Building a Banquette

BanquetteOur new kitchen in Germany only had two drawers, that’s right only two. so when I found I had enough room to build a banquette I figured I could squeeze in a little more storage. I am a pretty good carpenter but if I can find a few short cuts to make my life easier I am all for it. In this case I hit the jackpot when I found a set of nightstands that I could use as the base of my banquette and at the same time gain six more drawers. At a cost of only $15 at the thrift store they were perfect! Now if you don’t need drawers think about other pieces that will give you the kind of storage you need, short upper cabinets, like those that go over the fridge, work great or even a furniture piece like a buffet you cut the legs off,or maybe a long low TV console. Be creative and check the thrift stores for deals. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by integrating pre-built pieces.

In building this guy the first step was working in the base board piece. I  decided on my base board and then added legs made from 2×4 scraps to raise the nightstand’s bottom drawer to hit just above the base board. I then added trim that matched the baseboard along the outside edge of the nightstands and pushed them against the outer wall, this gave me the dimensions for the inner shelf. I built a platform out  of 2xs to fit just between two nightstands and then cut a shelf to lay on top. I added a divider,which I nailed in from the bottom before inserting the shelf, if your opening is smaller this is not necessary. I then nailed (3) 2x2s length ways across the top, one front, one rear, one centered, and nailed through the top into the shelf divider and night stands. This gives support to the seat as well as adding some depth. I then added a plank for the top and trim piece along the front of the seat, along the inside edge of the night stand and the front of the shelf divider.


Cushions made from Waverly Sun N Shade Lovely Lattice Lagoon , the fabric on the Yellow Pillow is by Premier Prints the two floral pillows are the leftovers from a World Market tablecloth I used to make the curtains.

The whole thing gets a coat of white paint and the final product looks nothing like what it began as, two ugly 80’s nightstands. I made some banquette cushions and new pillows and now when we have extra guest I have plenty of extra seating. Best of all, I now have eight drawers!

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