Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIY: Kitchen Corner Bench

Since the day we came to see our house for the first time, I knew I wanted to have a corner bench in our kitchen (a banquette, if want to be fancy).  And by that I mean, I knew I was going to ask Tyler a million times to make me a bench!  It's just the perfect spot for one.  It's a close call, but I'm pretty sure it ended up being cheaper than buying two more chairs for our table.  Plus, my cats have turned one of the chairs into their personal scratching post, and the bench is something that they can't really ruin (or haven't found a way to do so - yet).  It's probably my favorite spot in our house.  After our bed, of course.


I don't really have any step-by-step pictures, but here are some general steps Tyler took to make it:
Hopefully this makes sense,  just trying to repeat what the builder told me.

1.) Measure it all out first (obviously).  You'll need to know the measurements to make sure you get enough supplies!

2.) Spend a few too many hours and make several trips to your local Home Depot/Lowes/your hardware store of choice. Just kidding, but somehow whenever we I decide I want (Tyler) to start a project, it seems like that always happens.  Anyone else feel that way??

3.)  Make the frame of the bench using 2 x 4s.  Ours was three separate sections - 2 legs and the corner, and then was attached together using wood screws.

4.) Cut the top of the bench.  Tyler used a piece of finished maple plywood (4 ft x 8 ft x 3/4 in thick) that we got from Home Depot.  He used a circular saw and a jig saw to cut the shape of it so it slightly overhangs the frame.  Then he used a router on the edges to make them kind of curved. 

5.)  Cut the sides of the bench.  All of the side pieces (including a base top layer) were made out of the same maple plywood, except with a 1/4 in thick piece instead of 3/4 in.  

6.) Assemble! First Tyler attached the outside sides, then added the base top layer (as shown below). He used liquid nails to attach the top of the bench cut in step #4, plus screws (from underneath so the screws wouldn't show through the top). Then, he screwed on the remaining side pieces.


7.)  Fill any cracks and corners with wood filler. Also use wood filler to cover any screws that might be visible. Sand down the areas you filled once dry.  

8.) Paint! Once assembled and dried, you can paint however you choose. We used a Behr Premium paint and primer all-in-one (same color as the trim throughout our house).

I bought a few pillows to put in the corner section of the bench and would like to eventually get a few more, maybe switching them out throughout the year.  A cushion would be nice since it would make it more comfortable to sit on, but because it's a weird shape, it makes it kind of difficult to find one.  The upside to no cushion is that if any food or drink ends up on it, it's super easy to clean.  We also have a few blankets that somehow permanently found a spot on the bench when my kitties were just begging for a soft place to lay. ;)


For Christmas last year, I asked for a new light fixture.  I tend to use Christmas and my birthday as excuses to ask for things around the house that I want.  Because that's normal, right?  :) 
 

Our table looks almost exactly like this one from Pottery Barn, but was a fraction of the price!  I was pretty excited about that find.

Like I said, I love this spot in our house!  We had initially intended to attach the bench to the wall so it would be built-in, but ended up just leaving it free-standing. So, maybe at our next house we'll be able to use it there, too?  

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