Introduction

Seat with a view
Photo: Thomas-Rouchard Studios
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As attractive as window seats are, only a few older homes with deep dormers seem to have them. And adding a window seat has always been considered impractical. First, you need a niche that features a window. Then, the seat has to be custom-built by a cabinetmaker or trim carpenter to fit the exact width and sill height of the window. Not surprisingly, this approach is expensive and time-consuming.

Here's how to build a beautiful, custom window seat in just a couple of days using ready-made kitchen cabinets. This simple, do-it-yourself approach provides both the "niche" and the window seat, and an abundance of storage space. This seat was built under a 6-foot-wide kitchen window, but its design can easily be adapted for any size window in almost any room. The seat is made up of six kitchen wall cabinets and two 48-inch-tall bookcase units, which are trimmed with decorative crown molding. The window seat itself is composed of two 15-inch-tall, over-the-refrigerator cabinets set side-by-side.



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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Finish nailer
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • two-foot level
      Level
    • bar clamps
      Clamps
    • flat prybar
      Thin prybar
    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • Countersink bit
      Counter-sink drillbit
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun

    Shopping List

    1. STOCK KITCHEN CABINETS
    with matching trim and plywood skins

    2. UPHOLSTERED SEAT CUSHION

    3. CONTACT CEMENT
    used to adhere prefinished plywood skin to assembled cabinets

    4. PAINTBRUSH AND PAINT ROLLER
    used to apply contact cement

    5. 1½-INCH FINISHING NAILS
    for attaching trim pieces to cabinets

    6. 2x2 BLOCKS
    used to raise overall cabinet height to ceiling

    7. 2½- AND 3-INCH DRYWALL SCREWS
    for joining together cabinets and assembling toekick

    8. WOOD SHIMS
    used to level toekick

    9. LATEX CAULK