Our most recent home project was building a banquette for our kitchen table. We don't have much extra room in the dining space of our kitchen and our new table was just a little wide for the area. With small kids, I really felt a bench would give a lot of seating versatility and without chairs to slide out we could put the table that much closer to the wall. I also wanted something sturdy that would not be sliding around or tipping over.
To build the banquette we purchased 3 finished hickory cabinets. Two 30" x 15" for the long side and one 36" x 15" for the short side.
We used a glued pine board (16" wide) for the bench. After cutting the two pieces we glued them together and added a block under the seam to give it some extra support. We rounded the edges a bit when sanding and then gave it a couple coats of stain and three coats of polyurethane.
To bring up the seating height we made a riser out of 1"x2" pine and finished it to match the rest of the banquette.
The cabinets are attached the the wall and at this point the bench is just sitting on the top. We might attach it if it wobbles too much.
Our goal was to have the bench in place for J's birthday party last
weekend. We were able to comfortably seat 3 adults and 2 kids in the
space where only 3 chairs would have fit. Plus the table was close
enough to the wall that the chairs on the other side could be fully
pulled back from the table.
Normally we don't have a leaf in the table and its length
matches the banquette. But for parties we can put in both leaves, use
all the chairs, and seat quite a few people!