Photographed by Seth Smoot for Lonny.
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A built-in banquette is an ingenious design solution — it helps maximize seating in a small space and can transform an empty corner of the home into your new favorite nook. The only hitch? Unless you’re in the middle of a remodel, custom-installing it probably isn’t going to happen. So instead, we enlisted dream stylist Kendra Smoot to show us an expert workaround, no construction necessary.

Here the talented design pro puts together a cozy setup and breaks down all the tips you need to do the same. These principles could easily be applied to whatever efficient seating situation you’re after, be it a dining booth, entryway or reading alcove. So read on and get ready to nestle up in the soon-to-be best seat in the house.

Room & Board Moda Bookcase Benches; Erica Tanov Roost Theo Chair; Erica Tanov Cathy Callahan Grey Fold Hand-Dyed Pillow; Ay Illuminate Black Knit Sisal Pendant Light; Room and Board Reclaimed Wood Stool; Erica Tanov Alpaca Shag Pillow; Lost & Found Rainforest Baskets; Spartan Gray Ebonized Oak Bowls; Cultiver Quilted Bedcover; Elsie Green Antique Mirror; Canoe Swedish Glockenspiel.