How to build a window seat with storage

How to build a window seat with storage from At The Picket Fence

One of my favorite features of my recent kitchen remodel,  is my window seat.  I was sad that it wasn’t part of the Better Homes and Gardens feature, and I’ve had several people ask to see the “rest of the kitchen”, which is where the window seat sits.

There’s something special and romantic about a window seat.  And, even better a window seat with lots of storage!

How to build a window seat with storage

For several years now I had envisioned a window seat in the bay window area of my kitchen.  We have a beautiful 2 acre backyard, and I imagined sitting up in a window seat drinking coffee and looking out over the farm land and woods behind my house.

I could see, in my mind,  The Girl sitting on the seat in the warm afternoon sun reading a book curled up with her dog. While underneath the seat resided all of my tall vases, awkward hard to store kitchen gadgets, and my three tiered cupcake carrier.

Once I had convinced Bama Boy to allow me to remodel the kitchen, my second demand request, after tearing out the non functioning planning desk, was building my window seat.

He in turn begged convinced our neighbor, Will “The Tool Man” Taylor, who I introduced to you in my board and batten bath remodel, to help him build it.

Which, translated means: Will built it and Bama Boy “assisted.”  But, regardless of who actually built the window seat, I now have one…and I am one happy gal!

Several of you asked if I would be sharing details on how we built it.  Since, I was not actually involved in the step by step building, I will show you lots of pictures.  Hopefully they will give you a good idea on how this was built.

First step in the process is framing out the window seat.


The bay is about 8ish feet long.  We used 2X4’s to make the frame.  I think it took about six.


 Now we were dealing with two issues with the location of the window seat. Can you guess what they are?  I’m sure you see them.  Yep, a vent and an outlet.


Here’s what we did.  First, we left the outlet intact, but put the back support above it.  That way I can still access it if I need it.  The vent required some thought.

So, here’s how we solved the dilemma.  We constructed a box out of plywood that directed the airflow to the front of the window seat.  The sides and top were glued and nailed, for a tight fit and then caulked.  This would prevent any loss of heat or air from the vent into the window seat, and would keep a nice flow out the front into the room.  A perfect solution!  So, if you have nixed the idea of a window seat because of a vent in the location, this solution should remove any hesitancy!

Now a window seat is a wonderful luxury, but storage is a necessity.  I did not want a window seat if I could not take advantage of the space underneath for storage.  Enter the window seat door.

attaching piano hinge

We used a nice piece of birch to construct the window seat.  We measured the space between the 2X4 braces and the boys cut a door out of the plywood.  Then we attached the longest piano hinge we could find.  You can purchase these at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  This hinge was the perfect length, but if you find it’s a little long for your window seat door it can be cut to fit.

Attaching the hinge properly takes a little bit of effort and will take more than one person.  It will also be a little “tight” for awhile, which is why there is a gap between the door and the sides, but will loosen up over time (and with bottoms sitting on it. grin)

Next you will need to decide what you want to “face” the front with. You can choose a nice piece of plywood and built boxes along the front. I’ve seen these online.  But since we are trying to achieve a french farmhouse look, we used beadboard.  You will need to cut the sheets to fit and then apply construction adhesive to the support braces.

You will want to make sure that you cut a hole in your beadboard paneling to allow the vent cover to fit in snugly but still be removable to vacuum out the vent box as needed.  The left panel fit right to the edge of where the cover would be, but we did jigsaw out the right side panel to accommodate the other side of the vent cover.


Don’t worry about seams.  Caulk is your friend!

After your window seat is constructed.  You will need to add baseboard to run along the front of your window seat as well as nice trim to finish off all of the edges.


We chose a beaded trim that is used for screen doors.  It was nice and flat and the perfect size to run along the front of the actual seat as well as along the back of the seat by the wall which covered up any gaps and imperfections due to the walls not being perfectly straight..imagine that! 😉

Here is the trim painted, but still not caulked along the back.  Make sure that you caulk all visible gaps as a final step to building your window seat. This will give it a nice finished professional look. Give your window seat, trim and beadboard several coats of paint.

Here is my completed window seat in my kitchen makeover! It’s a favorite place for people to sit and the 8 feet of storage has not disappointed!

Kitchen Remodel from At The Picket Fence

Here are all of the links to the full kitchen makeover if you’d like to see all of the other projects we tackled! 

See you back here soon…at the picket fence.

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  1. says

    That’s fabulous! I dream of doing something just like that. I love how you have it with a round table…your kitchen just keeps getting better!

  2. says

    Oh this is gorgeous! Love the step by step tutorial, thank you! I pinned it to my “niche upstairs” board….I dream of a built in bench lots of storage and shelves on the side…Can Bama Boy and neighbor help a girl out :) I’m a pretty good cook :)
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  3. says

    It’s just plain lovely as is your whole kitchen. I have window seats in the dormer windows of one of the girl’s rooms. I love them. I think there is just a homey feel to a window seat.

    And question: I realize that between the job loss absence and the kitchen remodel absence I have been, well, too absent. What is the status of the move? Did I miss something?

    • says

      Hi Debbie. I’m still here in the house. It hasn’t sold yet. :( Hoping spring will bring out the buyers. We’re 8 months into this, never thought I’d still be here! One of the downsides of living in a rural area, just not as many buyers that want land. Thanks for your sweet words about the kitchen.

  4. says

    I love a window seat and yours looks so pretty and inviting! Makes me want to crawl up with a good book and a cup of coffee and stay there all morning. :) Very nice job. Sharon

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