Meighan wanted a space in her house that looked Pinterest worthy but kept the cost way under budget. Can we create a built in bench breakfast nook?
- Functional to Fancy
- Designing the Bench in Fusion 360
- Supplies for the Bench
- Acquiring Tools
- Building the Frame
- Bench top
Meighan recently moved into a new house and we wanted to help her make a corner space in her kitchen more custom and functional. She had a vision for something that looked….expensive. She wanted a built in bench with storage but it also had to allow for airflow for the air return vent – on top of that, her kitchen table is antique so it didn’t follow traditional sizing for seating. We got to work problem solving and making this breakfast nook Pinterest worthy.
First we designed the space in Fusion 360 – if you don’t know about Fusion learn here – we added in all the measurements so we could design the bench to fit in just right. The framework for the bench had to be very specific to the air return on the wall to make sure it had enough surface space on the front of the bench to allow for air flow. Also in Fusion, we were able to design the right size kick plate to allow for foot and leg space under the table along the bench. From there, we were able to see the sizing of all the supplies we needed.
At the hardware store, we were able to cut down some of the plywood based off our cut sheets so we wouldn’t have too much to cut back in Meighan’s shop. To save money for the bench frame, we went through the stack of less desirable 2×4’s at the hardware store to find the best looking boards. It took some extra time to find the right ones, but we saved $6 a board. While at the store, we found laminated solid wood that were the right measurements of the seat for the bench.
One of the biggest differences from the last time we made stuff with Meighan is that she has a garage shop filled with tools now. One of the best ways to save money is buy buying tools second hand or – if the opportunity presents itself – accepting hand me downs from friends or family. Meighan got all of her large tools from someone who had upgraded their shop and needed to get rid of older tools quickly. For the bench we needed to use a Table Saw, Miter Saw, Jigsaw, Drill and Driver, and Kreg Pocket Hole Jig.
Back at the shop we cut down the boards to length and added pocket holes to all the boards. Bob cut down the plywood for the front of the bench including jigsawing the kick plate. Tying the bench frame together with the plywood was quick and simple using a Kreg pocket hole jig, pocket hole screws and a driver.
Once we got the frame in place, we were able to see where we needed to make any adjustments and where the back of the frame would line up with the wall. After taking down some of the feature wall trim, the bench fit in smoothly.
For the bench top, we added full overlay hinges and gas struts to help soften the lid as it closes to keep little fingers safe from being squished. Together, those pieces are still cheaper than buying torsion hinges – in turn, saving us some money. To add some comfort, Meighan used some leftover fabric and a twin size mattress pad to make seat cushions.
Our goal here was to make something that looked awesome but didn’t break the bank. We spent a total of $160 and made it look incredible. What do you think? Pinterest worthy on a budget?