Bonnie Kaye Studio

Creative Project at Home: The Banquette Room

Creative Project at Home: The Banquette Room

Y'all!  I love, love, love interiors but never before have I worked on a room from scratch.  Don't believe all the HGTV lies.  It was annoyingly slow.  It was a long 6-month process where I had to just surrender to the process -- and wait for things to be made by others or be patient on myself to find the time to get things done.  All in all, though, I am so pleased with our new banquette room.  I'm now transfixed from the mountains of Tennessee to a sunny, fresh French cafe.  

We bought our house in Johnson City, TN (it's a hour north of Asheville, NC) almost two years ago and this room was by far the most underutilized space, so we decided to start here with updating.  Here's a litte bit of my creative process. 

The room itself is somewhat small, around 12' x 6', nestled between our kitchen and more formal dining room.  And it gets a ton of light.  It makes a great more casual eat-in area, but there's not enough space to fully walk around a table, thus the idea of a banquette came about.  And having a new baby in the house, I wanted a space that felt family-friendly and not as formal as our main dining room.  We also live in a house built in 1908, located in a historical area of our town, so we wanted a design that fit the history of the home, without feeling too stuffy.

I started with a digital "sketch" or mood board of how I envisioned the space.

We hired one of my husband's former colleague's husbands (got that straight?) who does woodworking on the side to build the banquette bench.  He had previous built us some built-in bookshelves in my husband's office, so we knew his work was high quality.

Next came the cushions and table.  Since the bench was a custom size, we knew that the cushions and table would both have to be custom as well.  Luckily, we have worked with a fantastic upholsterer in the past that we knew could make the cushions.  A pretty penny, but worth it.  I had sourced some rod iron pedestal table legs that I had fallen in love with, and we found a local craftsman to make the zinc table top.  And then I finally got rid of that green paint color that I couldn't stand.

I was surprised to find real rattan chairs (opposed to fake aluminum ones that are pretty common) at Pier 1 at an "affordable" price, which I felt were a must for the look and feel of the room.  I was also pleasantly shocked to discover a fabulous lighting shop on Etsy with some beautiful designs.  While it's not always possible to support a local business or maker (hence Pier 1), I felt good about this room being more of a collection of artisan-made rather than all new from a big box store.  

At this point, we were basically over budget.  (Ek!)  So I got resourceful and made the curtains from some linen that I had hiding in the studio.  I also had some pillows lying around that weren't moving on my website, so I grabbed the ones that best fit in the space.  And lastly, I bought a can of spray paint from Lowes and gave a facelift to the vintage high chair that was given to me by my mother in law.

So there you have it!  All done.  Well, "finished."  As soon as my daughter stops throwing all her food on the floor, I'd love to get a rug for the space.  I think that's gonna be a while, though. 

Bench - Nathan Flores (
Cushions - A Tack Above (Bristol, TN)
Table Top - Rugged Lab (Johnson City, TN)
Table Pedestals -
Chairs - Pier 1
Light - Mod Creation Studio on Etsy
Curtain Rods and Clips - Amazon
Curtains - Made by myself / Linen from Gray Line Linens
Throw Pillows - Made by myself / Bonnie Kaye Studio
High Chair - Vintage

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