I woke up squealing yesterday as I knew my mini-kitchen reno. was scheduled to be featured on Design*Sponge's weekly before/after segment. The post got a few comments and I received several emails about the ins-and-outs of the banquette bench so I thought it would be easier to write a little post about it vs. emailing everyone separately. When I set out to design it, here are several things I considered:
1) I worked around the existing placement of my windows. The windows were already squished into the corner, so the configuration and placement made sense to me. A U-shaped configuration was recommended by someone but I thought the window placement was more condusive to the L-shape I went with.
2) I knew I wanted to have a back on the bench because of the window sill. Even with plenty of pillows, leaning up against a window sill seemed like it would be uncomfortable. I made the height of the back flush with the window sill.
3) I wanted the sides to have a little triangle of support to keep the pillows from falling on the floor.
4) I wanted the bench to look built-in, but I didn't want it to be built-in. We will probably never take it with us to a new house, but I didn't want to remove/damage the existing trim and floors, so it is removable.
5) I wanted a really loung-y and comfy feel, so I designed the depth to be much greater than most banquette benches. The pillows are useful for shoving behind your back to sit up and eat comfortably. The height of the seat is about 1.5 inches too high with the 3" cushion. I managed to score a pretty high table to make up for my mistake but if I could have a "do-over" the seat would be a bit lower.
6) High-grade plywood was used for the construction. The ends were veneered for a finished look before painting. I didn't really think that was necessary but my carpenter highly recommended it so I trusted his expertise.
Sorry for the craptastic diagram. If anything is not clear, leave a question in the comments section.