Chrissy Teigen and John Legend strategically create a 'dining room' feel in their kitchen with this on-trend seating arrangement

Their luxury space offers one of the best examples of banquette seating we've ever seen – and their technique is replicable on even smaller scales

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison via Getty Images)

The joy of enjoying one another's company around an intimate table in a dining room is hard to rival, but we understand it's not always practical to dine (and socialize) in such a formal setting. As a happy medium, we're looking to Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, who bring the best elements of a dining room to their kitchen via clever banquette seating – and it's easy to understand why this feature is topping kitchen trends for the year ahead.

The model and singer enlisted the assistance of H&G favorite Jake Arnold to design a kitchen that we've swooned over many times since its reveal in 2021. We've already taken a moment for its marble slab backsplash and quietly luxurious mixed-metals – however, its banquette seating combines style and functinality in a way that's hard to rival.

'We take kitchens seriously, and functionality is the number one consideration in all of our projects,' comments Jake Arnold. 'Here, we really considered the entertainment factor of the kitchen and how our clients cook, eat, and hang out all in the same place. We designed this banquette to face the backyard and beyond at the beautiful view.'

As Arnold explains, instead of looking into the food preparation area, Teigen's seating faces outwards to her backyard – meaning family members and guests can enjoy feeling as though they're separate from the kitchen despite being in the heart of the action. It means hosts can enjoy their family and friend's company while keeping busy, while those dining can have a more informal but fun dining experience.

The space may pre-date 2024, but its still set the precedent for kitchen trends this year. Paul Jenkinson, the founder and managing director of LochAnna Kitchens, explains that the rise in interest is unsurprising when we consider banquette seating's benefits.

The rapid pace of modern living, alongside the fact that separate dining rooms have become far less commonplace, has put an even bigger emphasis on the importance of carving out a space for quality family time. This has led to a rise in the popularity of communal or banquette seating within the kitchen,' he notes.

Social kitchen with seating

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

'The practicality of social seating transforms the kitchen into a space that encourages all members of the household to dine together, fostering a sense of family time, and has the added benefit of creating extra storage space,' Jenkinson adds.

'For example, a kitchen island with banquette seating can maximize functionality with hidden storage, such as lift-up seats or built-in drawers, offering both comfort and a hidden place to store kitchen essentials.'

Shop Teigen's Cookware Collection

We don't need to renovate our kitchen to bring Teigen's style into our home. These pieces from her new collection will look good on every countertop.

Teigen's space is anything but compact, but as Sophie Hartley, a designer at Tom Howley, adds, we can bring this look into spaces of all sizes.

'The key to sizing up banquette seating in a smaller space is introducing curved shapes rather than seating that follows the width of the wall,' she says. 'This will increase the amount of seating available and will also create a more 'conversational' shape, meaning that people sitting around the table will be directed towards each other.' If there's ever a time to follow suit, it's now.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.