Thursday, August 29, 2013

Home Improvements: The Window Seat

We have one room in our house that we barely use.  We call it the "Front Room" because it's at the front of the house, just off of the entryway.  It's a shame we don't use it more, because it has a vaulted ceiling, a big fireplace, and tons of natural light.  But there was always something a little awkward about it.  It could be that it has a much more formal feel to it, thanks to the formal couch and wing-back chairs that I fell in love with many years ago.  Now that I've defined my style a little more, I would probably choose different furniture if I had to do it all over again, although I still think they're beautiful.  It could also be that it's kind of separated from the rest of the house.  We have to walk through the entryway to get to it.

There is one project that has been begging to be done ever since we moved in.  A window seat.  The big 6-foot space was made for one, with the heat vent being set out and all.  So my darling 20-month-old, Russell, decided to build me one all in one Saturday.

He started by prying off the existing baseboards:

 He was left with this glorious space:

Then he built a frame out of 2x4s.  His electric drill ran out of juice, so he tried a hammer and nails before giving up and borrowing our kind neighbor's drill:

Then he put on the prefabricated cabinets that he bought at Home Depot.  They are 12x12x36 inches and are meant to go above the fridge.  They were 20 percent off, which saved us about $40 on all three of them.  Awesome!:

After the cupboards were screwed onto the base, he put the top seat part on:

Then painted the first coat on the top before going to bed:

In the morning, he admired his handiwork:

He was pleased:

Then is when his 3.5-year-old brother, Caleb, stepped in.  He helped out with the sewing.  We just replaced our old mattress with a new one and were left with a foam mattress topper.  Instead of buying the extremely expensive foam from a craft store, we used this to greatly decrease the cost:

Ta-da!  The fabric isn't as taut as it would have been had I used craft foam, but it was worth it to save the $$.  Caleb just sewed the fabric into a tube and inserted the foam.  He didn't make it removable because he promised that he wouldn't spill food on it, crawl all over it with dirty hands and feet, or throw up on it.  But if he does (we all know that sometimes this kid just has to vomit), then I'll be ok with removing the stitching on one end so we can take off the cover and wash it:

Then the boys removed the doors and painted two coats on the fronts, then screwed them back on:

Then the only thing left to do was make the pillows.  So Caleb cut them out to size:

Sewed them:

And enjoyed his handiwork:

The beautiful variety of pillows:

The finished product:

The whole room...vaulted ceiling, fireplace, sunlight, desk (that I refinished) and all:

Didn't my boys do a great job?!:

They sure enjoy laying there, watching for a firetruck to pass:

It does, after all, have a beautiful view of this lovely tree:

All together, the built-in part of the seat cost about $200 and the fabric for the pillows and seat cushion cost about $50.  That's a pretty huge bang for our buck!

How do you like it?  Not bad for a weekend project, eh?  I have a feeling we'll be enjoying this room a whole lot more.


TDC Before and After


Katie Groneman said...

Holy cow! That looks so great! The room looks spectacular!

Katie Bradley said...

Definitely looks like it was meant to be there. Great job!

Alice Anne said...

You... and the boys... are awesome. :)

Kathleen McCue said...

Wow-I am impressed-not only with the finished window seat, but with the way you presented this article! You are a very gifted writer. I loved the blog entry and certainly all the pictures! Kate FB friend of Val's.