Window seats are a fantastic way to transform a boring window wall into a beautiful focal point that provides both seating and storage. This simple, step-by-step tutorial will walk you through exactly how to build a DIY window seat out of affordable, pre-built IKEA cabinets in 5 easy steps!
I am a HUGE fan of window seats in a home. I feel like just about every house has a spot to squeeze one in, and if you can, I say do it! DIY window seats are relatively easy to install and they’re just so cozy! You may have seen our recent addition of a window seat in our dining room makeover earlier this year. It’s now one of my favorite spots to relax and lounge in our home. 🙂 I hope this simple, step-by-step tutorial helps you build your very own DIY window seat!
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HOW TO BUILD A
DIY WINDOW SEAT
STEP 1: BUILD BASE FRAME
The first thing you need to do is build a base for your seat. Since the IKEA cabinets are only 15″ tall, and a standard chair is 18-20″ high, you’ll need to raise up the cabinets by 3-4″ to get them to the right height for sitting. A 2×4 turned up (technically 3.5″ tall on edge) is the perfect way to prop them up and give them a stable and level surface to install on. We built a rectangle long enough to go from end-to-end in our opening and then installed runners across every 12″ or so. Because we were covering up our floor vents, we spaced our back support off the wall a bit so the 2×4 sat flush with the edge of the vent and to create a toe-kick on the front, we built it so that the front 2×4 was about 4″ back from where the front of the cabinets were going to end up.
You’ll want to make sure it’s level both side-to-side and front-to-back and screw your base support structure either into the floor, the wall, or in our case, the cabinets on either end.
STEP 2: INSTALL CABINETS
We had a gap of about 126″ so we purchased 4 of their 30″ cabinets to fill the gap as much as we could with cabinetry. You’ll want to take your full length, and decide how many 30″ or 36″ cabinets will be best for your space. Once you’ve got all of the cabinets built, place them on your base and measure the gap you need to fill with side trim.
You’ll want to center your cabinets, so take the gap and divide by 2 to get the size of spacer trim you’ll need to install on each side.
Cut your 1×3 board to that size, clamp it to the cabinets, and screw them into place.
Once the spacer trim is installed, go back and screw all your cabinets together, and to the base support. Then, install the cabinet doors.
STEP 3: INSTALL FLOOR TRIM
Next, you’ll want to install some pretty floor trim underneath your toe-kick area. Like I mentioned, we also installed two air vents for our HVAC to push the air out from under the bench. We just installed simple 1×3 trim and painted it white to match the existing trim and cabinets.
STEP 4: BUILD AN UPHOLSTERED SEAT
Our DIY window seat wouldn’t be complete without an upholstered top! I’ll be honest, my husband did the upholstering for this project. 😉 We started by simply cutting 3/4″ plywood to the size of the bench (we needed two pieces because our seat is longer than 8′) and pocket-hole screwing it together.
Then, we cut 3″ high-density upholstery foam to that same size.
From there, we glued down the foam using spray adhesive, wrapped it with batting which was then stapled to the bottom, and then wrapped and stapled the fabric over it.
I apologize for a lack of pictures for these steps, my husband was on photo duty and he tends to forget to snap them while he’s focused on working…
Once the upholstered seat was done, we simply installed it on top and then screwed it into place from inside a few of the cabinets!
STEP 5: DECORATE
Of course, a DIY window seat isn’t complete without pillows, blankets, and faux fur! 😉
We even added a small side table next to ours for setting down drinks, books, phones, etc.
Seriously, did functional storage ever look so good?! I now have all of my fine china and a bunch of my crafting supplies hidden away but easily accessible.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to install one in your home?? Do it!! 🙂
As always, let me know if you have any questions.
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