This is what it looks like now, after remodifying it.
Master Bedroom Built-In Window Seat ReMakeover
It's hard to see the subtle changes but these little tweaks made a world of difference to the comfort, aesthetic, and function of this space. You can find the original post here at Master Bedroom Built-In Window Seat And Bookcase.
But first let's go back to the very beginning so you can get a good idea of where we started, where we were going, and how we finally came up with a better design.
We have a large yard with mature trees that backs onto a green belt and so this side of the house has the best view. Since taking possession in the late 90's I had envisioned a large window in the master bedroom with a window seat to enjoy the view.
Finally, two summers ago that dream was realized. The challenge, however, was that being a home built in the 60's, the bedroom has a small footprint and adding a window seat would take up some valuable real estate.
Quite the difference between the before and after, right? But unfortunately, being hyper-focused on getting that much-anticipated window seat, I lead with my heart and told my head to take a vacation.
We made the window seat narrow to accommodate a 36-inch space between it and the bed.
The other challenge was that the closet door is immediate to the right of the window so we had to allow room to open the closet doors. Having only an 18-inch depth to work with, we decided to build open shelving.
The problem with the original design
Problem 1: Depth of bench too narrow
Either that bench shrunk or I grew but we won't talk about that. Relaxing with a good book wasn't so pleasant when one butt cheek was hanging overboard.
Problem 2: Storage too small
We were lucky to fit two pillows in what was suppose to be valuable storage under the seat.
Problem 3: Electrical outlet INSIDE the bench
This one really embarrasses me but I'm going to share it anyway. We cut a hole in the back of the bench to access the electrical plug. You can imagine the challenge plugging something into a socket with THE LID CLOSED.
Problem 4: Sightline too choppy
I didn't like the disjointed transition between the raised base of the bench and the fitted base of the small shelving unit. Also, I didn't like the choppy look of the bench ending before the window.
The solution:We took it all apart and started over with a much better plan.
Plan 1: Move the Electrical Outlet above the bench for easy access
Plan 2: Increase the depth of the window seat
Moving the bed over about 6-inches and finding a narrower night table on the left side of the bed for adequate flow (pun intended) between the bed and the master bathroom, in order to accommodate a deeper window seat.
Plan 3: Construct the seat with adequate storage
Plan 4: OSeamless open shelving on one end
I still wanted open shelving on this end but wanted the base to replicate the seat. I also wanted the top to be flush with the seat for a seamless cushioned top the entire 7-foot length of the window.
You may be wondering why we didn't angle the top so it is flush with the lid of the seat? The angle was too sharp and didn't look pleasing to the eye.
No more sagging butt, we have a comfortable depth on the seat now.
A two-inch foam was cut with a serrated bread knife to follow the profile of the entire unit.
Another Challenge: Finding the right fabricThank goodness Fabricland had a huge sale - we're talking 75% discount kind of sale - because it took three attempts to find the right fabric. The two rejected fabrics will be used in upcoming furniture makeovers so they won't go to waste.
I didn't have enough fabric to make piping around the edges, but I'm okay with less work. As it was I must have taken this crazy cushion apart three times before getting the angle right.
We are so much happier with our Master Bedroom Window Seat now after making these changes. It not only looks more aesthetically pleasing it is far more comfortable.
If you know someone who might enjoy this built-in window seat makeover, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.
One of these days I'll get around to posting a tutorial on how I made the throw pillows. I'm also sewing a matching cover for a body pillow that will rest against the bookcase for added back and neck support.
Now that the seat fits, I plan on spending quality time catching up on the stack of unread books collecting on the bookcase shelves.