How to Build a Banquette Seat With Built-in Storage

Optimize seating and storage with an L-shaped bench that will turn any corner into a cozy destination.

Need additional seating at your kitchen table but you can't quite squeeze in another chair? Build a banquette bench to fit more people around the table in less space. The benchtops open up providing extra space to stash things like those occasionally-used small appliances.

Tools and Materials

These quantities are for an L-shaped banquette seat that measures approximately 63” x 57”.

  • circular saw
  • drill
  • level
  • orbital sander
  • (8) 2x4 x 10’ lengths of lumber
  • (1) 4' x 8' 1/2” plywood sheet
  • (1) 4' x 8' 3/4” plywood sheet
  • (4) 1/2” x 3-1/2” x 10’ pre-primed trim
  • (2) 48” piano hinges
  • wood screws
  • sandpaper
  • paintable wood filler
  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • painter's tape

Step 1: Prepare the Space

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Remove baseboard and/or any other existing trim pieces where your bench is being installed. Then find and mark the studs in the wall.

Step 2: Start Frame

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

For a corner bench, start with the longer side. To get the exact measurement of the length, measure from the corner to where the final edge of the bench will be, then subtract 1” to accommodate the plywood and trim. Cut two 2x4s to that size. We made the depth of our bench 17-1/2”. So, we cut two 2x4s to 14-1/2”, laid them inside the longer 2x4s which added the additional 1-1/2” per side. Screw all four pieces together. Then build an identical rectangle for the upper part of the bench.

Step 3: Build Box

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

To make the four vertical parts of the frame, cut four 2x4 to 9-3/4”. Screw them upright on each of the four corners. Place the second rectangle on top of the four upright pieces. Screw all the pieces together to create a box. Slide it into place.

Step 4: Frame Second Side

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

To determine the size of the shorter side of the banquette, measure from the edge of the first framed box to where you want the final edge to be, then subtract 1” for plywood and trim. Repeat the steps for building the first box using this length instead. Slide the short box next to the long box and screw them together. Push the frames back into the corner and screw them to the wall. Be sure to screw into the wall studs and use a level while screwing to make sure the frame goes in straight and even.

Step 5: Reinforce Framing

Cut seven 2x4 x 14-1/2” pieces and six 2x4 x 9-3/4” pieces to use as horizontal and vertical reinforcements. Install these supports where the two pieces intersect and also halfway from the end of the bench to the corner intersection (Image 1). Install the seventh 2x4 x 14-1/2” piece on the inside corner of the longer box (Image 2). This extra piece is needed to attach the corner benchtop.

Step 6: Face Frame With Plywood

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Cut two 17-1/2” x 16-3/4” pieces of 1/2” plywood, pre-drill, and screw them onto the ends of each box. Cut one piece of 1/2” plywood 16-3/4” tall and the length of the long face of the bench from the inner corner to the edge including the end piece of plywood you just installed. Screw this piece onto the long face. Measure and cut a 1/2” piece of plywood to cover the remaining shorter face and install.

Step 7: Install Trim

Cut the 1/2” x 3-1/2” primed trim into eight 16-3/4” pieces. Pre-drill and screw them vertically onto each edge and corner of the face of the benches (Image 1). Measure and cut eight trim pieces to fit horizontally between each of the vertical pieces. Then cut two 9-3/4” pieces to put vertically in the middle of each bench face (Image 2). Pre-drill before screwing to prevent the wood from splitting. Sand the top edges of the benches to smooth out any unevenness, this will help make sure the benchtops will sit flush (Image 3).

Step 8: Prepare Lids

Cut a 17-5/8” x 17-5/8” square piece of 3/4” plywood and screw it down onto the corner of the bench (this piece will be stationary). Measure and cut two pieces of 3/4” plywood for the benchtop/lids. Each piece will be 16-3/8” x the length (the edge of the bench to the square piece in the corner). To make the stationary piece of benchtop that will go against the wall, rip a 1-7/8” piece lengthwise from each of the lid pieces and screw them face down along the wall on each side of the bench. Lay the remaining larger pieces of the lids face-up on the bench. Leave a 1/16” gap between the plywood pieces for the hinge. When the lid pieces are set, use a pencil to mark where you will need to cut a diagonal notch from the inner corners of the lids so they can close without overlapping.

Step 9: Install Hinges

Center the piano hinges on the inner edges of the plywood lids, screwing them in by hand (Image 1). Start with the center screw so you can attach the hinge and then properly align the edges before putting in the remaining screws. Then lay the lids in the open position and screw the other side of the hinges to the 1-7/8” piece (Image 2). Close each lid to make sure everything is aligned.

Step 10: Prep and Paint

Use a sander to smooth out any rough edges inside and out. Be sure to sand the faces of all the separate pieces of trim so they seem to form one solid surface. Vacuum and then wipe the surface to remove all dust. Fill all screw holes and hairline gaps with a paintable wood filler. Paint as desired.

Step 11: Stash Items

Use your new storage to free up space in your kitchen. For extra comfort, top the benches with cushions and enjoy your custom kitchen nook.

Sew a Simple Bench Cushion

See how you can turn a fabric shower curtain into an upholstered foam cushion with a machine-washable cover; perfect for a kitchen banquette, window seat or patio furniture.

Next Up

How to Make an Outdoor Spiral Bench With Built-In Planters

A bench doesn’t have to be a rectangle or square. Learn how to build a three-sided spiral bench with built-in planter boxes.

How to Build a Modern Outdoor Bench

Looking for more outdoor seating or a decorative bench for your porch? Try your hand at this easy woodworking project that can be built in less than a day.

How to Build a Vertical Book Tower

Short on space to display your books? You’ll certainly be able to fit this DIY bookshelf into your life.

How to Build a DIY Kitchen Island on Wheels

Need some extra workspace in your kitchen? Build a rolling island for added functionality and style. One side stores a stand mixer, sheet pans, cutting boards and more, while the other side allows for extra seating. Perfect for small spaces, this portable kitchen island easily rolls out when you need it and neatly tucks away when you don’t.

How to Make a Raised-Bed Planter With a Built-in Bench

Add a garden to your deck or patio with this combination raised planter box and bench.

How to Build a Free Library Box With a Living Roof

Little free libraries are popping up in neighborhoods everywhere. Sharing your favorite books is a great way to connect with your neighbors and encourage kids to read.

Mudrooms: Built-Ins vs. Freestanding

Consider the pros and cons of each type of mudroom storage option

How to Make Wire Shelf Covers That Look Just Like Floating Shelves

This renter and homeowner-friendly hack transforms tricky wire shelves into stylish, faux floating wood shelves.

How to Build an Outdoor Storage Bench for Secure Package Delivery

Prevent porch pirates from stealing your parcels with this easy-to-build, locking storage box that can also serve as extra seating on your porch, entryway or stoop.

How to Build a Floating Shelf With Hidden Charging Station

Don't let unsightly cables and cords clutter your living space. This DIY floating shelf has a built-in power strip tucked away in a drawer — the perfect spot to charge your phones, tablets and other gadgets out of sight.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.