Use stock cabinets to build a simple DIY window seat and transform any corner into a cozy bedroom or living room nook.
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Feel free to customize this project to make it work for your home. We chose this design because it accommodates the stock cabinets and fits the corner where it was installed. Before you commit to this project, make sure it won’t interfere with floor ducts, outlets, or window and door trim.
Cut the long rails (A), dividers (B), and short rails (C) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram).
Clamp the parts together with the top edges flush, drill countersunk pilot holes, and fasten the rails to the dividers with 2-inch drywall screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 1) to make the two base frames.
If you want to use different length cabinets, adjust the length of the frames, the baseboards (I), and the tops (K, L).
Remove enough existing baseboard from a corner of the room to accommodate the bases.
In the corner where you’ll install the bench, mark a level line on each wall 18-1/2 inches above the floor. Using an electronic stud finder, mark the wall stud locations along the level line.
Cut the long cleat (D) and the short cleat (E) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). Screw the long cleat and then the short one to the walls with the top edges even with the marks (Project Diagram, Drawing 2).
Use a framing square to draw lines down the wall at the ends of the cleats. With the square flat on the floor and one of its leg against the wall, position the left base so the front is 11-3/4 inches from the wall. Drive screws through the horizontal dividers (B) into the floor. Repeat for the right base.
Place the right cabinet on the base with the back of the cabinet even with the back rail (C) (Project Diagram, Drawing 3). The side of the cabinet should also align with the end of the base. Drive screws through the bottom of the cabinet into the base front rail (C).
Cut the corner cleats (F) from pine (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).Drive screws through the side of the cabinet into a cleat to fasten it even with the top and bottom of the cabinet just behind the face frame. Repeat for the other corner cleat.
Cut the narrow filler (G) and the wide filler (H) from pine. Glue and nail the wide filler to the narrow filler (Project Diagram, Drawing 4) to make an inside corner. Attach the inside corner assembly to the right cabinet cleat using 4d finish nails.
Position the second cabinet on its base and move it into position so the edge of the cleat and cabinet meet the filler assembly and it is positioned properly on the base. Nail the wide filler to the cleat, and screw the cabinet to the long rails (A) (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Measure each of the remaining parts to confirm your dimensions prior to cutting the baseboards (I) and side panels (J) from 1/4-inch-thick plywood (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram).
Cut the long top (K) and the short top (L) from 3/4-inch-thick MDF.
Before painting, seal the exposed MDF edges by brushing or rolling on a mixture of one part woodworking glue and one part water. After the sealer dries, sand the parts with 120-grit sandpaper.
Prime and paint the plywood parts, the corner fillers, and MDF parts with primer and two coats of paint. Lightly sand between coats with a fine-grit sanding sponge.
Nail the right baseboard and then the left one using 3/4-inch wire brads onto the two base fronts (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Apply glue to the end of the cabinet and nail the end panels to the cabinets using wire brads.
A finish nail and a wire brad look the same, but are differentiated by the diameter of the wire from which they are formed. A 16-gauge wire forms longer finish nails while the smaller 18-gauge wire forms shorter brads. Brads are typically for smaller parts and leave a smaller hole to fill.
Apply glue to the top edges of the cabinets and install the long top (K) followed by the short top (L) (Project Diagram, Drawing 5). Place a few heavy objects on the tops to anchor them while the glue dries. (If you add fasteners, the nail holes will need to be filled and touched up.)
Prime any unfinished parts and apply a paintable caulk to small gaps in the trim or where the top or sides meet the wall. Touch up the paint as needed and replace the cabinet doors.
The painted finish here coordinates with the baseboards and window trim. Upholster the padded seat on this bench to complement your decor.