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Q: We're building a banquette in our breakfast nook and we aren't sure what kind of fabric to use or how to accessorize it. Any tips?

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Fabrics used in busy eating areas should be as durable as possible. If you can find an indoor/outdoor fabric that you like, use it for larger cushions to lessen the stress when kitchen accidents happen. If you'd rather not use an indoor/outdoor fabric, at least choose one with a durable finish or one that is spot-washable--fabrics with higher polyester content can be cleaned with water-based cleaners rather than harsher solvent-based cleaners. There are also some great vinyls out there now that make fab bench coverings. In terms of colour, opt for solid neutrals for the larger seat cushions and punch it up with smaller throw pillows in bright colours or prints. That way, you can easily add more visual interest or change up the look simply by swapping the pillows.

Tamara Chiarello's interior design company, In Vision, does both residential and commercial work. Send her your decorating questions here.