This DIY window seat was designed especially to add a little charm and a lot of storage to a rental home. Use it where you rent, and take it with you when you move. Of course, this DIY project is great for homeowners, too. It’s always great to have a storage solution that you can roll away.
Shannon Ingle of Coffee Paint Repeat used kitchen cabinets to create this rolling window seat. Follow her step-by-step tutorial to build your own window seat.
DIY Window Seat for a Rental Home
I am a renter of a house that had very little personality before I moved in. It’s a nice enough place, but a little too plain for this girl. I secretly wish for an older home that is filled to the brim with historic charm… but I am also a firm believer in loving the space we are in now… wherever that may be.
So what’s a girl to do? I say get creative! Even though I am not able to permanently alter the home I live in, I am determined to add these details in other ways. I teamed up with The Home Depot to share an easy weekend project– a DIY window seat that will add the “look” of a built-in window seat with plenty of storage!
Here’s what the area looked like before. It’s a long wall next to the fireplace and off to the side of our sofa. There really isn’t enough space for another piece of furniture and I definitely did not want to block the windows or cover the heat vent in the floor.
I had become obsessed with the idea of a window seat, so I came up with a plan. I decided I could make a mobile version. It would be on large industrial wheels to allow the heat to flow from underneath and have plenty of storage.
- (3) Hampton Bay 30 in. X 18 in. Wall Bridge Cabinets
- 1 x 4 Common board
- 1 in. plywood
- Kilz Primer
- Behr paint
- (8) Everbuilt 3 in. Steel Swivel Caster wheels
Step 1: Choose your kitchen cabinets
After measuring the space under my windows I decided three kitchen cabinets would fit perfectly. They were each 30 in. wide which would make a seat that was 7½ feet long. I choose the Hampton Bay Bridge cabinets because they were 18 in. tall.
The total height of the wheels, frame and cabinets together had to sit at the current window sill to look built in. Be sure to take that into consideration when choosing your cabinet and wheel height.
Step 2: Cut wood for the frame
Measure the length of your cabinets, and cut the wood to build your frame. I used 1 x 4 common board to save on costs.
After the pieces were cut, we used the Kreg Jig R3 tool to create pocket holes in the center boards.
The center boards were all screwed into place to build the base for the cabinets to sit on.
Step 3: Cut slats to support the cabinets
The edge of the cabinets have a composite material. I knew that wouldn’t hold up over time if I tried to attach the frame to it. I cut two wood slats to fit in the ends of the bottom of each cabinet.
There is a 1 in. lip around the top and bottom of the cabinets, so the common board I had fit perfectly once it was cut to the depth.
I screwed these boards in place from the underside of the inner cabinet.
Step 4: Prime and paint
I decided because of the size of the window seat I would add paint before putting the seat together.
I removed the doors and rolled on two coats of Kilz brand primer on everything. I also painted the outer edge of the frame I had built since that would be visible even after the cabinets were attached.
Once that was dry and sanded, I added multiple coats of Behr Paint in the color Polar Bear. It is the same color I used on my kitchen cabinets and trim. (Yes, I have a very nice and LUCKY landlord who gave me permission to refinish the kitchen cabinets.) I felt the white paint would help trick the eye into believing the window seat was actually built into the wall itself.
Step 5: Add the casters
After everything had dried for 24 hours, I moved the cabinets inside to start building.
Once I had the pieces lined up, I drilled screws through the frame into the extra wood planks we had previously added to the bottom of each cabinet.
The next step is to mark the placement of each wheel and screw them into the frame.
We used eight steel swivel casters for stability. I placed one at each corner and four more in the center where the cabinet seams met.
Step 6: Secure the tops of the cabinets together
Now it was ready to flip over and wheel into its new home.
Because I knew I would want to change the fabric on the bench seat often, I didn’t plan on permanently attaching the plywood to the top. This caused a bit of an issue because I had to secure the top sides of the cabinets together.
I decide to slide a piece of plywood into the gap where the cabinets meet. We then just screwed right into that plywood from the inside of each cabinet. Problem solved.
Step 7: Add the top to the window seat
The top is a piece of 1 in. plywood cut to the cabinet length and width. On one side of the plywood we added a few pieces of the 1 x 4 to fit inside the edge on the top of the cabinet.
This was the same as we did on the bottom to attach the frame, but this time we attached the pieces right to the plywood itself. The top now fits a bit like a lid and won’t slide around when sat on.
I added some foam padding and simply stapled fabric to the underside of the plywood. When I want a new look (or the if the kids spill something), I just lift the plywood and change the fabric!
The completed DIY window seat
Time to add some pillows and put all that new storage to work! A seat like this is the perfect way to hide all those toys and games the kids want to have close by.
Another idea would be to completely remove a couple of the doors and paint the inside of the cabinet with the same white paint. You could have an open shelving area to display books or baskets.
Putting the DIY window seat on these big industrial wheels was a great idea for myself. Not only did it solve that vent problem, but now I can easily move it when it’s time to put our Christmas tree in that spot. Even better, when we move to another house it can go right with us!
I don’t claim to be a master builder, but I am a fearless weekend warrior who isn’t afraid to try new things! With a little help from The Home Depot, I was able to add some character to an otherwise boring space in my rental home in just a couple days! I hope you enjoyed this DIY window seat project and will try it too!