Even novice DIYers can create this sophisticated storage-packed bench. Skip a pricey built-in banquette and see the potential in stock cabinets—you'll save hundreds and construct a cozy breakfast nook with personality. Follow our tips to this beautiful banquette.

June 08, 2015
dining room

Can you believe this corner unit is actually four upper kitchen cabinets? The unfinished pieces are screwed together, raised on a poplar platform, topped with fiberboard, and painted white to unify the look. A wall cleat keeps the impressive banquette in place, while a thick seat cushion adds comfort.

How to Do It

A 2-inch frame of poplar boards raises the cabinets to the right height. The frame is easy to construct: A basic rectangle with additional perpendicular pieces creates a ladder look. Each stretch of cabinets sits atop a frame.

Next, top the cabinets with fiberboard. To avoid scraping your legs on hardware, cut the fiberboard top at least one inch wider than the cabinets. This will create a slight overhang that extends over the pulls.

For the most professional look, remove the cabinet doors and hardware to paint the cabinets. A paint sprayer will give you the highest-quality finish.

Keep the family safe by securing the banquette to the wall with wall cleats. 

Posh Pillows


Invoke your personality with bright tie-dyed pillows. The designs are made from white cotton dipped into fabric dye. For the pink design, fold the fabric in quarters, twist it, and let the dye set for five minutes. For the blue design, fold the fabric in half, dip the center for two seconds, then lay the other sides in the dye for 10 to 15 minutes.

Hidden Storage

storage bench

Hide baskets inside the cabinets to keep place mats and cloth napkins close at hand.

Custom Artwork

bench and painting

Complete your banquette with a large, inexpensive artwork made from a simple plywood or MDF panel and crafts paints in the same color palette. To make some squares less opaque and create a watercolor effect, add water to the paint.

Bright Pillows

pillows and bench

Ensure comfort on your new bench with plenty of fluffy pillows. To give a pillow two looks for the price of one, use different fabrics on the front and back.

Two-Tone Chairs

painted chair

Continue color throughout the nook with an easy two-tone chair treatment. Simply use interior latex paint to coat an entire dining room chair in the color of your choice. After it dries, use painters tape to mask off a line toward the bottom of each leg, then apply paint two shades lighter than the base coat.

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