Built-In Banquette, Part One
March 24, 2014
I was having coffee with our pastor’s wife a few months ago in their home, we were talking about all of of her plans for fixing up the house on a very limited budget. (Out of respect for their privacy I can’t share her name but let’s just call her “Carrie”.) She shared that the biggest dream of hers was to install a built in wrap around bench in their U shaped breakfast nook for their family of six and cozy it up with cushions and pillows. I wholeheartedly agreed that a banquette would be perfection!
We started scheming how to make it happen and a few weeks later she called me in excitement to tell me they were going to build it in a shop with a carpenter friend who’s also member of the congregation. He guided them from start to finish on the build. Six weeks passed as the bench slowly took shape over time and I’m so excited to share the first phase. Let’s call it a “before” and “during” because there are many more details to come …
The pieces for this built in banquette were constructed in this order: first the three boxes then the face frame, next the drawers, drawer fronts, and finally the top.
The solid U shaped top was created by attaching three pieces of high grade plywood together with notched dowels and then adding trim to form the overhanging edges.
Here is the banquette on installation day, you can see the boxes that hold the deep drawers were installed first in the space then plywood stabilizers were added in the corners to support the top piece for the U shaped benches.
The drawer fronts, frame, and top were all primed and painted ‘Linen White’ by Benjamin Moore in the Advance formula. The back window sills had to come off to fit the solid top of the bench into the space but it all came together perfectly.
Each drawer pulls out for additional storage for seasonal linens or games and toys (four children live here!)
Big props to my friend “Carrie” for refinishing her pedestal table too – it used to be black but she wanted stained rustic wood instead so she stripped and sanded all the paint away then gave it a light stain and several layers of dark wax.
The next phase involves adding a white painted plank wall and woven shades on the windows – the combination will add really wonderful texture. Below there will be cushions, throw pillows, and industrial style chairs.
The homeowners are inspired by this plank wall project spied over at The Wood Grain Cottage but they’re going to wrap all three walls above the banquette.
After that comes the best part of all, decorating with fabric! I’m partnering with one of my favorite sources for fabulous fabrics Tonic Living to supply the textiles – we’re excited to pull together a medley of geometrics and botanical motifs for the pillows, the cushion fabric will be this indoor/outdoor Vogue Grey.
These are the top contenders in a gray, yellow, with a hint of blue palette for pillows:
Don’t you just love a home with a banquette?
The project and styling for this banquette should be finished in a month, maybe two, there is much sewing and planking to do! I’m so excited for this deserving family’s breakfast nook makeover, I’ll share the final reveal when complete!
Also, for those of you following the Creating with the Stars contest, hop on over to see all the amazing knock offs in Round One! My partner is Tracy from Right Up My Alley, I’m not allowed to say which project is hers but she killed it and I’m so proud of her! Hop on over to see the 12 projects and vote with one click on Survey Monkey !