Challenging to build, but immensely satisfying once complete. By Peter Alkema | Photographs by Doug Place and Peter Alkema
A window seat will create a new living space in your home for relaxation and laughter. Reading a good book and enjoying a mug of coffee next to a window with sunshine streaming through it can do wonders for the soul. The passage in our home features a nook area in front of a large window that was perfectly suited to this project. Building this custom-made window seat in front of it virtually created an extra room in the house and a focal point for the whole family.
We had two foam cushions cut to size and covered, placing them on top of the seat to create a comfortable and stylish space in our home. The storage facility beneath the seat is also very practical and it is easy to open the seat panels and pack away large toys, board games and books.
Design and construction
The project must be customised to the available space, and the measurements in this chapter will need to be adjusted for the specific area you have in mind. However, the design and construction principles remain the same. The dimensions of height and width are ergonomically sound while providing a deceptively large storage area accessible through the two hinged seat panels. A simple internal skeleton provides the support to a top and front panel, which can be routered and decorated or painted to suit your internal décor.
The two seat flaps are cut from the top panel using the plunge-cut method with a circular saw and fastened to the back of the window seat with a piano hinge running the length of the back. Cabinet magnets were used to ensure the lids close properly. Hooks can also be added to hold the seat panels open and prevent them from falling on to little fingers.
For step-by-step instructions for building a window seat, buy PM’s August 2014 issue – on sale 21 July.