I have absolutely LOVED my built-in banquette bench with storage in my breakfast room. Since I live in such a tiny home, any extra storage is a definite bonus. And I love that the seating and table take up less space than would a table with four chairs, which would be more centered in the tiny little space.
And the best part…it wasn’t difficult to build at all!!
Here are the steps I took to build my banquette bench with storage.
How To Build A Bench Seat With Storage
First I measured the width between the cabinets where I wanted my seat. It measured 55″ wide. So I started with two 1″ x 4″ pieces of lumber cut to 55″ long. Then I wanted my seat to be around 18″ tall, so I had five pieces of 1″ x 4″ lumber cut to 16 1/2 inches long (so that when placed between the two 55″ pieces, it would equal 18″ tall–see the pictures below for more detail).
With these pieces, I assembled the frame for the front of the seat.
Using wood glue and screws, I started at one end and attached one of the 16 1/2″ pieces to the end of the 55″ piece.
I fastened these boards with wood glue and screws. Now that I have a brad nailer, I would definitely use that instead of screws.
I attached another 16 1/2″ piece on the other end and then spaced out the other three pieces at (somewhat) even intervals between.
At this point, the frame looked like this.
Next, I attached the top 55″ piece, also using wood glue and screws.
When the frame was finished, I wedged it between the cabinets at the front of the seating area. I used my level to be sure the frame was level and then used screws to secure to the frame to the cabinets.
**If you’re not building your banquette seat between two cabinets or walls, then you will simply need to make two additional frames for the sides in the same way as the front frame was made, and then secure the front and side frames with screws and wood glue.
To the front of the frame, I attached a piece of MDF cut to 55″ x 18″. I secured it with wood glue and finishing nails.
Along the back wall, I measured from the floor 18″ and marked in several places. This was my guide for placing the back brace.
This back brace was another 1″ x 4″ piece of lumber, cut to 55″ wide. Again, I secured it directly to the wall with wood glue and screws. (You’ll notice I had to cut out a notch for the electrical outlet.)
On the ends, I cut a piece of 1″ x 4″ lumber to fit perfectly between the front frame and the back brace. I attached with wood glue and screws inserted at an angle.
I then took my top MDF piece, cut to 55″ wide by 22″ deep and cut a strip about 3″ from the end. These 3″ pieces were glued to the front-to-back brace I just attached. The main middle piece was only attached to the back wall with a continuous hinge (also called a piano hinge).
**Oooookay…now let me explain why I did this, and why you probably won’t need to if you build your own banquette bench with storage.
My banquette seat is placed between two cabinets, and each cabinet has a butcherblock countertop that extends 1 1/4″ past the cabinet. So, in order for the top of my storage seat to open fully, it had to be able to clear the countertops. Soooo, I had to cut the ends. Got it? More than likely, you won’t have the same scenario, so you will have no need to make these cuts. Instead, the top on your seat will be one solid piece.
This gives you a better view of the seat in relation to the cabinets and the countertops. You can see why I had to make the cuts in the top of the seat…right?
The inside can be caulked, primed, and painted.
Once you have your basic banquette seat built, you can trim it out with any type of molding, in any design, that you like. I chose to keep mine pretty simple. I attached a 1″ x 2″ piece of MDF to the front of the seat top to make it look “beefier”. I then added a two pieces of 1″ x 4″ MDF at the floor. The first one I attached about 1″ from the floor, and the second one I attached right against the floor. There really wasn’t any rhyme or reason to this. I was just trying to create an interesting design. Now, if I ever get my flooring finished, I’ll finish this off with quarter round at the floor.
Pretty easy, right? I promise, it is. Just think of it as a big box…first you need a frame, then you cover the frame with pieces of MDF, and finish it off with decorative moulding to make it pretty. Easy peasy!!
This project was for my condo breakfast room makeover. Click here to see the whole before and after of the breakfast room makeover.
Or click on the thumbnails below to see other DIY projects that I did for my condo breakfast room makeover.