DIY Moroccan Pouf

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The poufs a.k.a floor pillows are the most versatile accessory ever. You can use them as extra seating, as a footstool, a side table, an accent piece and even a storage. They are small and don’t take up a lot of room and may add a lot of fun, and personality to a space. In addition, like in my case, they can add a splash of color and cheer up a space.

Most of you may probably know that Pantone, a global leader in color calibration technology and the global authority, has announced PANTONE® 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, a captivating and enigmatic purple, as the color of the year for 2014.

In order to incorporate the mentioned color of the year in my home decor I decided to make a moroccan pouf which I can use as an additional seating and as a side table.
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I had purchased this purple stretchy fabric last year with an intention to surprise my niece by making her a prom dress, but a few days after this purchase she surprised me even more when she phoned saying that she is ordering her prom dress online in a color pretty close to the color of the fabric I purchased for her. To this day, I have never revealed the surprise to my niece and she is about to find out after she reads this post.

Luckily the color of the mentioned fabric pretty much looks alike the color of the Pantone’s Radiant Orchid, so I decided to make the pouf using this fabric. I also had a lot of stuffing salvaged from the back pillows of my old sofa and a zipper (odd color I know but it was free), so this was another project for which I did not have to spend a dime.

The stretchy fabric made the pouf receive a wavy shape which makes it even more beautiful and fun, so if you fancy this shape get a stretch fabric and do not use the lining.
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To make the pouf you will need 2 yards of fabric, plenty of stuffing (you can also use clothing, bed sheets, comforters, paper etc) and of course you will need a sewing machine, measuring tape, scissors,upholstery thread, 36 inch long paper to make a pattern, zipper and a button to finish off the pouf.

To make your pattern, cut a rectangle of paper about 36 inches long and about a foot wide. Fold the paper in half along the short edge and in half again the long edge, then trim to the dimensions indicated here.

As per the instruction from the pattern site above, I unfolded the paper pattern and pined it to the fabric.

I first cut out one section and used this section as a template placing it in a position that allowed me to efficiently use up the fabric.

I placed the pattern as seen in the picture 1 (from the collage below), as this is how it worked for me best, and I cut out eight sections.
Moroccan Pouf-Sewing

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Sewing:

I pinned two sections together , wrong side out, and sewed them together (pic. 2) along one edge using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I continued sewing the remaining sections together along one edge in sets of two.

At this point I ironed open the seam allowances of all four sets (pic.3) , and added a top zig zag stitch to each set (pic. 4).

I continued sewing each set of two along one edge into sets of four (pic. 5), and proceeded with the ironing the seam allowances and added zig zag top stitching.

Finally I sewed two sets of four together along both edges (pic. 6) leaving an opening at one side for a zipper.

I sewed on the zipper (pic. 8) and pulled the fabric through the zipper opening to turn it right side out, and added the last top zig zag stitch (pic. 7) starting at the tip of the zipper and continuing all the way around. I finnished it off by adding a large leather button at the top (pic 9).

I stuffed the pouf with the repurposed stuffing taken from two oversized sofa pillows. Two huge back pillows are stuffed in this not so big pouf, and i think that it could take even more.
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Some of you may be intimidated with the work involved in this project and about the level of sewing skills. Even though I have advanced sewing skills, I am sure that this project can be easily tackled by anyone who has beginner level sewing skills, provided that they can easily sew a strait stitch.
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I spent less than 2 hours to complete this project, and I am so glad that I decided to infuse the color of the year into my home decor through this pouf.
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The pouf has added a splash of fun color in my living room, and I am loving it.

If anyone decides to tackle this project I would be so happy if you send me the pictures to see how your pouf turned out.

Great thanks to the following blog sites for featuring this post: Rain on a Tin Roof, Life in Velvet, The Cottage Market, DIY Vintage Chic; Time To Sparkle
Thank you for reading.

Besa

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Lamp Makeover

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This weekend, my old lamp has undergone another reincarnation. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts here, this lamp has a certain sentimental value for me and I cannot threw it away, so in order to try to “fit it in” in the decor of our house, I am giving the poor lamp more reincarnations than it can take. Sorry my lovely lamp.
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This time I gave my lamp a more bold and elegant look.
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The silver look came partly because I had the silver spray paint “ in stock”. The shade was another item that I already had, so I was only required to come up with the idea of remodeling the shade. Well, considering that I love quick and easy projects I decided that a black 2 inch stripe around the shade’s top and the bottom edge would be quick and easy and would look nice, and it certainly did.
As seen in the collage below, I taped off the bulb insert and spray painted the lamp. After the lamp dried, using black tempera paint I stenciled a small wreath. I applied the paint over the stencil with a piece of sponge.
SPRAY paint & stenciling
To create the wreath stencil I downloaded this wreath and copied it in a piece of transparent vinyl, then using a pointed precision knife created a stencil.
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For the shade remodel I used a piece of black vinyl fabric which was cut in 2 inch width stripes, and in a length to fit the perimeter of the top and bottom of the lamp. I glued the stripes to the top and the bottom of the shade using craft glue.
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To create this look I did not spend a dime, and as far as the time is concerned I only spent about an hour and a half to spray paint and apply the stencil as well as for altering the shade. The time spent includes copying and cutting the stencil.
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This was indeed a super quick and easy project, and the lamp ended up with an entire new look.
Do you have a lamp that needs a new look? I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for stopping by.
Besa

Katarina Cake

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I am not the only one who loves rich cakes, as I am sure that many of you out there share such a guilty pleasure. When I say rich cake I mean calorie bombs with plenty of sugar, eggs, butter, nuts and what not; a thin slice of which will make you instantly feel happier and “heavier”. Well, the cake recipe I am about to share is one of those calorie bombs, and it happens to be one of my favorites.
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Beside its richness, the aroma and the taste of this cake for me always evoke nice childhood memories and reminds me of the cosiness of our parents small kitchen/living room where my mother used to make this and other super rich cakes for us.
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I like easy and quick cake recipes, but this cake is not one of those; however, despite being time consuming to make, I always take time to make this cake for every important occasion in my life.
What makes this cake so tasty, is the filling . The filling of this cake resembles to the filling of the Napoleons, which is another favorite of mine.
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I made this cake few weeks ago in celebration of our wedding anniversary, and the cake turned delicious as always, so I am happy to share these photos and the family cake recipe with you.
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So here it is;

Sponge I
7 eggs at room temperature
7 tablespoons sugar


7 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder


10 tablespoons walnuts – grated
50 gr. dark chocolate- grated
zest of one lemon


Sponge II
5 egg whites
7 tablespoons icing sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
100 gr. golden raisins
100 gr. chopped walnuts
zest and juice of an orange

The Filling
5 egg yolks
15 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 l. milk
250 gr. non salted butter
250 gr. icing sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or vanilla sugar)

To Make Sponge I
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a round cake pan with parchment paper.
Separate egg whites from yolks.
In e separate bowl beat egg yolks and sugar on high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add slowly and gradually flour, baking powder, and grated chocolate to the egg yolk mixture.
Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form.
Fold the egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Add gently the grated walnuts and the lemon zest and pour the mixture into prepared pan. Spread to even out the surface.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn sponge upside down onto cooling rack lined with a dish towel, remove the parchment paper and allow cooling. Cut in the middle, horizontally, to create two layers.

To Make Sponge II
Beat 5 egg whites on high speed for about a minute, start adding gradually icing sugar and continue beating. After the soft peak form, start adding flour and continue beating in low speed until everything is incorporated. Using spatula, fold in raisins, chopped walnuts, orange juice and zest.
Bake in a round baking pan lined with parchment paper in a 350 F preheated oven, for about 35 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the baked sponge upside down onto cooling rack lined with a dish towel, remove the parchment paper and allow to cool.

To Make the Filling
Bring the milk to a boil in a medium sized pot.
Beat 5 egg yolks with granulated sugar and add in the corn starch. Pour the mixture to the boiling milk, stirring vigorously to avoid clumping. Reduce the heat to medium or low and continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes stirring continuously. Allow the mixture to cool at room temperature and stirr it occasionally.

In e separate bowl, using electric mixer, whip the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add and stir the cooked mixture (cooled at a room temperature) into the butter, one spoon at a time, and continue whipping until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla. Put the filling mixture into the fridge to stiffen.

Layer each sponge with the chilled mixture and also coat the outside of the cake with a thin layer of this mixture. Sprinkle the top of the cake with grated walnuts.
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Enjoy.

Thank you for visiting.

PERBERSIT

Peta e pare:

7 veze ne temperature dhome
7 luge gjelle sheqer
7 luge gjelle miell
1 luge caji pluhur pjekurinash
10 luge gjelle arra te bluara imet
50 gr cokollat e zeze- e grier me errende
Korja e nje limoni- e greier imet me errende


Peta e dyte:

5 te bardhe te vese
7 luge gjelle sheqer pluhur
3 luge gjelle miell
100 gr rush te thate
100 gr arra te coptuara
korja dhe lengu i nje portokalli

Krema:
5 te kuq te vese
15 luge gjelle sheqer
3 luge gjelle nisheste
1/2 l qumesht
250 gr gjalpe pa krip
250 gr sheqer pluhur
1 luge gjelle ekstrakt vanille ( ose dy qeska sheqer vanile)

Pregaditja e petes se pare:

Nxehet fura ne 180 grade C. Shtrohet forma rumbullake per torte me leter per pjekje.
Ndahen te kuqet nga te bardhet e vezeve.
Ne njeren ene tunden te kuqet e vese dhe sheqeri deri sa te behet shkume e forte, dhe pastaje fillohet ti shtohen gradualisht mielli, pluhuri i pjekurinave, dhe cokollata.
Ne anen tjeter tunden te bardhet e vese deri sa te behet shkume e forte. Kjo shkume e bardhe vendoset ne enen me perzierjen e te kuqve te vese dhe me levizje te lehta me luge ne forme shpatulle mbeshtillet reth mases me te kuq te vese. Pas perzierjes, shtonen arrat e bluara dhe korja e limonit dhe zbrazet ne formen per pjekje..Piqet 30 minuta ose deri sa remojsa me te cilen e kontrolloni del e paster.
Pas pjekjes i hiqet letra, lihet te ftohet dhe pritet horizontalisht ne mes, qe ti krijojme dy peta.

Pregaditja e petes se dyte

Tunden 5 te bardhet e vese ne shpejtesin me te madhe te mikserit dhe pas nje minuti tundjeje fillohet t’i shtohet sheqeri pluhur. Pasi te krijohet shkuma e forte, filloni ti shtoni miellin gradualishte luge per luge duke e rahur vazdimisht por ne shpejtesin me te vogel te mikserit, deri sa mielli te perzihet. Me shpatull druri dhe me levizje te lehta, i mbeshtjellni ne kete mase rrushin e thate, arrat e coptuara, lengun dhe koren e portokallit.
Piqet ne fure te nxehur paraprakisht ne temperature 180 grade C, ne tepsi te shtruar me leter per pjekje. Kontrollohet me remojse se a eshte pjekur, dhe nese remojsa del e paster atehere nxiret nga furra, vendoset mbrapsht ne telin per ftohje i cili eshte i shtruar me lecke kuzhine. I hiqet letra dhe lihet te ftohet.

Pregaditja e kremes

Vlohet qumeshti ne nje tenxhere me madhesi mesatare.
Ne nderkohe sa qumeshti eshte duke u nxehur tunden 5 te kuq te vese dhe sheqeri te ciles mase pastaje i shtojme nishesten.

Kjo mase hudhet ne qumeshtin e vluar ( hiqeni qumenshtin nga stufa ne momentin kur ja hudhni kete mase), uleni temperaturen ne nxehtesi mesatare ose te ulet, dhe vazhdoni t’a zieni kete mase per 5-10 min. duke e perzier vazhdimisht. E leni masen te ftofet ne temperature dhome duke e perzier kohe pas kohe.

Ne nje ene tjeter, me mikser elektrik, tundet gjalpa dhe sheqeri pluhur deri sa te behet nje mase e bute dhe e shkreht. Gjalpes se tundur tani fillojme ti shtojme masen e zier te cilen e kemi ftohur ne temperature te dhomes. Eshte me rendesi qe masa e zier te jet e ftohur plotesisht dhe te jet ne temperature te dhomes, se perndryshe do te perfundojme me fluska te cilat e demtojne konsistencen e kremes, e me kete edhe shijen e tije. Kjo mase i shtohet gjalpes se tundur luge per luge dhe pase seciles luge te shtuar pason tundja me mikser deri sa te fitohme nje mase te te shkreht kremoze (fluffy).
Ne fund i shtohet vanilla dhe krema futet ne frigorifer te fortesohet.

Pas ftohjes dhe fortesimit ne frigorifer, petat e tortes (revanite) siper lyhen secila me kete krem si dhe pjesa e jashtme e tortes lyhet gjithashtu me nje shtrese te holle te kesaj kreme, dhe ne sperkatet me arra te bluara.

Ju befte mire!

Besa

Starburst With A Twist – Nate Berkus Inspired

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Those of you, who love Nate Berkus’ line at Target, probably know that some new items from his Spring collection will be available starting on February 16. While browsing online, I came across an add featuring this Nate Berkus’ starburst, in the below picture, which would be available at Target on the mentioned date retailing for $ 35.
Starburst - Nate Berkus
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After analyzing the photo for a few seconds, I came to a conclusion that I could make something similar for much less.

I had some large bamboo skewers from another project, and of course I always have supplies of glue and spray paint, so it turned that I could make something similar for free. I love Nate and the Target, but it is just unjustifiable to spend $ 35 pus tax for an item which can be recreated so easily.

Soooo, here is what I came up with;
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Not bad at all I think, and this is how I did it:
Starburst Collage
I first laid the first row of skewers in a similar shape as the prototype . I laid the second row trying to match the layout of the original and after I was satisfied with the layout, I glued the second row skewers to the first row ones at the points where they were meeting each other. I continued the same way with the third and the fourth row.
After gluing I allowed for about 24 hrs for the glue to dry completely, and then added a coat of spray paint.

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Not a bad knockoff at all, and I made them two. Adding them in clusters seem to have more of an impact, and I am thinking of making another two and have all of them in a room which we use as a home office.
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So my friends, it took me only 30 minutes to make both of them and, considering that I already had the supplies used for another project, I did not spend even a dime.

Are you inspired to make one?

Thank you the following blogsites for featuring this post: Romance On a Dime; All Things With Purpose; The Cottage Market
Thank you for stopping by.

Besa

Current Kitchen Trends

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The kitchen is not anymore a back room in a house used for preparation of meals only. Beside cooking, the kitchen has become a central meeting place for family and friends, so if we want to make sure that our homes have a truly updated look and feel, we shall start with our kitchens. In case that, for any of you, a time has come to undertake such an update this year, here are some of the hot new kitchen trends that have started gaining popularity in the first half of 2013 and which,looks like, are going to stay around for a while.

Kitchen with Less or No Upper Cabinets and Glass-front Cabinets

There is a growing trend in kitchens with no upper cabinets. Incorporating this trend makes the kitchen look airy and reduces the bulkiness or heaviness that traditional kitchens sometimes have.
In place of the upper cabinets there are either empty walls or open shelving. Either way, in case you consider this trend, you will want to make sure you have enough room in your base cabinets to store all your kitchen needs.

When considering this style it is to carefully select your kitchenware so that you are showcasing items that match your overall kitchen style. Spices, olive oil, cookbooks and glass jars filled with oatmeal or dried fruits are all great candidates for showcasing; however, it is important to take time to curate those important statement kitchenware pieces so the kitchen does not look tacky. For this style I have selected the following:
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The bare walls around this white kitchen are tiled up to the ceiling height with high glazed subway tiles. These tiles has been succesfully used for years in classic as well as modern kithchen design.
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Beautifully curated shelves in this stunning white kitchen make you fall in love with this style. Dark grey countertops make the below kitchen cabinets pop up, and beside open shelving, the legs, door details of the cabinetry make this kitchen look so airy, crisp and pretty.
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A beautiful traditional kitchen featuring open concept shelving.

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This is a great example how an existing kitchen with upper cabinets can be transformed to an open shelf concept by removing the upper cabinet doors. Well curated shelves make this kitchen appear beautiful in its simplicity.

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Glass-front cabinets are just as beautiful in modern kitchens as they are in traditional spaces, and are a great option for those who would like to embrace the open shelving trend, but do not want to commit to dusting.

Darker Cabinets

Dark finishes for kitchen cabinetry are gaining in popularity.

While white cabinetry will never go out of style and still it is the top selling cabinet color, it seems that these coming years dark colors will be more present in kitchen cabinetry.
Gray seems to be the color of the moment. Gray is becoming another neutral that can be paired with many accent colors and always look chic and modern.

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Beside grey, black kitchens are also gaining in popularity, and with their elegance and boldness, they can really make a statement. Some homeowners are reluctant to go with a black kitchen; however, black kitchens look stunning in any place where there is a high amount of natural light.

Two-Tone Kitchen Cabinets

The two tone kitchen cabinet trend is a sophisticated way to give your kitchen design a modern update. Depending on your kitchen layout and personal taste, there are many ways to achieve the look. Best part about the trend is that it is an affordable way to give existing cabinets an instant facelift by just painting them.

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Painting upper cabinets and lower cabinets a different color keeps things interesting, and it is an easy makeover you can do by yourself, by painting your upper or lower cabinets.

Hope that you enjoyed the selection of the designs used for this post as much as I enjoyed collecting them. For more kitchens design ideas you may follow my Pinterest Kitchen Board at BESA GM.

Thank you for reading.
Besa

Valentine ‘s Day Decor – Wine Glass Candle Lampshades

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With Valentine’s Day approaching, some of you may have already started thinking about what to buy or create for your loved ones for the Valentine’s, or what to incorporate in your home decor which would reflect the Valentine’s Day mood.

Until yesterday, I did not think about any of the above. However, I created something really simple and lovely for that day.

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While checking my pinterest boards for a paint color for an undergoing project, I came across a pin featuring beautiful mini wine glass candle lampshades.

After seeing the pin, and knowing that nothing sets the mood like candlelight, I immediately pictured these wine glass candle shades decorating my diner table for the Valentines.
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Since the project seemed so easy I wanted to get it going immediately. I downloaded and printed the shade pattern from here. My wine glasses are bigger than usual, so I had to adjust the pattern and make a larger one by adding an inch on the sides and an inch to the bottom of the original pattern.

Candlelight glowing through translucent paper is more appealing to the eye but I did not have that kind of paper to use in this project so, instead ,I used waxed paper which I use for baking.
PicMonkey Collage LAMP SHADE
As seen in the collage above, I laid a sheet of wax paper at a size to fit the pattern at hand.

For a “Valentine” touch, I decided to incorporate rose petals into the shades, so i cut each petal into a heart shape and even wasted some petals trying to cut them into lip shape. After waisting a few I finally ended up with a pair of lips which more look like they had undergone un unsuccessful silicone job, but still they will look fun for that day.
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I placed the petals on the laid wax sheet and covered them with another sheet of wax paper. Subsequently, using the iron, in a low setting, I pressed the wax sheets together, and ended up with a perfect translucent paper product.

Afterwards, I traced the shade pattern on to the created wax sheet and proceeded with cutting. From the paper remnants I cut some small circles which I added to the bottom of the shades.

I applied a thin line of glue to one straight end and wrapped the other end over the glued end adhering them together to form the shade.
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After finishing the first two, I got carried away and made more shades which I placed them on various candleholders, and they all look nice.
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Using wax paper for this project proved to be a good choice as this paper is resistant to heat, so it does not present an immediate fire hazard used together with lit candles. Of course, you should never leave any candle unattended (disclaimer, just in case).
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This is a very easy, quick and non costly project and these can be used for many occasions such as: any special day in your life; weddings; tea parties; birthday parties and list goes on…
Use your imagination for the shade design, as the posibilites are endless, and enjoy making them as much as I did.

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Happy shade making, and thank you for reading.

Linking to: The Dedicated House; Tuesday’s Treasures; Inspire me Tuesday; Share the Cup Tuesday; The Girl Creative
Besa

A Banquette – Great Solution for Small Spaces

Decorpad banquette via

The affordability of living large has decreased lately, and the downside of the economy is forcing people to opt for smaller, more affordable, living spaces. Small living space, translates to “small kitchen and dining area”, so everyone living in such a space wants to utilize every inch; hence, the banquettes come as a solution.

Comfortable, high-back upholstered benches, or as the French call them banquettes, are also an alternative to traditional dining-room seating. They’re are a great way to make the most of tight dining spaces, as they don’t take up much space, and the storage can be incorporated in the design.
When you sit at a table with chairs, you need to be able to push your chair back almost a meter to feel comfortable. Not so with the fixed seat of a banquette, which makes it a good solution for small, empty kitchen corners.
Considering these advantages of the banquettes, these days a lot of home owners are considering this type of seating for their dining areas, so banquettes are experiencing a little revival. The pintrest and decor magazines are full of banquette design ideas, which are quite appealing, and some are pretty simple to make as a DIY project.

I have selected a few banquettes which I found adorable and which I would definitely consider for my home if I had a space that I could fit a banquette. My kitchen/dining area is small and very oddly shaped, so unfortunately I cannot fit any type of banquette in it.

For those of you who are tight in kitchen space or simply like banquettes, here are some different shaped banquettes which you may consider for your home:

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This is a straight banquette along the window which provides a plenty of seating for casual as well as formal dining.
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Beautiful corner banquette which adds architectural design to the space and has an unique crisp modern feel. Great space use of this rather oddly shaped corner.
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Small bay window space is greately utilized by this small banquette which has added a distinguished, modern look to this rather small kitchen. Another example how banquettes are great solution for small spaces.
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A simple corner banquete paired with these two Xavier Pauchard Tolix chairs, in this light filled kitchen corner, feels so relaxing.
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In this very tight kitchen space the banquette, supplemented with these two chairs, provides penty of seating for eating, dining and lounging.
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banq 7

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This of the kitchen dining area is furnished with this glamourous banquette, and a table made by reclaimed wood top and iron base. Plenty of seating and unique glamourous look.

Hope that you will find these designs inspirational. For me each one is an eye candy, and I enjoyed collecting them for this post.

For more inspiration on this topic check my Pintrest BESA GM Banquette board.

Thank you for reading.

Besa