DIY Dining Room Banquette

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My little dining nook has seen many changes over the years. This is actually the second banquette I have built for this area. The previous one was destroyed by our diabetic cat. I wont elaborate but just trust me it was destroyed. Sadly our kitty is no longer with us and we were finally able to get new floors.

For such a small area a banquette is the perfect solution for seating. We rarely use the table so it can be pushed close to the banquette and still look visually pleasing. It gives us more room for traffic flow on the other side by the kitchen. I love the architectural interest it adds to the room. Who doesn’t love crisp white woodwork?

I used a very simple design. My previous banquette was an L shape. The little side didn’t really function well so this time I did a straight bench. To see my previous banquette made out of a door click here. The second design change I made was to add a toe kick. I found with the first banquette the base molding was constantly scuffed from peoples shoes and I thought this might be better for that.

I had been itching to build this thing for awhile and when we took out a custom built in cabinet out (diy shown here) I had all the wood I would need to build it. So how could I not?

The Process

I started by making a base out of 2 x 4’s for the box to sit on. Then attached the bottom piece of plywood. Again I used recycled wood so I did it with two pieces. If I was building with new wood I would have used one piece. The bottom is 4” larger on the front and outside than the base to create the toe kick.

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I attached the bottom to the base with glue and nails.

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Then I built a box that sits on the base attaching the pieces with glue, pocket holes and screws. For the back I used a 2 x 2 that is screwed into the wall to support the seat. I wasn’t worried about all the seams because I knew the wood I planned to attach to the front would hide all that. I added a center support because of the length.

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I created a paneled look with 1 x 3 primed wood. I mitered the corner piece for a more finished look but you wouldn’t have to if you don’t have the tool.

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I attached the trim boards 3/4” higher than the box so that the lid would be supported by the box but be flush with the trim This way you don’t see a lid under the cushion. Then I filled all the holes and painted her up with my favorite white paint. Thank goodness for wood filler and caulk. I didn’t add hinges to the top because I don’t anticipate opening often. I drilled a hole large enough to put my finger in to open the top when needed. It’s hidden by the cushion.

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The finishing touch

A french mattress style cushion I created was the finishing touch. I am an Upholsterer after all.

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I’m very happy with how it turned out. This post is not meant to be a detailed “how to build a banquette” but more to inspire you to build your own. It really is an easy weekend project that packs a ton of character into your space.


for more DIY furniture inspiration click here.