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Why Add a Booth to Your Log Home Kitchen

Booths are a great way to maximize seating and brighten your decor. Learn why you should consider putting a booth in your home.

Written by Marianne Smith
Photography by Cindy Thiede
 
When you go to a family restaurant, how do you respond to the question: “Booth or table?” Does “booth” bring to mind comfy seating and more tabletop space, or do you think of clandestine meetings of the mob? Booths are not for everyone, but if they strike your fancy, read on.
 
Booths have migrated from restaurants to residential kitchens. They’re informality makes them especially appropriate for log homes. Booths spark conversation, very often starting with, “Oh, you have a booth.”
 
Practically speaking, booths maximize floor space by providing ample but condensed seating and tabletop space. The latest booth features include floating tabletops (allowing you to move the table closer to a smaller person on the other side), interesting L and corner shapes, and custom embroidery on the bench backs. There are also bench seats available with storage underneath — another space saver. Legless tables offer easier access to the dining table and more legroom. They’re easier to clean.
 
 
Booths can promote family togetherness and provide a space that is perfect for lingering. That may explain why a lot of history has been made in booths. Famous booths include “Jack Nicholson’s Booth” at the Denny’s in Glenwood, Oregon. That one is still requested some 40 years after the movie Five Easy Pieces was filmed there. And the booth Elvis used to frequent at The Arcade Restaurant in Memphis during the 1950s is likewise in high demand. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, think of all the crazy conversations you have listened in on when the gang gathered in their favorite booth at Monk’s. And how could anyone forget the booth scene in When Harry Met Sally?
 
Do you have a favorite booth? Many couples prefer booths because it gives them a feeling of intimacy in the middle of a busy space. Booths can follow an obvious theme, like Fifties Diner Retro, your hobby or your favorite sports team. Or how about a wine-tasting booth?
 
If you have a particular design in mind, booths are available in custom upholsteries, custom finish and numerous types of laminate for the tabletop. Many web-based booth companies will custom-make a booth that fits your space exactly. Booth seating can also be custom designed to be lower or higher than the standard.
 
Booths can be open or enclosed. They can be attached to the walls or floor or be freestanding. Be sure to take into account where your electrical outlets and heating vents are placed when measuring.
 
One caveat about booths: They are generally considered to be a highly personal form of decorating, but if you sell your house, potential buyers might not be as thrilled with your booth as you are. Bear that in mind if you are considering whether to leave your booth freestanding or secure it. You can create the feel of a booth with two upholstered benches and a freestanding table, particularly if it is tucked into a nook or has a wall on one side.
 
You can spend $1,000 on a new but small booth. That’s for in-stock non-customized items. Or you can spend substantially more on a booth designed specifically to fit your lifestyle, space and taste. Once you know what you are looking for, check for deals on used booths on eBay, Craigslist or other online auction sites. Restaurants going out of business — no shortage of these — sometimes offer great prices on used booths. Changing out worn or undesirable upholstery is reasonably easy.
 
 
There are tons of options with regard to seat types: diamond back, channel back, pillow back, retro, smooth back, v-back, etc. Table styles also vary.
 
Spending some time on a few of these websites will give you a better idea of what you like and what might work in your space: kitchenbooths.com, barsandbooths.com, boothsforyou.com.
 
Booths aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a cozy and memorable eating and gathering spot that can be tailored to suit your taste and space, consider one for your kitchen. Booths are novel and comfortable, and they are just one more way to add personality to your log home.