Hey ya’ll! Today is the day I show you how I built my dining room window seat! Yay! It seems like I’ve been working on this project forever!
OK…we started with these old drawers I got out of an old 1916 house that was being demolished. Not much to look at in this state…but just wait! Oh JOY!
They now look like this……………drumroll please!!!! (can you tell I’m just a wee bit excited to share this with you?!!)
I still have some roman shades to make, and a valance that will go under the archway, but I’m in love with what I have so far!
As I showed you in THIS post, this is where I started, a VERY formal dining room……
I bought a set of Billy bookcases from IKEA and assembled them, and centered everything on the wall with three windows, like this……(see the bookcases on each end?)
I cut a piece of MDF (medium density fiberboard) for the top of the window seat, but it had to have something to rest it on at the back, so I installed a ledger board.
I took some 2 x 4’s and screwed them into the studs in the walls with some REALLY long screws….because of the lip of the window sill that happened to be the depth of the first 2 x 4 that I installed, I ended up layering a 2 x 4 on top of the first one…screwing it into the first one. I put the double 2 x 4’s the length of where the window seat would be.
This is where the wood, that I’ll be making the top of the window seat out of, will be screwed into.
See how the top of the MDF will sit on the ledger board… (that’s the old set of drawers you see with the beadboard on the back of them, the ledger board is the one under the window sill)
Once I put the MDF top on the window seat it left it looking like this………..
Don’t worry, we’ll fix that hole and sharp edge, but first we have to fill in the spaces on the left side of the china cabinets. (note..nothing has been nailed into place at this point…the MDF top is just sitting there, because we’ll need to make some more cuts)
I fixed the hole on the side of the china cabinet by building a spacer. I used a 2 x 4 to fill in the gap….(note: the baseboard had to be removed so the spacer would fit snug against the wall…I just cut it off to fit the new space later)
Since you’ll never see the back of the 2 x 4 I decided to use L-brackets to attach it the wall. I was very lucky and hit a stud, if I hadn’t hit a stud, I would’ve had to use some drywall anchors. I used 4 L-brackets up and down the piece of wood….it needed to be super sturdy! I used a level to make sure it was nice and straight too!
I put the cabinet back in it’s place and screwed it from the inside of the cabinet into the side of the 2 x 4. I’ll eventually show you why I put the 2 x 4 all the way to the ceiling…there’s a method to my madness! lol
Now to fix the hole and sharp corner on the top…..
To get rid of the sharp corner on the top, I drew a line on the MDF top from the front of the drawers, to the front of the cabinet, then cut that off with my circular saw. (if you look closely at the picture above, you can see the line I drew) I had to cover that huge hole in the front with a piece of MDF too, so I did this…
This is a aerial picture of the side of the white cabinet with the glass doors. I attached a piece of wood to the side from the inside of the cabinet and the side of the drawers, so I’d have something to nail the front piece of wood to, then installed the front piece like this…
No more hole! :0)
Then I attached the top seat piece of MDF to the top of the frame and it looked like this…(I did put a little half round trim molding on the front edges of the top and gave it a coat of primer in this pic)…
So here’s the hole all covered up…and I cut some foam rubber to fit the top for the long cushion I’d be making later…..(oh..did you know you can cut foam rubber with an electric carving knife..it cuts like butter!)
I also gave it a good coat of paint and put the old drawer handles back on.
The shelf in the above picture is just a long board that’s 12" wide...I laid it across the top of the two end cabinets, and put L-brackets along the back edge on top, into the studs in the wall. I put the L-brackets on the top, so you wouldn't be able to see them, then I'll paint them out with the wall color once the room is painted. I'll be installing some wainscoting 2/3rd of the way up before I do any painting though.
The arch was just a very long, wide board that I cut an arch into and put a piece of very flexible screen molding on the bottom, to cover the raw edge. I put it up with L-brackets under the shelf it sits in front of. . I also put a piece of trim at the top of the arch that extends over onto the cabinets for a more finished look.
In the picture below you can see I built two little boxes to set on top of each of the cabinets to take up the space between the cabinets and bulkhead. (I installed them with some construction adhesive and a couple of nails) I'll be putting up crown molding there so it'll have a nice transition from the cabinet to the bulkhead.
Here you can see where I installed the crown molding on the little boxes. I just did a short return on the end, it doesn’t go all the way back the wall on the sides.
I installed bead board on the side of the IKEA bookcases, facing the window seat. I also put paintable wallpaper on the bottom of the long shelf. I trimmed out and caulked anything that had a gap. (it hadn’t been painted yet here) :0)
Okay…here’s a part I LOVE! I got these light fixtures from a gal on Facebook that was selling some stuff here locally and I installed them on the bead board on the inside walls of the bookcases. They were $10 BUCKS! Woo hoo! (I just put screws in the holes, directly into the side of the bookcase/china cabinet, then glued on the little covers)
I found the old Edison light bulbs at Lowes….don’t you just love how you can see the filament when they’re all lit up?! I also bought a cord cover from Lowes and covered the cord up on the wall. These sconces were plug in types, but if you have some that aren’t you can buy kits to add a plug..it’s not hard and it comes with directions.
Here are some of the pillows close up…..I used drop cloths for the long window seat cover, floral fabric that was left over from my kitchen chair re-do (you can find that HERE), and some striped tan and cream ticking.
I used a drop cloth on this pillow. The drop cloth had a seam, so instead of getting upset that it had a seam, I decided to use it as a design element and I love it! I used a covered button kit to cover buttons in the floral fabric and made piping for the edge of the pillow in the stripe. Yes, it did take forever, but I think anything worth anything, takes time. (and patience!) Sorry it’s a little wrinkled…guess I need to break out my steamer. :0)
I used my floral fabric on the large feather stuff pillow, and again trimmed it out in piping covered in the stripe. I adore the little bolster pillows I made on the ends…. you can buy bolster inserts, so it makes the job much easier.
I actually didn’t make the little brown pillows, I found them at a yard sale for .50 cents each. I bought them for my patio, and just happened to lay them on the window seat when I came in, and I loved them there, so there they stayed! :0-)
So, in a quick re-cap, we went from this:
Here’s how I decorated the top…..ironstone, old books, wooden crates, bubble glass silhouette picture, and of course old platters……
I’m working on a couple of other projects for the dining room, but it’ll be a little while before I can show you those….. I’m about tuckered out from this one! I still have some roman shades I’ll be making for the window seat window, and maybe a valance for under the arch…still debating that one, but this is what I have thus far. :0) SO glad to be almost finished, but it was SO worth the hard work and effort!
Blessings and Hugs