I am so excited to share our FINISHED Built-in Banquette with you! I shared back on THIS post in January that we really wanted to add a built-in banquette to our tiny kitchen. And I have talked about this banquette a lot since then, can you tell how excited I am about it?! If you have read my blog before this post you already know that we had a cozy little settee in our kitchen that we were using as a banquette. I was REALLY sad to see that settee go. It was comfortable and good looking settee and held a lot of memories. I was willing to part with it to gain some extra seating and some much needed hidden storage underneath the seat of the banquette. I have to say we are pretty thrilled with it. Ok enough talking about it…let me show you!
But first you have to see the BEFORE, the BEFORE we moved in-
Surprised we changed it? The homeowners before us didn’t have a dining table in this space, just a small little sofa table. And the picture got cut off, but there was a fan in here too:)
Here is the after with our new built-in banquette and a few other changes that we made. Below is what it looked like with our lovely settee, the way it looked for the two plus years we lived in this little cape. I actually got so many emails and questions on that settee- a lot of people wanting to take it off our hands. The woman who did get it was so sweet, she sent me a picture of it in her house and said it would be loved by her family.
We had our talented do-it all guy- Marcin build our banquette. I had mentioned that he also hung the wallpaper in our son’s nursery, hung the barn door upstairs and remodeled our exterior porch. Nothing he can’t do! My husband has gotten SO handy with this house, but we knew we couldn’t and didn’t want to tackle building a banquette.
I had two bids on the building the banquette with materials. Only because Marcin was busy for a couple of months and I was anxious. The other bid was about $2200, way over double what Marcin charged us! So needless to say, we wanted for Marcin and a day of sunshine for him to do the cuts outside.
Best tip I have is to- get a couple of bids!
I kept the chalkboard in this space, I wasn’t ready to part with it yet. We did add some new shelves (complete source list at the end of this post). They were the only one’s that I could find small enough to fit in this area and that were wood to tie in our butcher counter tops.
This shelf strategically hides a weird plug in the middle of the wall, gotta love old house charm.
I wish I had a video camera set up after the banquette was complete. You would have thought it was a doll house the way Lola played here. She brought all her toys and dolls and played, turned on music and danced and sang. She loves it and so does everyone else.
When I was measuring how far I wanted the new banquette to be built I brought in my tea cart and made sure there would be just enough room to squeeze it in. I love having a spot to put drinks, desserts or just hold extra fruit and dishes.
This is another tip I have- make sure to tape off the area you want the built in to be. It will give you an actual feel for it in the space. I knew I wanted to load the banquette with pillows and not have to pull them off when we sat down. I put the pillows and a few of the things I wanted to store in the built-in to make sure everything would fit.
Tip- Tape off the area for built-in or furniture
I love that we can keep our crock pot, pressure cooker, extra dishes and small appliances here rather than going down to the basement to bring them up. I know….it’s not a long trip but when you have a baby underfoot it is hard to rush to the basement without him wanting to follow along.
I showed Marcin a picture of a banquette I liked before he built our banquette. I knew I wanted the top to lift up. and what I wanted the style to be other than the little details I left that up to him. I thought the top would lift up entirely. But he made a cut-out in the top with a piano hinge on the back so it can lift up. I don’t love the hole for your finger to go in to lift it up, but it was the best option. He was going to do two holes, but I suggested one for each side and it works.
Details on our BANQUETTE
- PAINT– Valspar Ultra White in a semi-gloss.
- PRIMER– remember to prime before you paint- we went with inexpensive wood since we knew we were going to paint it white.
- SEALER– I HIGHLY suggest you seal your painted banquette after you paint it. We painted it a different white before this white that was too creamy (I had Home Depot match a paint and it did not look like it normally does). We had not sealed it because I did not like the color. But when we sat on it before sealing it our blue jeans would leave marks all over it and it would easily scratch. We used was THIS sealer.
- SEAT HEIGHT– 18 1/2″ heigh. I HIGHLY suggest comparing the banquette height to chairs you already have and ensuring you like the comfort of those, I wish mine was slightly shorter, closet to 18″. Keep in mind if you want to add a cushion to your banquette- then you will want to deduct the cushion thickness from the height of the banquette. I am not going to do a cushion. I don’t want it in the way when we have to get something out of the banquette and that is sometimes daily.
- SEAT DEPTH– 24″ deep. I like the seat depth. Like I mentioned I have a lot of pillows on it and when my girls sit on the banquette they can add another pillow if they need to be closer to the table. I really like that the pillows aren’t moved much, just there for comfort.
- TABLE- 40″ round. I get asked a lot what size table I have. And it works great in this tiny space. I like that there is extra hang over on the banquette that does not match up to the table exactly so you can easily just take a seat without sliding around a dining table.
- BANQUETTE SIZE– Overall it is 6’x 6′ and the total back height is 40″.
- CHAIRS– We have two of THESE chairs up to our table now and we could easily squeeze in two more for entertaining. I have to say I LOVE these chairs. I like that they are on the smaller scale but still very comfortable for myself and my husband who is 6 feet tall. Also I think they have been knocked over WAY too often and do not even crack or show any sign of damage.
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*contains affilate links
Dining Table- my dining table was an antique find. You can find a similar one HERE
Dining Chairs HERE (mine are Fog, I have two others in white to mix in)
Wood Chandelier HERE painted in Valspar Ultra White in a semi-gloss
Chalkboard was a broken mirror that I painted the back in chalkboard paint. Chalkboard HERE