Benched!

February 12, 2010


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.
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11 comments:

Art Wall Katie said...

P.S. You can enlarge the diagram by clicking on it.

Candied Fabrics said...

It's lovely! And the L shape - much better than a U!

karichuckroryskylar said...

I am looking to do a similar project in our new house. I also live in Madison. ;) Could you share the name of the carpenter who completed the project for that price? Also, do you have a formal dining room in addition to this space?

Art Wall Katie said...

Kari! Madtown represent! The bench was made by Scott Edwards: http://tinyurl.com/yc6sxjn and the cushion, which was another $300ish was made by Fabricio's upholstery http://www.fabriciosupholstery.com/ I'm not totally sure on the price of the bench because he did a lot of work for us at once so make sure you ask if you call him first. He might have it itemized somewhere.

Art Wall Katie said...

I forgot to answer your question. Yes, I do have a dining room we use a few times a year.

Simply Defined Design said...

Fantastic Idea! I love your site!!!

Anna said...

this is the dream breakfast nook i have been trying to describe to my boyfriend for weeks. you are awesome!!!! we just bought a house & this will look amazing in our dining area. thank you x a million.

Laura said...

Funny... I was just on design sponge yesterday and fell in love with your banquette! And now, I found your blog through BYW. Looks awesome... great job! :)

Kiara said...

My husband and I are hoping to put in a similiar bench in our kithen. The most daunting thing for us is the custom cushion... Did you buy your own fabric then bring it to the upholsterer? We have some handy friends to help with the bench and that will keep the cost down but it seems like the cushion will be most expensive part.

Thanks!

Art Wall Katie said...

Hi Kiara- I had the fabric from another project. The upholsterer came over to make a template for the cushion (he mapped it out with newspaper) then made it in his shop. It was around $300. I wanted it done quickly and knew the upholsterer from another job he did for me. Do you have a trade school in your town that offers upholstery classes? If so, you could contact the instructor to see if any of the students would want to take on your project.

TheCluelessCrafter said...

I love your craptastic diagram that enlarges beautifully! What can't be seen on it is the brilliant glass table. The light that carries through makes the room absolutely heavenly divine.

So, do you lounge whilst a coterie of kept men dangle grapes above head?

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