Building window seats

Updated February 21, 2017

Window seats add extra seating to a room, but they can also add extra storage. Building window seats with storage is not difficult if you have the proper tools and materials. Measure the length of the window or, if you have cabinets placed on either side of the window, measure the distance between the two cabinets. It's not necessary to join your window seat to anything, but framing a window with two bookshelves joined by a window seat makes an impact. The standard height for window seats is around 19 inches and the depth can be anywhere from 17 inches to 24 inches, based on your personal requirements. You could build a simple window seat that is in essence a bench, but why not take advantage of the extra storage possibilities? Build your window seat with a traditional hinged seat or place doors on the front for access.


You can find all of the materials needed to build your window seat at your local home improvement store. If you plan to paint your window seat, you can purchase paint-grade plywood, but stained window seats look best with oak, cherry or some other hardwood. Build your frame with 2x4 lumber, four pieces for the length and four pieces for the depth. You will also need four 2x4s cut for the side posts of your window seat. Cover the sides and front of a traditional hinged window seat with ¼- to ½-inch plywood and build your hinged door for the top with ¾-inch plywood. Build the doors for the front of your window seat with ½-inch plywood or purchase pre-made doors at your home improvement store. You will need a piano hinge for the traditional seat and door hinges and hardware if you plan to access your storage through doors on the front. Bring your exact measurements with you and get your materials cut for free at your home improvement store.


Begin building your window seat frame by attaching two of the longer 2x4s to the shorter side piece 2x4s, creating a rectangle. Add the four side posts on each corner, and complete the window seat frame with a 2x4 rectangle on top. Attach plywood to the sides and front and then install your piano hinge for the traditional seat. Install the window seat under the window before you add the traditional top or the doors on the front. This will make it easier to get inside the frame and attach it to the wall. Decorate your finished window seat with cushions and pillows for a comfortable, cosy space.

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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.