Built-In Banquette Tutorial

16 Materials
$225
2 Weeks
Medium

We had a lonely wall in our kitchen that could really use something special. So, we decided to build a banquette and have it span the whole wall. It totally transformed the space.
It was a simple build and really could be accomplished over the course of two weekends. We drug it on (like usual) but if you really go on it.. then you could definitely have it completed over the course of the two weekends.
*More pictures of each step can be found on my blog.
DIY Banquette in Kitchen
*Also, you can save wood by building your bench to the wall and getting rid of the back supports. We plan on replacing the flooring so we wanted our built-in to be moveable. But, you could definitely save money and time by attaching the back to the wall. =)
Step One: Gather Your Supplies
NOTE: These measurements are what worked for our kitchen. Sizes will vary.
(4) 12ft 24's
(2) 8ft 24's
(2) Sanded/Finished Plywood pieces cut to 62 x 24.5
2 Wood Screws
Miter Saw
Circular Saw
Tape Measure
Clamps
Kreg Jig and Screws
3/4 Particle Board 24 x 133.5
Air Compressor and Nail Gun (We have this set from Home Depot and it's been great)
Wood Glue
Primer and Paint
Fabric
Foam (Best price ever on foam!)
Stapler
Batting
Step 2: Cut 2x4 Frame
Measure your wall. If you do not have a bump out or any irregularities, then cut (4) 2x4's to 1 inch shorter than your wall length. *We have a bump out so our back pieces (2) were cut to 123 (1 inch shorter than our wall of 124 inches) and our front 2 pieces were cut to 133.5 inches (about one foot shorter than the front span of the area).
Step 3: Cut Upright and Bottom Supports
First things first, decide what height you want your bench to be and make sure to account for wood and foam. If you have a table and chairs and like the chair height (our chairs were 18.5 inches) then take the chair height and use that height to start with.
Our measurements were: 2x4 (actually 3.5 inches) + 9.5 inches (24 supports) + 2x4 (3.5 inches) + 3/4 inch particle board + Batting + 3 inch foam.
Our bench height ended up being 20.5 inches.
We cut 12 (six for the front and six for the back) 2x4 supports at 9.5 inches. We cut 6 floor supports at 20.5 inches.
Step 4: Attach Supports
Attach your floor supports first. You can drill in from the long 2x4's on each side to make this easy. We eye-balled the spacing.
On each of your upright supports, use the Kreg jig to make holes to attach the screws on the support to the bottom 2x4. It's also good to use wood glue on these because the slanted screws (from the Kreg jig are not as strong as vertical screws would be).
On the 2x4's that span the wall, mark where your upright 2x4's hit and use the Kreg jig and wood glue again to attach the 2x4's together (More Photos on my blog for this step).
Once you've attached the bottom 2x4 to the upright supports and then the top 2x4, this step is completed.
Step 5: Cut Top Supports and Attach
Cut 6 more 2x4 supports at 20.5 inches. Attach with Kreg jig and wood glue. Screw into the supports from the outside on both sides. Again, we eye-balled the placement but it was very similar to the flooring supports.
Step 6: Measure the Top and Have it Cut
Most hardware stores will cut wood for you. We measured for the top (it was 24 inches by 167) and had the particle board piece cut in-store. Attach by drilling wood screws down into the frame.
Step 7: Troubleshoot any Issues
Once the top piece was on, we still had to troubleshoot the bump out piece. Luke made a cardboard template of the space and then used a jig saw to cut it out of the particle board.
We placed a few screws in the particle board to attach it firmly to the 2x4 frame.
Step 8: Upholster
We placed the foam down first and then used the cardboard template from step 7 to get the foam piece for the bump-out.
Lay the batting over the foam and staple.
Trim up any excess batting.
Lay the fabric over the batting and staple (making sure to pull tightly as you go along).
Step 9: Finish Front and Sides
Using 1/4 inch plywood, cut it to size for the front and side panel. Prime and paint. Attach to the front and sides with a nail gun.
Fill any nail holes with nail filler, let dry, sand and paint.
We choose to stop here but from here you could trim out the piece to make it more substantial.
BEFORE:
After:
I really love how it turned out and it's so functional. If I could change one thing, it might have been to go with a little better quality front/sides. When the sun is in full-force in our kitchen, you can see variations in the paint. But, really that's being super picky. Otherwise, I really adore it.
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Ashley@Biggerthanthethreeofus

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

27 questions
  • Hunter Hampton
    on Jan 5, 2016

    Love it, it looks amazing. Quick question, about the shiplap wall. Is it plain boards, or tongue and groove?

  • Vicki
    on Jan 5, 2016

    love your table and chair - where did you purchase?

  • Cally
    on Jan 7, 2016

    is there a reason you didn't make the top removable or hinged so you had storage inside?

    • Rose S
      on Jan 8, 2016

      @Cally I was thinking that also... valuable storage space....lol

    • @Cally Yes, I think most people would go that route! We actually have a 14 ft storage cabinet in our dining room, so I didn't need the space. But, it would be really simple to have the hinge top. Thanks so much!

    • @Rose S Yes, I think most people would go that route! We actually have a 14 ft storage cabinet in our dining room, so I didn't need the space. But, it would be really simple to have the hinge top. Thanks so much!

  • Margaret Smith
    on Jan 8, 2016

    Is "24" a 2x4 (2 by 4)? Love this!

  • Libbie B
    on Jan 8, 2016

    Love the pillow with the leather strip. Did you make or buy it? Gorgeous!

  • Tony Angelini
    on Jan 24, 2017

    Is this construction "self sufficient"? In other words can it hold up on its own and not need the wall to support any of the construction. I would like to use it on my patio but, the wall behind it, would not be strong or thick enough to support the frame. Thanks in advance!

  • Denise Eade
    on Dec 27, 2017

    Is this also a storage space ?
    • Not on this one. We have a 16ft china cabinet across from this space with the whole bottom being storage so we didn't need more storage.
  • Donna Hathway
    on Dec 27, 2017

    Does the top flip up for storage?
    • Not on this one. We have a 16ft china cabinet across from this space with the whole bottom being storage so we didn't need more storage.
  • Theresa
    on Dec 27, 2017

    I like the clean lines with a comfy feel , a nice medley , where did you get your light fixtures ? It's the same dining room table with a Sputnik , mid century light and the other is traditional ? Also what's up with the popcorn ceiling ? Is it a keeper ?
  • Gina
    on Dec 27, 2017

    It looks like the seat is too high for the table..shouldnt it have been lower?
    • Smb228
      on Dec 27, 2017

      i think once you sit on the cushion it would compress and be fine.
    • Christine Millership
      on Dec 27, 2017

      I agree about the cushion compression, or maybe they wanted it higher for small children. it’s beside the point. This is a lovely result....well done!
    • Susan
      on Dec 27, 2017

      and if you look closely - it's about the same as the chairs
    • Beverly Lindstrom Baldwin
      on Dec 27, 2017

      In step 3 - you can see that they had a chair to measure. The cushion will compress.
    • Peter
      on Dec 27, 2017

      "About" is NOT the SAME... Had the wall mounted 2x3 been LOWER to allow for the particle board thickness it would have been Much closer to the speculation offered above... the cushion compresses, but the particle board does not.
      Still, Kids would appreciate the 'boost!'
      Also, if this gets to be a 'wet' environment, I'd challenge the selection of particle board. Prior to upholstering, it could have been waterproofed (shellac, primer, etc), and Plywood is Always better as a load-bearing surface.


    • The seat is the exact same as the chair. We measured to accommodate this. =)
  • Sam green
    on Dec 27, 2017

    Lovely job on the project. I apologize if I missed it listed above where did you say you got your foam and for what price?
    • Elane Cremo
      on Dec 27, 2017

      Any fabric store will have foam.
    • Lynn
      on Dec 28, 2017

      Sam, on her blog the link takes you to Home Depot, $25 for 3” thick 24”x72” foam.
    • Joann Felters
      on Jan 3, 2018

      Also listed above in her materials section, the link takes you to Amazon.
    • You can get foam a ton of different places. Depending on what size you want, I usually find Home Depot to be the cheapest!
  • Linda
    on Dec 27, 2017

    Lovely! Where did you get that fantastic picture of the steer?
  • Ban17278555
    on Dec 27, 2017

    Could the seats be on hinges? All that storage space would be great !

    • Candy
      on Dec 28, 2017

      Yes! Great idea!
    • Ann Brookens
      on Dec 30, 2017

      That's what I was thinking!
    • Bev
      on Jan 2, 2018

      I built and divided my 10' banquette into three sections with hinged tops and removable cushions... I love the extra storage, I have tons of art supplies and now I know exactly where to find everything!
    • Nina Carreno
      on Jan 5, 2018

      damn good idea as am into all arts and crafts ,, thank you ann ,,I will also be able to find my stuff
    • Viktoria Baller Lawson
      on Jan 5, 2018

      Agreed, needs to encompass storage space.
    • Patricia Gates
      on Jan 5, 2018

      . . . You did a beautiful job Ashley, I love it. If I had a spot to put one I would. I think I will have to buy a house just so I could do that. teeHE, Well I would like to buy a new house ! ! !
    • Yes! Most people would but I didn't need it so I didn't want to do that. BUT, it would be simple to add the storage element!
  • Lee
    on Jan 5, 2018

    How to redo old tile and unevenfloor in kitchen useing 1/2 in plywood sheets.
    • Steve
      on Dec 29, 2018

      Unless you’re remodeling the kitchen, you’re opening a big can of worms.

      Adding 1/2” plywood plus the thickness of your new floor, you run the risk of creating a trip hazard at every entry to the room. Is there an exterior door? Another problem to address.

      Then you have to think about appliance clearance. Is your fridge under a cabinet and will there be enough clearance with thicker flooring?

      Do you have a dishwasher? It may not fit under your counter afterward.

      You can tear up the old flooring and plywood beneath but that plywood often goes under the cabinets.

      I hate to be a “Donny Downer” but it’s best to think of these things beforehand and start a project with open eyes.

      I’m now putting the finishing touches on our new kitchen. The floor is off by about 3/4” from one side to the other and so is the ceiling. It made cabinet installation interesting to say the least, but now that the paint is on the walls it’s not noticeable unless I point it out.

      Good luck!

  • Keri Graper
    on Feb 8, 2018

    Would it help you to like the wood on the front of the bench more to use the same ship lap to tie it into the back wall? Love what a change it made to that area.
    • That is something that we considered! I posted this in 2016 and since then, we have trimmed the front out and it's so much better.
    • CJ
      on Jul 6, 2018

      It is beautiful....

      Can we see an updated photo??



  • Robin
    on Feb 26, 2018

    I noticed you covered an electrical outlet, how would you extend the outlet to the bench, so it was not lost?
    • We never used it but you could definitely do something with it if you needed it.

    • Mat Hartrick
      on May 12, 2018

      You would need to replace the current outlet with a junction box, and then use properly rated conduit and electrical wiring run a wire to the front of the bench to the location of your desire. You will need to cut a hole in the shape and size required for a remodel outlet box. Properly insert and secure the new remodel box as well as pull the wires through the new box. Attach the new outlet to the wires and attach the outlet to the box. Use a nice cover plate for a clean finished look.

    • RJ Baetig
      on Aug 4, 2018

      the standard is a foot off the ground, but u could do what Mat said or you could put it up higher.

    • Roxi
      on Dec 29, 2018

      I love this idea. I would love to have this in my new farmhouse . We have worked so hard.

      This is what I would change eo I could store instapot , kitchenaide mixer, a big roaster cooker etc. Have the top open with hinges on the back that I could get to things and the outlet. Just a twist to a good project. Yours is beautiful.

    • Teresa
      on Dec 29, 2018

      In Canada, it is illegal to enclose an electrical receptical without nullifying it first, by removing the receptical and covering the junction box with a cover. If your house burns down, insurance would not pay.


    • Betty Sutton Smith
      on Jan 5, 2019

      Good eye I didn't notice it so had to scroll back and look lol...

  • Ms. G
    on Dec 30, 2018

    Wonderful job! Do you have any access to the space beneath the bench? I would love that extra storage. Great, great job!

    • Judy Hornbrook
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Storage underneath ...I wouldn't be putting things like mixer, blender, etc. Because of the risk of dropping when lifting them out. But, I'd use it to store out-of-season mittens, children's snowsuits, footwear, etc.


    • Ms. G
      on Jan 3, 2019

      Wonderful use for the storage space 🙂


    • Shelley Larsen-Martin
      on Jan 5, 2019

      Yes, I too would use the space underneath the bench for seasonal or large kitchen items. Build drawers or slide out shelves.

    • Suzanne Marquardt Jarvis
      on Jan 5, 2019

      If I made this I would totally have storage underneath, and I would use cabinet doors on hinges to open up in the front and use baskets for storage until I could finish off drawers or slide outs rather than having the bench lift up.

    • Lisa West
      on Jan 5, 2019

      She can always change it up as she didnt attack it to the wall. I feel she should do shelves in the middle for small appliances. On the end drawers or doors for seasonal items and out wear gear. And or she had pillows she could store her seasonal pillows in the bench as well. This a wonderful project with some many possibilities and variations for each person.

  • Divab Bartzen
    on Jan 5, 2019

    Why didn't you make it so the top lifts up. There is so, so much storage space lost inside it.

    • Betty Sutton Smith
      on Jan 5, 2019

      Exactly!!!

    • Gina
      on Jan 6, 2019

      That’s what I was thinking too.

    • Chrissy Krainock Luders
      on Jan 6, 2019

      At the picture by step 6 you could have added hinges and even plywood doors (to save money vs cabinet doors). Just paint them the same dark brown. I own a cabinet shop and make many banquets, they really are wonderful for storage.

  • Mary Martinez
    on Jan 5, 2019

    Did you put doors for storage underneath?

  • Angel
    on Jan 6, 2019

    You said that you wanted to replace the floor? I love the floor

  • Deb
    on Jan 6, 2019

    Awesome ! I love it ...I would love to do that in my dining room.i absolutely love the wall behind it.what kind of wood is it and the width ? I love the pictutes of your cow and rug your house is beautiful ,thanks for showing.r

    • Lea Davis
      on Feb 2, 2019

      Wall planks is just one of many companies that make light weight, sticky backed, thin pieces you can put on your wall to give this look. Check your local hardware store too. What they have here looks like shiplap. But there are so many other looks. Have fun!


  • A. Mililani
    on Jan 6, 2019

    Are you using the bench for storage? A lot of nice storage there!

    • Rhonda Moore
      on Jan 6, 2019

      I am surprised that such a great Idea and amount of space didn't dbl down and address storage. Would of been a huge plus. Just saying.

    • Isabel Budinger
      on Jan 6, 2019

      That was my thought. Since they didnt put hindges I assume its all was yt? ed space that could be utilized.

    • Sandra Brinkley Born
      on Feb 2, 2019

      My husband made my our daughter one and used piano hinges so that she could use for storage. Holds the big items like crock pot and such. I made the cushions and pillows. Looks great

  • Rita Metzger
    on Feb 2, 2019

    Where did the electrical plug go?

  • Tish
    on Feb 2, 2019

    Love the Highlander.

  • Monique
    on Jul 6, 2019

    Why does the before & after picture look like the bench is in a totally different room????

    • Rebecca L guertler
      on Jul 6, 2019

      it is in same room but they took picture at different angle


    • Trudi
      on Jul 6, 2019

      She also added ship-lap on the wall.

    • Patti Rueth
      on Jul 13, 2019

      She also changed the lighting and the picture in the back wall.. plus she changed positions of the chairs too along with the shiplap walls.

  • Pam-ella
    on Jul 6, 2019

    Somewhere in that process you put shiplap on the wall too? Beautiful project!

  • Evelyn
    on Jul 7, 2019

    Are planing to create so storages (basques) under the bench??

Join the conversation

2 of 141 comments
  • Linda Deimer Wittich
    on Feb 2, 2019

    good job i love it want to build a smaller one at our houseboat and also you have inspired me to paint my doors dark gray like yours,,,,,,


  • Bcfatbroad
    on Jul 6, 2019

    If you are really bumed out by the variations in the paint then just take feather duster and touch up paint with another color. to give it a second color blend.

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