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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 size of 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.
Measure and cut the frame parts from 2 x 4s. (When selecting lumber for this project, find the straightest boards available and give them a couple days to adjust to your home’s humidity.)
The base needn’t look pretty, but each part must be positioned where shown to suit the cabinets used. All the top edges should be flush for it to support the two cabinets.
Nail or screw the cross pieces to the front-facing parts where you’ll later install toe kick trim. Check each joint to make certain the parts are square. Then add the two long inside parts and the back outside parts you’ll later screw to the walls.
Remove the baseboard along the two corner walls. Measure the length of both legs of the base and remove that amount of baseboard from each strip.
Slide the base into position and add shims, if necessary, to make sure it’s level. Using an electronic stud finder and a pencil, mark the wall directly above the frame. Then drill 3-inch screws through the frame and into the drywall and wall studs.
Prime and paint the two unfinished cabinets.
To make the job easier, remove the doors and finish those separately. Finishing the insides of the cabinets is optional.
Slide the cabinets into position so they overhang in front about 2 inches; be sure the cabinet sides (not the frame edges) are flush with the ends of the base. Nail or screw the cabinets to the base.
Cut the two end panels from 1/4-in oak plywood, create the notch where shown for the toe kick, and fasten them to the cabinet sides and base using finishing nails. Putty the nail holes and sand smooth. Then prime and paint the panels.
Lay a long straightedge on the cabinets from front to back and mark where the bottom surface of the straightedge touches the wall. Screw 2 x 4s to the wall with their top edges touching the marks. Their ends should be flush with the ends of the base frame.
From 3/4-in MDF, cut the two seat tops. Prime and paint the top and edges of each panel. Place the seat tops on one long edge flush with the front edge of the cabinet frame; the other long edge should rest on the 2 x 4 screwed to the wall. Check the fit and fasten the top to the cabinet frame.
Some walls bow quite a bit. If the wall presses the back edge of the top out of position, mark that area and gradually sand the back edge of the top to conform to the wall.
Putty nail holes in the top. Then prime and paint the top to match the cabinets.
Work with an upholstery shop to make an L-shape cushion to fit the top of the seat. (The thickness may be limited by the window frame above the seat.)
Explain the project to your upholsterer or fabric retailer. They may know of special fabrics that resist sun damage.
Cut toe-kick trim strips 3-1/2 inches wide and long enough to reach from the frame corner to the end panels at the notches. Prime and paint them to match the cabinets. Then install them against the frame using finishing nails.
Cut quarter-round trim to fit the toe-kick area and ends beneath the side panels. Prime and paint it. Then fasten it to the toe kick and ends with finishing nails.