How to Build a Window Seat

Create a cozy window seat with built-in storage. Basic construction techniques and standard materials make this an easy DIY project.


Build a Window Seat

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What you'll need

  • 2 unfinished wall-unit stock cabinets
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Primer and paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • 1x4 boards (optional)
  • Wide board for bench top (optional)
  • Tools and hardware to attach cabinets to wall or base
  • Upholstered cushion
  • Baskets or storage containers

Step 1

Purchase a pair of unfinished wall-unit stock cabinets (the kind that might go above a refrigerator or range) from a local home improvement store. Remove the doors to create open storage; dab wood filler over the nail holes and sand lightly -- you'll never even know they were there.

Step 2

Stain or paint the exterior of the cabinets in the color of your choice. (Painting takes less time, but stain will create a warm look.)

Step 3

Paint the interior of the cabinets. The inside of many stock cabinets is made of melamine -- a plastic -- meaning it can't be stained. Apply a high-quality primer and paint to the interior in a color that coordinates with the exterior stain.

Step 4

To create a finished look and boost the seat height a few inches, add a toe-kick underneath the entire structure using 1x4 boards stained to match the cabinets. Attach the cabinets to the wall beneath the window so the bench rests on the toe-kick but is also supported by the wall. If you prefer, create a freestanding bench. First, ensure you have a sturdy base. Either use the cabinets themselves or build a sturdy foundation using appropriate lumber and construction methods; if stained to match, the foundation can also act as a toe-kick.

Step 5

Top the cabinets with a wide piece of wood to join the two cabinets and make a wider seat.

Step 6

Cover the top of the seat with a cushion upholstered in a fabric that coordinates with your space. Place baskets or storage containers in the open compartments to add stylish storage.

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