Custom window seats can add beauty and practical storage solutions to any room. A custom made window seat designed to fit the space and style of a room can complete the decor while providing storage and seating in a space that would otherwise remain unused.
Design Your Custom Window Seat
Look through magazines, catalogs, and search on-line to collect ideas of the type of custom window seat you wish to have. An open-shelf window seat is a manageable do-it-yourself project. The most simple window seat to build looks like a box with open shelves running from the bottom of the seat to the floor. You may also choose to have hidden storage with a flip-top seat or with small cabinet doors, but both variations will add to the cost and the level of challenge of the project substantially.
To determine the correct dimensions for your window seat, sit in lots of different seats in your home, paying careful attention to the most comfortable distance from the seat to the floor, as well as the depth for your back to rest comfortably while sitting. Jot down important dimensions. You will also need to decide if you wish to have foam cushions and pillows.
Sketch and Price Out Your Design
Include measurements of and quantity requirements for all components. This sketch should be as detailed as possible. Request detailed estimates from local craftsmen, and collect costs for all individual components from a variety of retailers. Visit a lumber yard to comparison shop on the wood. You can put swatches of fabric, paint color information and other details on this sheet for convenience sake.
Take a pencil, a calculator, and a lined notebook. Write down each item that you have chosen to use, the amount of that item that is required, and the unit cost. Multiply across to determine the total cost per item, and then add all items together to determine your complete cost. Of course, if you have decided to use the help of a craftsman, you will have to add the labor cost as well. Depending upon your budget, you may need to do this exercise several times, changing components as you go along to hit a price point that is acceptable to you. Add the cost of any additional tools that you will have to purchase, but remember that they will be used again for other projects, so you can break down the cost over the course of time.
For a point of comparison, a basic, fabric-covered window seat with storage under the seat will run between $250 and $400 brand new excluding delivery, but it will not be custom-built for your unique needs, fit flush against your wall, and it will not leave you with the great sense of accomplishment that comes from creating a beautiful addition to your home for a reasonable cost with your own two hands.