Monthly Archives: October 2016

Banquette Ideas to Elevate Any Kitchen Design

Naomi Watts has one. So does Patrick Dempsey. But star power aside, there are plenty of reasons to install a banquette in your kitchen or breakfast nook. More than just a bold design treatment, the cozy construction makes for a seating arrangement that’s more conducive to intimate conversation than the traditional table-and-chairs setup, much like the corner booth at your favorite restaurant. It’s also a great choice for families, as anyone who’s ever tried to get a squirming kid to sit still in a single seat can attest. Whether upholstered in a cheerful patterned fabric or classic leather, banquettes can even make a big impact in smaller spaces, where there’s limited room for a full dining area. Here, we’ve rounded up 12 stunning banquettes that will inspire you. From modernist benches to cushy booths, there’s one to suit every style.

The banquette and Saarinen chairs in accessories designer Fiona Kotur’s kitchen in Hong Kong are cushioned in a DeLany & Long outdoor leather.

Designed by Campion Platt, the sunny breakfast nook in a Hudson Valley, New York, home features a banquette in a Kravet vinyl, leather chairs from Ralph Lauren Home, and a custom wood-grained-vinyl area rug by Patterson, Flynn & Martin.

In the kitchen dining area of a New York townhouse designed by Delphine Krakoff, the table by Paul Evans is accompanied by a Pamplemousse Design banquette, upholstered in a Holly Hunt fabric, and Erwine and Estelle Laverne chairs; the pendant light is by Tom Dixon, and the marble floor is by Exquisite Surfaces.

Outdoor Lighting Tips

Your outdoor space may be built around making the most of natural light, but come nightfall the glow of the moon and fireflies will only get you so far. If you want to dine alfresco—or simply illuminate your entryway for late-night guests—you’ll need to find some outdoor lighting to suit your terrace, porch, or patio. Try a wrought-iron pendant or a statement chandelier over the dining area. Or flank the front door with wall-mounted lanterns. For a real statement, try a group of two or three on the porch or covered patio. Just remember to make sure a fixture is damp rated to accommodate your outdoor setting—covered or not. Here, we’ve collected some instructional examples from the AD archives.

The outdoor dining area at Michelle Pitcher’s Palladian-inspired villa in San José del Cabo, Mexico, is crowned with a chandelier by Formations.

Architect John Murray and decorator Elissa Cullman employed a glass cube lantern in this pergola-topped outdoor dining area in a Manhattan penthouse.

A wrought-iron lantern illuminates the 18th-century French stone doorway of designer and antiques dealer Richard Shapiro’s Malibu, California, retreat.
The rear loggia of a Los Angeles villa designed by Mark Boone resembles an outdoor living room, illuminated by a couple of wrought-iron lanterns.
Simple black sconces from YLighting illuminate this sprawling rooftop terrace in a Manhattan penthouse devised by Dufner Heighes and Brooklyn-based landscape firm Future Green Studio.

Creating Homes For the Kardashians

Jeff Andrews is perfectly happy discussing the many homes he’s designed for titans of entertainment and sports. His celebrity clients include a fistful of Kardashians and Jenners, a beloved television serial killer, and one of the NBA’s most dapper Goliaths. Yet Andrews never seems blinded by the superhigh wattage of the luminaries on his roster—he’s not particularly interested in the orgy of fabulousness that permeates pop culture. He’s all about the collaboration between himself and the client—whoever that client may be—and the process of bringing a home to life. The rest, he says, is “just noise.” I recently caught up with the globetrotting designer in his lofty new office on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles. Freshly returned from some foreign port of call, he sat down for a wide-ranging chat that skipped from his background in dance to his present thoughts on Dubai.

Jeff Andrews: I grew up in and around San Bernardino, in California’s Inland Empire. I started dancing when I was 15, and I got a scholarship to study dance in Los Angeles. After that, I danced professionally for a while, then I started choreographing and staging live industrial shows.

MR: What are live industrial shows?

JA: Basically trade shows, but also commercials and videos. I had a contract with Reebok and also worked for different surf and ski companies. I’d study whatever apparel collections they were launching, then I’d turn that concept into theatrical scenes and dance numbers.

MR: I’m picturing a phalanx of high-kicking, leotard-clad aerobics fanatics.

JA: It was actually much more artsy than that. I designed the costumes, the sets, the whole look of the shows.

MR: And that segued into interiors?

JA: I started getting antsy and I’d always had an interest in design, so it was a natural progression.

MR: Who was your first client?

JA: Eleanor Mondale.

MR: Ooh, the fun Mondale! I remember seeing her on television. She cohosted a memorable special about Madonna with the divine Robin Leach.

JA: I met her through an ex of mine. I started doing a single room and ended up doing her whole house. She became a fan of mine, and she gave me the courage to pursue interior design seriously. She was an amazing woman, and she introduced me to a lot of people.

MR: Who was your next high-profile client?

JA: Ryan Seacrest. A good friend of mine was his stylist at E!, and she connected us when Ryan bought a house in Nichols Canyon. We clicked. He was a fantastic client, and that house was a real turning point in my career.

MR: Is that how you met Les Kardashians?

JA: I was in New York when I got a phone call from Khloé. I of course knew who the Kardashians were, but I wasn’t a big follower. I didn’t watch their show. But I met her, I loved her, and I ended doing a house for her and Lamar. In the process, I met Kourtney and Kris, and I started working for them as well. It was a family lovefest.

MR: At what point in the Kardashians’ trajectory of world domination did you meet them?

JA: They were already super-popular, but it wasn’t as crazy as it is now.