Building this banquette bench might be my favorite project to date. The result has been a GAME CHANGER not only for giving me those moody vibes I was looking for in this space, but also in terms of functionality! And the kicker of it all – we completed this banquette bench DIY for under 200 bucks! Like what!? I’m going to share allll the deets on exactly how we completed this project.
This is a breakfast nook area right off of our open concept kitchen/living room. It is approximately 10′ x 7.5′. We had a round table that fit 4 chairs comfortable – 5 if squeezing in there. Not ideal for a family of 5 and not a good use of space in here! Let me give you some visuals.
Here is a photo of the space all cleared out! I love seeing a fresh clean slate before getting my hands dirty in a project!
2″ x 3″ x 8″ lumbar (we needed 12 – but this # will vary depending on the size of your bench)
4′ x 8′ x 3/4″ MDF boards (we ended up getting away with only using 2 – but again – this will depend on the size of your bench)
8′ of 1 1/2″ trim (we used three 8 footers)
Panel moulding trim (we used four 8 footers and had some extra left over)
Matching baseboards (amount depends on the depth of your bench – you can re-purpose your baseboards for the front of the bench – but will need to buy some for the sides of bench)
Light grit sandpaper
2″ finishing nails
1 1/4″ finishing nails (used for box moulding)
2 1/2″ Screws
Step 1 – Remove baseboards
This is such an important step when building a built – in. Some DIYs you may come across will skip this step – because not going to lie – it is kind of a pain. But – TRUST…this step is 100% necessary.
We also marked the wall using a level and penciled in the height of 17-1/4″ and width of the bench to use as reference for attaching the support frame. Remember to add 3/4″ to the outside measurement for the end face boards.
Add 2″ x 3″ lumbar to the wall with the top at the height of 3/4 inch less than your desired bench (to account for the 3/4″ MDF board you will be using as the top and sides of your bench.). As you can see we had an electrical outlet to work around. We just cut the board as you can see in photos below.
Cut your 2″ x 3″ boards and screw into wall using 2 1/2″ screws. These act as support for the bench as well give something to screw the remaining boards too.
We measured from the wall to get the depth of our bench (13″). Using a chalk line we snapped a line to use as a guide for placing outside support boards.
We used a square to get 90 degree corners.
Using the snapped line as a guide we laid down the bottom plate for our front support boards.
Use a level to determine the length of the support boards. Cut the 2″ x 3″ boards to proper length and mount them to the bottom plate. Add the top plate while continuing to check for level.
If you aren’t working around a vent you can go ahead and skip this step.
We boxed in the area of the vent and caulked around the seams to prevent any heat loss.
Once the frame is built and leveled in all directions you can add the face boards. I used 2″ finishing nails and an air nail gun to accomplish this step. A pair of clamps were used to help hold the face boards in place flush with the support box.
We repeated Step 7 for mounting the front face boards.
The top boards were then fastened to the support box. We extended the top boards past the front face boards 5″ to give the bench the full standard seat depth of 18″ and provide leg room underneath the bench seat. We added an angle across the corner (optional) to allow for more seating.
We then measured and cut in the hole for the vent plate.
We decided to rip lengths from the leftover face board and using 1-1/4″ finishing nails to mount below the overhang. We thought this would give the bench a beefier look to it.
We added 1-1/2″ inch trim board to cover the seams of the face boards. The original baseboards were then remounted.
Using a level, we measured and marked the location of the shadow boxes to be attached to the face boards.
Give the top of the bench a good sanding and then its time to paint! I decided to paint the bench Greenblack by Sherwin Williams. I painted the baseboards on the bench the same color – but left the remaining baseboards in the space white. I am still waiting on the dining chairs to arrive – but we can now fit 8-10 people in this space! I am just dreaming of the days this #quarantine is over so we can have friends over to really enjoy this space – until then family dinners around this beauty here we come!!
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Check out this blog post to see full details of this breakfast nook makeover!