We did an almost total renovation of the interior of our home before we moved in. When we bought this house in 1999, everything was “1961 (the year it was built) original”…the gold shag carpet, the lighting, and every bathroom had differently coloured plumbing fixtures. Most potential buyers would have passed it by or torn it down, but we loved the location, and I saw the potential.
During the renovation, the original kitchen and dining room were combined to make a larger kitchen and a small butler’s pantry. Although we had a seating area in the kitchen, we most often eat in front of the fireplace in the living room. The eating area in the kitchen was primarily unused, and I decided to put a small island in that space with bar stools. Because I am not an exhibition cook (putting it mildly!) and don’t encourage company in the kitchen when we have guests, the island became a spot for plants and a seasonal display area…if I were to be honest, it was a landing spot for clutter!
Last fall, I stayed at The Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver with my daughter. One night when we were in the lounge, I was waxing and waning about how much I loved the banquettes and wished I had room for one in my house. My daughter said, “why don’t you put one in your kitchen”? It had never occurred to me that I could take out the island and put a banquette in that spot!!!! Sometimes we get stuck, and it’s good to be open to another’s vision.
As soon as I got home, I was on a mission to find an upholsterer who would make a custom banquette to fit in the space available and started looking for fabric online. I wanted to change out the existing drapery for the garden windows in the kitchen and settled on a floral print with birds. I chose a berry coloured velvet fabric for the banquette (photos left).
*Once again, I have stepped way out of my colour comfort zone!
The upholsterer came out to the house four times to get the measurements and placement just right. We drew out a plan on the floor and matched the curve to a round bistro table that would also be in the space. With lockdowns, and all the other issues Covid has presented, it has taken months for everything to come together, but in the end, it was well worth the wait.
These photos show the frame for the banquette placed in the space to make sure the size was right.
I saw this bench on Instagram and thought it would perfectly complement the space and had a similar one made up (probably to hold a stack of books instead of being used for extra seating!). The bench will be ready in a few weeks.
As I’ve said many times on the blog, a bonus to travelling is bringing memories and inspiration back home. As I sit in this “new” space in my kitchen, I am reminded of the “priceless” moments I’ve shared with my family at a hotel I love.
This is my new “office” where I can be found daydreaming about what will be the next project in the garden!