Monday, April 7, 2014

Banquettes, Part 2

So, the carpenters came and went...approximately 9:30 - 1:00.  And they gave me a simple banquette.  I had a momentary freak-out about how far the legs were set in, but apparently that was a structural decision and done is better than perfect.

Not blowing anyone away, but overall it is so nice to have an "eat in" kitchen.  And no, this is not blog styling--I had house guests, hence the flowers :)  The legs are off the rack from Lowes, and the top is 1/2" plywood framed out with 1" molding.  They added the quarter round on the top because my walls are not very straight.....Incase it is helpful, here are the measurements:

Turns out 18" is plenty deep enough for me, and we went 17" high to allow for a dense, 2" cushion.  

So done?  Of course not.  Obviously, we need to prime and paint.  Cushion?  Good question.  And a new table (or table top) is needed, unfortunately.  The kitchen is going to be painted a warm lavender soon (well, soonish), so the finishing will take place after the color is finalized.

I got a couple questions about other options for a banquette....

Using off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets is the favorite DIY/hack for built in benches, in the kitchen or elsewhere.  Lowes, Habitat restore, Ikea...they all work.  Chair height is 18", so that is the height you will need (or less, with a cushion).  Kitchen cabinets need to be raised up a bit, otherwise the doors don't work.
via Aubrey & Lindsey's blog

via This Old House, with full instructions, 
And, if you don't want built-ins, or want to test out the bench-seating waters first, try furniture...
(I read OneNote makes easy collages for blogs....but apparently, they look kinda crappy--sorry).

or, hack some Ikea Expedits.  I think this and this are the most often sited/pinned Expedit-banquette hacks, but interestingly both are flat on the floor.  For a window bench, that works but it might be a little short for a table.  My sister, Mary, added feet to her Expedit hack to bring it up to 18", so naturally I demanded she text me pictures from Portland:  

She reports that it is very functional, and sufficiently deep for dining.  PS--those cushions are from Ikea also--square chair cushion with a velcro strap.  

Now that Project Banquette is semi-complete, my attention is full-on nursery...oh, and throwing up kids (those are terribly distracting), Easter eggs, gardening, house guests, first communion party.....#thirdkidcomplex.  But I am trying to pay attention and do my homework in photography class, which ends the week I am due.  Those pics were all shot on manual--how 'bout them apples?

PS--If you are near Indianapolis, I highly recommend the Robert Indiana show at the IMA....even the kids liked it.


  1. 1. This bitch, for one, is stoked about the banquette and can't wait to sneak an in-person peek!
    2. I know you haven't exactly been happy with the the peachy-pink, but I will be sad to see it go.
    3. Your photog skills are kickin.

  2. I love the banquette. I really like the effect of the less bulky/boxy feel the legs give it. We do love our seating solution, the Ikea DIY is perfect for renting and for storage challenged spaces, but there's something so very charming about a wonderful built in. Bravo! One note: I TOTALLY recommend having one cushion, or at the most 2 cushions for the whole shebang. The individual ones are a pain. Next project- upholstering foam with Mexican oil cloth. Wipeable is a plus in my house.

    p.s. we feel famous. Thanks for the feature :)

  3. Banquette looks great and impressive turnaround time - 3 1/2 hours?? wow. i always thought the DIY shows made it look too easy but i guess it IS easy for pros. And kudos to Mary on the expedit bench - i had one of those and it would have never occurred to me to give it another life as a bench. Brilliant. I think the one cushion idea is very smart and oil cloth is fantastic in a kitchen - i always liked it on the chairs i had back in ATL - very functional and usually bright and cheerful prints. well done mam'selles