Last year I had the idea of putting in a breakfast nook. At this time, our kitchen remodeling was only a dream and we were skill managing with a mini-stove, about 4 feet of counter space, and no dishwasher. Fast-forward 1 year and we have a whole new kitchen! The idea of a breakfast nook was forgotten until more recently. We moved the table to where it would be with a bench and left it that way for a few weeks to see if we liked it. The positioning really opened up the kitchen, so we decided to go with it. The week after boards, I got started on the bench. J was a huge help when I needed and was great at stepping back and letting me build on my own when I wanted.
I debated about white vs. wood and open vs. closed for a the weeks when we had the table moved. Ultimately, we decided to do open since there is a vent and an outlet on the walls (and I didn’t want to have to build a duct or extend the outlet through the bench). We also decided on stained wood instead of white since the entire room is already basically white and white would show shoe prints.
We made the bench out of plywood, 1x2s, and decorative molding (it has a nice vine pattern). There were a few kinks along the way, but for the most part, it turned out how I wanted. I stained it to match the cabinets, so now the only thing that is out-of-place is the table, which is a totally different color.
The next step was to make the cushion. Given the custom size of the bench, I couldn’t buy a pre-made cushion for a decent price. I did find one at pottery barn for $89/each that would work, but I didn’t want to spend $180 on cushions. I looked at Jo-Ann fabrics and was surprised to see how much foam costs – $20/yd ?!? Then I looked at home decor fabric, so we had something a little stronger – another $20/yd?! These were with sale prices! Our bench is basically 5′ on one side and 5′ on the other side, so this was going to add up fast ($80 in foam…$160 in fabric, since the cushions need fabric on each side). Even with other sales/discounts I could find, it was easily going to cost over $100.
Then I found some individual chair foam cushions. While it wouldn’t be one uniform piece, I figured I could make it tight enough that you wouldn’t really notice. The $80 foam purchase became $22…much better. I cut the foam to size and laid it out on the bench.
I made sure to number the pieces so that I wouldn’t mix anything up. I didn’t use a pattern for the bench cushions, but got ideas from here and here. I measured the pieces by laying the foam out on the fabric and folding it how I wanted. Not the official way to sew, but I’m OK with that. I opted to make 2 cushions instead of 1 L-shape, because it would be easier to remove the cushions to wash the fabric, if needed. I also decided to put velcro on the underside, so that the cushions could be easily removed (I really didn’t want to have to stuff them in from one end). While, I still wish I would have done piping, the pattern gives the bench enough character that is OK for now. While it worked ore-cushion, we are not keeping the table cloth on, since it clashes horribly (sorry for the hideous picture, haha).