If you’ve been reading imperfect from the start, you know that I’ve flip flopped over Banquette Seating for, ohhh…3 1/2 years now. Then, last February we bit the bullet and started construction. Yes, that was almost a year ago. After much debate, I finally came across a real estate blog that recommended a one wall banquette over a corner banquette for resale (due to difficulty that getting in and out of a corner booth creates) – I’d link to that blog if I still could find it, but interestingly enough, 2 years later, I no longer have a record of it. But back to the banquette – my main concern with this project was always resale – and a vent underneath the window in the nook. Not to mention that one window is fairly low and wouldn’t be great to sit against. So the one wall approach helped to alleviate that venting issue that neither B nor I are handy enough to tackle ourselves, and also made me feel better about the long-term saleability of a banquette. Still not convinced, though, I realized that we could have a built-in looking bench without actually building it in. Buh-bye resale hang-up, time to get started. Here’s what we were dealing with:
Just an empty corner nook. The size of the nook prevents a rug from being very practical (vents and doors would open into the size we need), and there was no softness (a white curtain that didn’t photograph well). We needed fabric. We needed some color. We needed seating.
I consulted Ana-White.com’s plans to see if she had anything that would fit the bill for a banquette – she had a few bench ideas, but nothing that was what I had in mind. And then I realized that I could modify the plans for the storage bed to make a bench. I did some rough calculations, handed them over to my resident engineer for “approval” (we all know I don’t give two hoots about approval…I just needed my long division checked.) and we were off to Home Depot and Lowes for the parts.
6 months later…we had this.
I don’t love the cushion. It’s temporary – I cheaped out and bought a thin piece of foam thinking that thickness didn’t matter. Then I made a sloppy cushion out of clearance fabric because I wasn’t sure what I should do for fabric. It will do for now while I’m saving my house money envelope to re-do it…which will cost more in the long-run. Don’t cheap out is the moral of the cushion story.
I made square throw pillows from fabric projects around the house – I love bringing the whole house together with fabric. The geometric green is from my DIY Ottoman/coffee table in the adjoining living room, and the floral is the fabric I used for the kitchen curtains. I stole the grass green ticking from Caroline’s fabric stash with some excuse like, “Your house is blue and yellow, this would look way better at my house”. I’m an excellent daughter.
I’m on the hunt for the perfect (reasonably priced) locker baskets for the six cubbies, so for now this is all the decor that’s happening. But when the baskets are here, I’ll use them for paper plates, smaller appliances that I use less frequently, table linens, and the far end one for Casco’s leash, harness and collar. But in the mean time, it’s a less frequently used cookbook hang-out:
With the banquette complete, and our kitchen recently updated with painted cabinets, new Silestone countertops and a subway tile backsplash, I decided the rest of the nook needed an overhaul, too.
I stumbled across the Jackson Dining Table at World Market last year and took bad phone pics for Mr. B. But we never pulled the trigger. Right before Thanksgiving they had a huge furniture and I snatched up the table, intending to buy the matching chairs for myself as a birthday present in January. But that lasted 12 hours before I ordered almost identical chairs on Overstock. Happy early birthday, I guess?
I’m madly in love with the table and chars. I adore the industrial table pedestal with the more rustic top.
And the metal tub chairs make me smile as I walk down the stairs every morning. B pulled them out of the box when they arrived and said “These are not chairs I ever would have seen and thought, ‘Em will love those.'” But I absolutely love the combination of more industrial with traditional – and I’ve been lusting after a Tolix chair knockoff for years.
Should we do one more quick before and after?
And after. Well, after-ish. I still need to remove the too-small chalkboard and find a solution for the wall behind the banquette. And then I need to make that blank wall on the right of the photo above our Grand Central station for keys and bags to hang. I’ve got plans, just need to put them into play!
And, if you’re looking for a dose of reality, Thomas’s booster seat is attached to one of the chairs, and there’s usually a dirty dish or two and a toddler art project at any given time:
So that’s the breakfast nook redo with banquette seating. What do you think?