In DIY/ My House

DIY: Making a Seating Bench in the kitchen out of Ikea


We decided to make a seating bench in our eat in kitchen. I did a post about my desire to have a bench and in the reader comments, Vez, a fellow home blogger, reminded me that Samantha Pynn had recently done a project using Ikea cabinets to make a bench. That was the inspiration that made this project actually happen. (A nice reminder that I should post my dilemas on this blog, as the readers always seem to have the right answers) Here is how you too can make one.


(A) Get Ikea Cabinets (Lidingo Kitchen Cabinets, (34″ Deep, 15″ High) Ikea)
We bought 3 Ikea Upper Cabinets to fit our 96″ space. We brought in our dimensions to Ikea, and they helped us pick the right cabinet widths. There are 2 sizes of cabinets the layout. The middle is slightly wider. I’ll be honest….It wasn’t inexpensive to buy the cabinets. But the convinience of building them, and the extra storage this created, was well worth it.

(B) Raise the cabinets off the ground
We raised the cabinets off the ground using long planks of wood. One 96″ lengh at the front, and one 96″ lengh at the back, like a train track. This is so that the doors could actually open. If we hadn’t done this, the doors would scrape on the floor. We also did this to allow for air flow, as at the very right hand size of the bench, there is an air vent….and we weren’t going to move that!

bech 1
(Kitchen Bench, before cushion)


  • We added a 4″ foam cushion not only for comfort, but to bring the bench up to the right height needed for a table. (The right height is 18″ -18.5″ for a seat bench).
  • My Mom and I went down to Designer Fabrics here in Toronto to find the fabric for the bench. We needed A LOT of fabric. It’s 8 feet long, and we did it double sided so incase a spill happens, we can “flip” the cushion. So there is no bad side.
  • When Mom was making the bench cushion, she decided to wrap the cushion in dacron for some added plushness.

My Mom also made me a back cushion in the matching fabric by taking 6 standard pillows that we’re on sale for 50% off, and using the filler to create one long pillow. Shes a genius.

seat cushion - piping
Above: Our Cushion, made my by my Mom


Above: Our new kitchen bench

I ended up really not loving the pink & red fabric so I ended up re-doing the bench cushion. (Here is the post as to why I ended up not loving it) But below is the new and improved version of the bench! LOVE IT! here are the updated photos.




Ps., A little history….Why a kitchen bench?
For the last 20 years I had eaten my meals on a bench at my parents house. It was comfy to me, and just made a house a home. Below is a picture of my first bench…How awesome is this bench that we got to eat at for our childhood!! (I used to eat on the BLUE seat)

kitchen eat in
(Bench at my parents house, picture when they bought the house)

That bench stayed there until a few years ago, until when my parents renovated. We were sad to see the rainbow bench go, but thankfully, the kitchen bench just got “updated”….. not removed. 🙂

(Post reno, a kitchen bench is still there for me to sit at)
Resource List
New Chandelier – Hampton Bay, from Home Depot $139 View Online

Bench Cabinets – Lidingo Kitchen Cabinets, (34″ Deep, 15″ High) Ikea
Fabric + piping for the bench – Designer Fabrics
Inspiration for the Cabinet Bench, Pure Design with Samantha Pynn. Click here for episode

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  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 1:23 am

    This is fabulous! I actually spent the better part of last Saturday morning at Ikea, trying to figure out how to accomplish this very same thing! One question, can you explain how you mounted the cabinets on 1" boards? Is it just a frame, or is it actually a sheet the full length/width of the cabinets that is 1" thick?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Thank you! It was pretty easy to do after knowing the right cabinets…remember you want to get "upper" cabinets, as base cabinets don't come with tops (as they assume a counter will be going on top)

    We got 2 96" lenghs of wood, one piece for the front, one piece for the back, so it's kind of like two skis. 😉 They are simply resting beneath the cabinets. We put felt pads on the bottom of the wood, so that if there was movement, it wouldn't hurt our floor.

    You could take it one step further and glue the wood to the cabinets for extra stability, which we *may* do, but for now this works.

    You could do a different height of wood, we just chose this heigh so that we could have a deeper cushion, as I felt as though it would be nicer on the tush. 🙂

    I hope this helps! But if I've left anything out let me know. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 1:37 am

    this is just going to be fantastic! can't wait to see the finished product. i've thought of doing this in my small space but don't think it would work as well because of the i just picked up a $35 dining table at the thrift store and am now trying to track down white eames shell chairs (like yours!)

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Looking good!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Fantastic, what a great job! It will look amazing with the cushion on it!! Well done

  • Reply
    November 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    looks great and seems pretty simple! can't wait to see that cushion complete!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 2:00 am

    I noticed that in the before picture there is a floor register…how did you deal with this? Or was is just covered by the Ikea cabinets?

  • Reply
    Hopeless Chest
    November 19, 2009 at 2:38 am

    that's going to look great! i would love to do a banquette in my kitchen, but the layout is too awkward with a door on EVERY wall.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 3:26 am

    I love this idea so much. We've been wanting to do something built-in under our living room window and this is so much easier than building something from scratch! Now to find a door style that will match… ;o)

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you! Anonymous – The venting comes out the side now. 😉

  • Reply
    November 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Lindsay … this is fabulous. It looks custom … and when you get the cushion it will be perfect. Congrats … don't you love it when a project works just the way you envisioned it?

  • Reply
    Laurel @ Ducks in a Row
    November 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I think you guys are great – this will be perfect with all the cushions! I love it.

  • Reply
    Freckles Chick
    November 20, 2009 at 2:36 am

    It TOTALLY looks like a custom built-in; not Ikea-ish at all! And that's even w/out your sure-to-be-chic custom cushion. Can't wait to see it, L!

  • Reply
    Sara @ Russet Street Reno
    November 24, 2009 at 2:17 am

    It's just perfect!!

  • Reply
    Sweet T
    January 11, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Lindsay, Are these the Akurum line cabinets @ $110 each?


  • Reply
    January 11, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Sweet T —- That sounds like the cabinets that we bought! I know that they were 24" in depth and approx 15" in height…The widths vary. Based on the lenght of space that we had, the Ikea staff helped us pick a configuration that worked….

    If you can see in our picture, our "middle" cabinets are slightly wider than the two cabinets that sandwhich it. So the price may vary depending on the width. But I know that the cabinets + doors, came to I think $400 (don't quote me, I may be way off…I block out prices, so the shock doesn't linger too long.)

    Here is my tip….What I did was actually bring in a picture (from Samatha's makeover) of the cabinets to Ikea and they helped us pick them. 🙂

    I hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Erika @ BluLabel Bungalow
    January 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Lindsay, I love you blog. I arrived here from where she talked about your famous nightstand makeover!

    I love this banquette and remember seeing it in last years Ikea catalog. Now I have to figure out how to make it work in my semi bay window. Great job!

  • Reply
    Liz @ It's Great To Be Home
    January 29, 2010 at 1:20 am

    The finished photo looks really lovely – great job!

  • Reply
    Hillary @ The Sweet Maple Life
    February 12, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Fate brought me here! Really it did…. I am about to start a project building benches in my eat in kitchen!!! This looks amazing… Ikea here I come!!

  • Reply
    Donna @ dh designs
    April 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Great post and great project! I was trying to figure out how to get the same type of bench seating in my dining room. See my post about my perfect dining room – I have been looking for ways to accomplish this look without having custom cabinetry made – looks like I'll be checking Ikea out! Thanks for the inspiration!


  • Reply
    May 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I love your light! Mind sharing from where you bought it?

    Also, I don't get the venting thing. You said it vents out the side? Are there holes in the piece of wood lifting the bench off the floor? Is the bench just resting on the planks of wood? What kind of wood is it? Did you have to paint it or did it come primed? I know, I know, so many questions. Thanks for your input and good luck with the baby!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    So cute! I also love the light fixture. Can you share what it is?

  • Reply
    July 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    love what you did!!!! given that you are so handy… any suggestions on how to do an L shape? HELP?? thxs

  • Reply
    July 26, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Anonymous – I think Ikea sells corner cabinets? This would be the only thing I can think of to get the cabinets into an L shape.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2010 at 4:46 am

    I just found your blog! I love it. This exact project is one we have been planning for months. I also just posted a link to your blog from mine!

  • Reply
    August 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I'm thinking of doing a kitchen bench myself. Love the idea of using Ikea cabinetry and I'm wondering if you guys actually attached it to your wall, or if it sits free-standing?



  • Reply
    October 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I just found your blog!! Love your work!

    Also love this bench.. sadly it won't work in my current kitchen but am adding it to my "inspiration folder" for my next house1 😀

  • Reply
    Chic Coastal Living
    October 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Love the kitchen bench! Great job!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Hi! What color did you use on your kitchen walls?

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