Walnut Banco Seat Progress

Walnut banco seat during construction, ready for cushion top. (Credit: Robert Schutz)

Walnut banco seat during construction, ready for cushion top. (Credit: Robert Schutz)

Traditional banco seating is a familiar part of pueblo style architecture you see in the American Southwest. Often formed out of adobe or concrete and following the same organic “form meets function” tradition of pueblo and pueblo revival construction, bancos offer efficient, comfortable indoor and outdoor bench-like seating. Often referred to as banquette or bench seating in other parts of the world, many iterations exist.

Ancient Meets Modern

We wanted to create standalone furniture in the master bedroom that reinterpreted the traditional pueblo vernacular with modern, minimalist materials and lines. Page Kelleher from Santa Fe Modern Home was the perfect designer/fabricator partner. Two walnut side tables and the walnut banco seat in Adobe Oasis’s master bedroom are the result. We doff our hats to Page for her perennial enthusiasm and solution-driven design collaborations and to Robert Schutz, an able (and gentle) woodworker with both the communication and cabinetry skills to transform our visions into handsome, functional heirlooms. Robert sent us that photograph above to show us his progress. Almost done!

The rich hue and texture of walnut will interact with the viga ceiling and the darker-than-normal custom saltillo tile floors once this bench is installed. The rugged steel and leather elements balance practical, functional needs with an unadorned, organic aesthetic. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the leather drawer pulls – designed by Steve Roberts in Barnstaple, England – echo the handles of old steamer trunks, a subtle paean to the golden age of travel and adventure.

When the cushion is finished and the walnut banco seat is installed in the Adobe Oasis master bedroom, I’ll add a new post with some finished photos.

Walnut Banco Seat, er, Dresser…

There was actually a fourth beautiful piece, a walnut and steel dresser, in this collection that we developed with Santa Fe Modern Home. But once installed we realized that we had underestimated the impact such a tall, dominant piece would have in the bedroom. We also underestimated the impact it would have of sight lines of the beautiful kiva fireplace. Fortunately experimenting with the dresser in the master bedroom helped us come up with the walnut banco seat with drawer storage as a more suitable alternative for the space. It offers ample storage, but is low enough that it blends with the profile of the king bed. And it’s the perfect place to sit and watch the fire before bed.

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