Three Birds Renovations, House 12, Hessian Pavlova, bench seat

If you’re designing a home from scratch or refurbing your existing one, don’t forget to factor in the ever-so-versatile custom bench seat, window seat or banquette.

While we’re on the subject, is it banquet or banquette anyway?! Well, you’d be enjoying a banquet at your banquette, because the former is a fabulous feast and the latter is the seat. But enough quiz and more bench seat biz!

Custom Bench Seats

We LOVE a custom bench seat and if you do it right, you’ll be enjoying yours for decades!

One of our most common questions is, where do we get the ones made that feature in our social and blog posts?

Well, we team regularly with The Foam Booth. Sydney-based and operating for over 35 years, everything is made in Australia from the antimicrobial foam to custom covers and bolster cushions too.

Three Birds Renovations, House 12, Hessian Pavlova, bench seat

We asked owners Joel and Kim Scheftz a few questions, one of which popped up in the amazing Three Birds Renovations House 12 series, where these amazing pictures are from. Featured is our Florence Broadhurst Hessian Pavlova printed onto Palermo.

What Is The Ideal Thickness For A Bench Seat Cushion?

“The thickness of the cushion depends on the height of the base but usually 75mm or 100mm are ideal.”

Are There Any Limitations To Shape?

“There are absolutely no limitations to shape as long as we have accurate dimensions or a template if the shape is complicated.”

And What About Consideration Of Fabric Joins?

“We consider thickness and length to avoid joins in the fabric. If the seating is large then we usually recommend a number of foam pieces to enable manufacturing of the covers without any joins.”

Then, when it comes to textile choice for the custom covers, that’s where our fabric comes into the picture. Here are a couple of important things to consider when selecting your bench seat fabric.

Three Birds Renovations, House 12, Hessian Pavlova, bench seat

Fabric Abrasion

Most importantly, you need a quality fabric that will last wear and tear. The thing to look for here is something called the ‘rub rate.’ This is professional abrasion testing of the fabric using one of two methods, Wyzenbeek or Martindale. The higher the rub rate, the longer the fabric will last. As our fabrics, or ‘base cloths’ as we refer to what the designs are digitally printed onto, are commercial-grade polyester, this is where they really excel.

  • Palermo: 51,000 double rubs Wyzenbeek
  • Peau De Peche: 75,000 rubs Martindale
  • Arizona: 100,000 rubs Martindale

We also test for pilling to ensure you’re not left with annoying balls of fluff all over the fabric.

Three Birds Renovations, House 12, Hessian Pavlova, bench seat


Now when it comes to textiles, as beautiful as some are, they aren’t always practical. Some simply start to disintegrate after numerous washes. Others aren’t launderable in the washing machine at all.

Each one of our base cloths can be cleaned in the washing machine and Palermo even has an extra protective coating on the face of the fabric meaning it’s particularly easy to clean. You can see individual washing instructions on our Base Cloth Info & Care FAQ page.

Three Birds Renovations, House 12, Hessian Pavlova, bench seat

And as for the incredible images in this post, we think you’ll agree that Bonnie, Lana and Erin are queens of the banquette! Always bringing something new to the design game it is a pleasure to work with them and the Foam Booth team to create pieces that are beautiful and supremely functional. So now you can put bad bench seats ‘behind’ you 😉

Image credits: Three Birds Renovations

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