DIY Built-in Window Seat With Drawer and Cabinet Storage

My daughter’s bedroom had an area under her bay window that was just screaming for a built-in window seat. So, a built-in window seat is what it got! But I didn’t just want an ordinary window seat, I wanted something that was elegant but also served a purpose besides seating, and for someone like me, with my OCDish tendencies, the best additional purpose is STORAGE!

Here’s the area in her bedroom that had been begging for a built-in:

At first, I thought about building a hinged top, but I knew if I did, anything placed into the storage area would get tossed in, thereby destroying my dreams of ultra-organization. So, drawers and cabinets it was! I was a little leery of putting in drawers as I have never built drawers before, but I figured that now was better than never to give it a try! (And it was actually pretty easy!)  Here is a brief tutorial for how I built the window seat and storage. For full details and pictures, please visit my blog at the link at the bottom of this post.

First, if you have carpet and/or baseboards, you’ll want to remove those in the area where the window seat will be built. Pry up the tack strip, pull off the baseboards and pull up any remaining nails.

Use a stud finder to mark the location of the studs in the walls where the window seat will be built and the location for the top of the window seat (subtract 3/4" for the thickness of the plywood top). Measure the back wall and cut a 2x4 to size, mitering the ends if necessary. Predrill the holes and attach the board to the wall through the studs.

Follow this procedure to cut and attach the boards for the two side walls, then repeat this process for the bottom boards, which should sit flush with the floor boards.

Next measure the distance for the front boards and cut those 2x4s to size, mitering the ends if necessary. Attach to the 2x4s on on the side walls.

Next cut the horizontal 2x4s to fit between the front and back boards and the vertical 2x4 boards to fit between the top and bottom boards, attaching with pocket hole screws. Also cut the 1x12 boards to create the wall for the cabinet areas and attach with pocket hole screws.

Cut the pieces for the top and the cabinet shelves out of 3/4" plywood.

Cut and attach the pieces of trim board to the front.

Build the cabinet doors and drawer fronts as well as the drawers.

Attach drawer rails and cabinet hardware and install the drawers and doors and test the fit of all pieces.

Remove all hardware, and then sand and paint. Next step is to build a cushion top seat so my daughter has something comfy to sit on as she's enjoying her new window seat! Here are some pics of the finished project:

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Pinspired to DIY

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
    on Feb 23, 2017

    Any ideas on how to NOT block heat vents in front of the windows? The south side of my house has windows and of course the heat/air vents are in front of some so I do not want to block them.

    • Queeneilee
      on Feb 23, 2017

      I cut a small rectangle at each window, routed around it and put a piece of chair caining over hole. Painted, looked great and was nice, warm seat in winter

  • Shirley
    on Feb 24, 2017

    I see bottom pieces in the cabinets and drawers. Assuming they were added before the top was put on?

    • Pinspired to DIY
      on Feb 27, 2017

      Hi Shirley, Yes, I cut the top first but did not screw it down until the end so I was able to remove the top to put the bottom pieces into the cabinet spaces.

  • Connie Doan
    on Feb 25, 2017

    I noticed that the inside of the cabinets was a white color also . Did you paint inside before the top was put on?

    • Pinspired to DIY
      on Feb 27, 2017

      Hi Connie, I painted everything after it was built (I had to partially crawl into the cabinet to paint the back! :-) Smarter thing would have been to paint prior to putting the top on!

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