Build A Window Seat Using Stock Kitchen Cabinets

I am a huge fan of This Old House Magazine, and I urge homeowners to use them as a resource.  If you follow this blog you may even get tired of hearing about it, but trust me; those guys can help you transform your space into whatever you want it to be.  That being said, I am also a huge fan of window seats.  I think they can instantly add warmth to a space and make it more inviting.  They are also practical; they add seating and storage to a space.  I plan on posting This Old House magazine’s tutorial on building a custom window seat soon, and I may even try it myself.  In the meantime, for those of you who just aren’t quite ready to tackle a full blown DIY, from-scratch project, consider this one… it just might inspire you.

window seat made out of stock kitchen cabinets‘The pros aren’t the only ones who can craft a handsome built-in. You can, too. This window seat, for example, was made from four pre-finished, white American Woodmark cabinets and their coordinating trim boards, all sold at Home Depot. The 18-inch-deep-by-24-inch-high cabinets are typically used above refrigerators.

Here are the steps to follow to re-create this seat at your house.

1. Use 2x lumber ripped to size to construct a 4-inch-tall, U-shaped platform on which the two-door center cabinets and single-door end cabinets will sit. Secure the platform to the floor by driving screws at an angle through its outer framing.

2. Arrange the center cabinets side by side on the platform and drive 2-inch wood screws through their adjoining side panels. Then align the end cabinets corner to corner with the center ones. Make room for the doors to open where the cabinets intersect by screwing 3-inch filler strips to the center cabinets’ face frames. Then secure the end cabinets directly to the filler strips, using 2½-inch wood screws.

3. Anchor the entire unit to the back wall by driving 2-inch deck screws through the cabinets’ rear panels, making sure to sink the screws in studs.

4. Hide the platform with toekick molding secured with 1-inch finish nails. For a truly custom look, attach filler boards and decorative panels that mimic the look of cabinet doors, using 2-inch finish screws fastened from inside the end cabinets.

5. Fasten wood cleats to the wall in the open corners to support the ¾-inch-thick-by-19-inch-deep end panels used to create a sturdy top for the window seat. Secure the center panel to the cleats and the side panels to the end cabinets below using 1 ½-inch wood screws. Finish the top’s outer edge with ogee trim attached with 1-inch finish nails. Add a custom cushion, and take a load off.’

By Mark Powers This Old House magazine

If you’d like some further How-To instructions on building a window seat using stock kitchen cabinets, check out this tutorial, complete with photos of each step. This tutorial goes a step further, adding bookcases on either side of the window seat, but you can keep it simple and leave them off… or not.


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