Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Behold the Kitchen Banquette

I fell in love with a DIY IKEA-hack kitchen banquette last summer. 
And I haven't been the same since.

(See my ode to Lindsay's banquette here and my fun with IKEA here)

This past weekend, it all came together.


And as Lindsay's banquette post suggests, it's not a hard hack. 

Here's how I put mine together:


I laid 2 primed and painted 2x6x8's like a railroad track on the floor. 

Frame the Vent

Luckily, the floor vent is far enough away from the wall to lay the tracks around it.  Which will allow for airflow under the banquette.

One Cabinet

Then I laid the first cabinet on the tracks. 

My total length is 8 feet, or 96 inches.  So I used three "AKURUM top cabinet to refrigerator" frames, two at 30" wide and the middle one at 36" wide.  All 24" deep and 15" high.

Line 'Em Up

With all three cabinets in place, it felt awfully deep. 

But I knew the shallower cabinets were waaaay too shallow.  So I put the temporary cushion on and kept the faith.

Deck Chair Cushions

I'm keeping it real here.  That was our kitchen for a few days.  I was cringing.

Then came the cushion. 

(SFX: church choir singing "Hallelujah!")

Fits Like a Glove

I found an outdoor fabric called Spectrum Graphite by Sunbrella that almost perfectly matches the 'Grimmy's Grey' Dulux paint on the kitchen cabinets.  I love the unity it brings to the room. 

View from the Back Door

The foam itself is a firm 4" thick piece covered in batten to perfectly fit the length (96") and width (24") of the cabinets.  To give it a polished look, I asked the upholsterer to add piping...and since I have kids, I asked for a zipper in case I need to remove and wash it.

View from Below

I gave it a test drive by hosting a coffee with 8 of my closest girlfriends today, and they loved it.  Four lovely ladies fit comfortably on the banquette and stayed for a couple hours.  Success. about some fun Before and After pics.

My view walking into the kitchen from the main hallway:

Before - From the Fridge
After - From the Fridge

And from the dining room:

Before - Dining Room
After - Dining Room (pillows for placement only)

My favorite view:

Love the Grey

If you haven't noticed, the highchair is gone.  There's something about the gorgeousness that's keeping George's throne in the dining room.  I roll it in for feed time and then roll it back when he's done.  Highchairs are just not gorgeous.

But George is.  And I managed to keep him out of every banquette shot. 

Except for this one. 

Toy & IKEA Box Corner of the Dining Room

I think he's happy to get his toy corner back. 

** Thank you to Lindsay for her amazing inspiration found here **


  1. Amazing improvement! The color is perfect, and the built-in look adds so much to the room.

  2. Your banquette turned out wonderfully!  The cushion's colour is absolutely perfect for the kitchen.  It must be great having all of that additional storage space, too.

    You've done such a great job updating your kitchen. :)

  3.  Thank you!  A few more updates to go before I do a big before and after.  My favorite! 

  4. Just one question do you ever use the cabinets for storage?
    Looks beautiful by the way!! : )

  5. Yes, I definitely do!! I should do an updated post on the it's found a new home in the basement play room. It holds toys now instead of pots and pans ;)

  6. Hi Meg. I found your DIY banquette via your basement photo from I'm so glad to have found this blog post that has all the details on how to make the banquette. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out which Ikea cabinets you used, because it was not the same depth as the Expedit shelves you added in the basement.

    First of all, your makeover of your house is stunning! I recently finished my basement and I draw a lot of inspiration from what you did with your basement. I also have 2 little boys and a playroom with lots of storage was a must! So I wanted to do something similar to what you did with the banquette and shelving.

    I do have a question regarding the custom-made cushion. Where in Toronto did you get this made? I am from Toronto too so I'm interested in checking out the same place where you got yours done. Also, was it expensive to have the cushion custom made?

  7. Hi, how did you keep the cabinets stable on the 2x6x8's so that the cabinets don't get knocked off? Did you nail them down or something? Looks great!!

  8. I didn't actually secure the cabinets in place at all. They are very heavy and quite sturdy, so they do not move. I thought I might have to, or would do that down the road, but even with constant use by the kids (now that the banquette is in the playroom), they haven't needed even one nail!