Interior Design Tips - Making Your Own Banquette for Decorate: You Can Do it Yourself!

Besides looking stylish, banquettes can provide additional storage and seating in your dining area. Learn how to make your own banquette with these simple ideas!

Plaid Banquette - by army_arch via (CC BY 2.0)

Banquette - DIY Room Decor

Do you love the look of built-in seating? Are you searching for a way to provide more seating in your dining area? Or, would it simply be nice to have a little additional storage in an already crowded kitchen? A banquette is your solution! Learn how to make a banquette with a few simple do-it-yourself ideas!

Use What You've Already Got

Surely you've heard the phrase "teach and old dog new tricks"? Well, there are a variety of existing furniture pieces which can be used to create banquette seating areas. Do you just happen to have an old couch waiting to be rediscovered in the basement? Why not consider recovering it in a fun fabric, pairing it with a few chairs, a great table and - voila! Instant banquette seating. Recovering not in your budget? Then forget that part and just add a fun new pillow, or paint the chairs a contrasting color. Of course, you will want to be certain the couch does not sit too low for the table. Try it out first.

Not so lucky? Then give Craigslist a try, or scour your local yard sales. There are literally hundreds of folks hoping someone will take away the old couches they have waiting in their basements. Settees really work exceptionally well as banquette seating. If you find one with a wood back, but the wood is not in particularly good shape, consider painting it, or even stenciling a fun design ideas on to the furniture piece.

Be a Bench-Warmer - How to Build a Bench

Something as simple as a long bench, or several benches fastened together can also be used to make a banquette seating area. The bench would sit against the wall, and then other chairs would be added around the table. Pair it with a bench cushion, add a few pillows for decoration, or even leave it just as it is for a simpler statement.  There are plenty of offerings on sites like Walmart, eBay and Craigslist to get the bench. Or, make your own with wood and stool legs.

Bench & kitchen cabinet

Kitchen Cabinets

Another option is to use pre-made kitchen cabinets for your banquette seating. The upper kitchen cabinets typically used above refrigerator work the best. You can put them directly on the floor, or add bun furniture feet to the bottom to raise the height a little. The doors may be glued or nailed shut. Or, if you are in need of a little additional storage, keep the doors functional. 

This is a great place to store cookbooks, seasonal glassware, extra kitchen linens or even wireless routers for your home computer. For the top, simply stain or paint a slab of wood to match, or add a decorative bench cushion. If you are trying to form a typical L shaped banquette, you will need to use several cabinets. To fill in the corner space, slide one cabinet down further, or provide bracing from each wall so that the cabinets just touch.

Things to Consider

Now that you know how to make a banquette seating area, there are a few things you should consider before tacking this project for your living space:

  • Where will your banquette sit? Is it going to be the focal point of the room, or will it work as a divider between the dining area and another room? Remember - primary traffic flow spaces should be avoided.
  • How many people will you plan to seat? Most banquette spaces accommodate for-to-eight people. However, it is possible to plan for more by using additional chairs and expanding tables. Plan your space accordingly.
  • When using existing furniture pieces - like a couch - remember that seating should not be too low or too high. Regular dining chairs are typically 18 to 20 inches up from the floor. Your banquette should follow suit.
  • Know your audience. Will you be entertaining a lot of children over the years? If so, then choose fabrics which are easily washable, or at the very least - stain resistant.

For photos of kitchen banquettes, continue reading other articles in this series.

The Kitchen Banquette

In this series, we take a detailed look at French banquettes, ideas for incorporating banquettes into your dining areas and how to create your own. Read on to learn more about this popular seating option.

  1. The French Banquette: Stylish Seating for Your Kitchen
  2. Making Your Own Banquette: You Can Do it Yourself!

Creativity is a key to success