Before and After: This DIY Banquette Totally Transformed an Unused Nook

published Apr 14, 2023
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dining nook area before renovation/makeover
Credit: Andrea Ford

Banquettes are a great solution for small kitchens — and for nooks and crannies within kitchens — because they’re a more efficient use of square footage compared to rounded chairs. Not to mention, they often offer room for storage.

Here’s a fun-and-cozy banquette to add to your inspo board: an L-shaped dining nook built by architect Andrea Ford (@theford_project) inside her 1930s home. She made it happen over the course of a weekend with her husband, Hunter, for about $300, and now their family has five extra feet of seating to enjoy.

Credit: Andrea Ford

“I was pretty set on it having storage, which definitely added more complexity to it,” Andrea says. “There was lots of planning beforehand, but we had to make changes when we got into the design, of course. This was our first project together, so it was a test of our skills and our teamwork.”

Credit: Andrea Ford

Andrea and Hunter picked up birch plywood from Home Depot to get started, and painted it off-white (Sherwin-Williams’ Swiss Coffee) to match the walls. Then they went to JOANN Fabric and Crafts to top custom-made cushions with green velvet. Andrea’s mom actually made the cushions herself, to lend her own expertise to the process.

“The cushions came together about a month after the bench was complete because I had to wait on the fabric to come in,” Andrea explains.

Credit: Andrea Ford

Next came the hunt for the perfect table, which was tough to find — the size of the nook limited Andrea’s search to ones measuring about 30 inches wide, so that there would still be enough room for her family to comfortably scooch in. “I have a love for vintage, so I really wanted to happen upon something. And wouldn’t you know it, I did, and I couldn’t be happier,” she says.

Andrea paired a tulip table with cane seating, another vintage treasure, and layered in a mix of pillows that includes one from H&M. And as for the matte black light fixture overhead? That was found at Home Depot. (Proof that you can get plywood and finishing touches from this big-box store!)

Credit: Andrea Ford

The pendant and artwork by Emma Fick make the space feel complete, as Andrea writes on Instagram. In all, Andrea is proud of how this empty corner has been transformed — and how functional the new banquette turned out to be.

Credit: Andrea Ford

“We sit down for breakfast every day, so having a dedicated and comfortable space was important,” she says. This nook exudes style, comfort, and efficiency — and happens to have a budget-friendly total cost. In other words, this project has done it all!

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before and After: A Custom Banquette Makes This Tiny Dining Nook Breakfast-Ready for $300