Operation Window Seat

May 30, 2012

As if we didn’t have enough projects going on around here between the hall bathroom remodel and the Alma project we decided last week to start yet another home improvement project, otherwise known as Operation Window Seat. 

We’re making some changes to the kids’ playroom space, turning it into a library/study instead since they’re getting older now and in elementary school.  The space is narrow measuring 9 feet wide and I’ve always loved the idea of building a window seat in here and pulling up a table in front of it for homework, reading, games, art, etc. 

operation window seat

I thought about adding bookshelves around the windows but that felt too cramped so we’re going with just a basic window seat + cushion + pillows combo along the bottom that will add some extra seating and storage up against this wall. 

And let’s face it.  What’s better than a casual and cozy built in window seat with throw pillows galore, I ask you. 

new england home mag window seat

New England Home Magazine

window seat house beautiful

House Beautiful

muse interiors window seat

Muse Interiors

window seat bhg

Better Homes & Gardens

window seat coastal living

Coastal Living

breakfast nook window seat bhg

Better Homes & Gardens


We decided to use IKEA cabinets to create our window seat and last weekend Matt made the three hour round trip (driving + purchasing = 3 full hours!).  The idea to use cabinets to form the base came from Aubrey + Lindsay’s brilliant window seat in their kitchen.  We originally thought we’d have to build the whole thing ourselves from scratch but then I remeasured and did some more research and found out three 36” x 24” x 15” Akurum cabinets would fit the space perfectly, so I was sold.  

ikea refridgerator cabinet

The cabinet is 15” in height so we can build a base and add a cushion to bring it up to a proper seating height at 18 ½ – 19 inches max.  Unfortunately we found out after Matt returned home that the stock clerk supplied him with the birch and not the white finish cabinet frames (grrrr!) but instead of making the trip again and exchanging them, I’ll solve the problem with a little primer and paint. 

We’re off to a good start so far seeing how the three refrigerator upper cabinets fit the width of the room perfectly – they’ll just need to be screwed together and trimmed out on the sides.

 three cabinets on floor


Most of the cabinet frame won’t be visible anyway since the cabinet doors (which you buy separately – strange but true) are full overlay and those are white, and the top will be covered by a cushion.

white ikea cabinet doors


We also have to build a base that allows for air flow from the heating vent and attach the doors.  Then I’ve got to find some 2” foam and sew a cushion cover for it too, plus add a bunch of cozy pillows for comfort and color. 

build base etc


For the venting issue, I’m kind of in love with the idea of constructing a base that has a decorative curve in the front like this built in seat shown below. 

built in bench sullivan conrad architects

Sullivan Conard Architects

We’ll be working on this project over the next week or two, hoping to finish it up soon, I’ll keep you posted!  Any of you having visions of built in window seats dancing in your heads?  They’re pretty charming right?



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