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You love your open-concept living/kitchen/dining room for its bright and spacious vibes. But establishing designated areas within all that wide-open space hasn’t exactly been easy. Enter: the kitchen island banquette.

Here’s the deal. You build a bench into one side of your kitchen island (or fake it with a free-stander), thereby cuddling up the dining room with the kitchen—and gaining, like, a ton of square footage in the process.

We especially love this setup in a modern farmhouse-style kitchen, but it also works in more formal or industrial spaces. 

In our HO, it’s the perfect way to mix intimacy and coziness with airiness and modernity. Pass us the sledgehammer.

RELATED: 20 Kitchen That We’re Absolutely In Love With

In this straight-up dream kitchen by Clemons Design Co., a built-in island bench is covered in durable grain-sack upholstery while complementary warm wood tones round out the cozy yet polished farmhouse aesthetic.

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Alternatively, in this fresh space by Amber Interiors, a long, upholstered bench is pushed flush against the kitchen island. (This mobile option also allows for playing with floor plan arrangements down the road.)

Or, if you attach a more formal dining setup to the end of the island (as done above by Tobi Fairley), you can still sneak in kitchen stools—a happy overflow solution for group gatherings, we think.

RELATED: The Best Space Saving Dining Tables for Your Square Footage-Challenged ‘Dining Room’

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