows provide back support on the bench as well as a splash of color, while bold black-and-white patterned pillows add character and visual interest.

    • Banquette with Open Shelving

      Banquettes make use of often-unused spaces in a kitchen or dining room. This banquette, which occupies a small nook, was designed to incorporate open shelving and display space for collectibles and dishware within easy reach of the table. An eclectic mix of materials, wood finishes, patterns, and accessories create a casual and inviting look.

    • Windowed Breakfast Nook

      The addition of an overhead window brightens up this cozy breakfast nook. A built-in L-shape bench pairs with a simple kitchen table and wooden dining chairs to take advantage of an awkward bump-out. Although natural light is abundant during the daytime, a low-hanging chandelier ensures family dinners and dinner parties can last well into the evening hours.

    • Bay Window Banquette

      When wall space is at a premium, windows make great backdrops for bench seating. Here, a banquette tucks snugly into a sunlit bay window to take advantage of often-unused space. The result is a formal dining room feel that uses up only one wall of the kitchen. In addition to abundant seating, the bench features lower drawers that provide storage for table linens and other dining room accessories.

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      Bump-Out Banquette

      A potentially awkward bump-out creates the perfect spot to tuck in banquette seating. This large U-shape bench creates seating that can accommodate everything from casual family dinners to entertaining to homework time. The freestanding kitchen table was designed to suit the bump-out's proportions and to echo the rustic wooden ceiling beams overhead.

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      Formal and Feminine Banquette

      Banquettes need not be limited to casual dining areas -- they can translate just as well into a formal kitchen space. Here, a semicircular bench fits snugly beneath a bright window to make use of an empty kitchen corner. Vintage accessories, such as the sparkly chandelier and the ornate mirror frame, create an elegant, feminine vibe and help to break up stark white walls, furniture, and fabrics.

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      Window Seat Banquette

      A window seat and a cozy upholstered cushion make this sunny banquette possible. Eye-catching trim and molding draw attention to the breakfast nook to set it off as the room's focal point. A trio of freestanding chairs provides more seating around the dainty wooden dining table.

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      Oval Banquette

      This home's rounded window wall offers the perfect shape for a spacious banquette. The oval table echoes the gentle curve of the bench, which fits snugly between two built-in display units. Additional chairs easily accommodate more guests and can be moved to transform the table into a buffet area while entertaining.

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      Banquette as Room Divider

      Thoughtfully placed banquettes can help to define an open floor plan. Here, a built-in banquette creates definition between a large family room and kitchen while providing a space for laid-back family dinners. Coral prints hung on the wall inspired the fabric for the seat cushion, which also extends into the adjoining living room space.

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      Versatile Corner Banquette

      Two window walls create the perfect backdrop for this corner banquette. Accented by three bright blue wall panels and outfitted with handy under-seat storage drawers, the banquette is both stylish and functional. An extra chair provides more seating that can be easily moved to accommodate a buffet or drink station while entertaining.

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      Breakfast Nook Banquette

      Banquettes not only contribute seating to a kitchen, but they can also supply extra storage. Here, a storage-clad, L-shape bench wraps around a sunny corner of this family kitchen. The under-seat storage provides the perfect place to stow away table linens, dishware, and more.

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      L-Shaped Banquette

      When storage isn't needed, a "floating" banquette seat offers an airy look and added opportunity. In this tiny breakfast nook, a boxier banquette would have proved too bulky. Supported by two simple brackets and paired with a sleek modern table, this light bench makes the most of a small space.

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      Next Slideshow Breakfast Nook Ideas

      Breakfast Nook Ideas

      Large or small, breakfast nooks are a perfect way to make the most of extra space in or near your kitchen. Get breakfast nook design ideas, see how to add a breakfast nook with storage, and how to tuck one just about anywhere.
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