Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunroom Changes- Window Seat

This was the current situation of the sunroom a few weeks ago. The sunroom built-ins were basically the first project we completed in this house and while it has been ok for the past couple of years, there were a few design issues. One was that the seats were a little too high and the sides were narrow to comfortably lounge so the only time we really used the seating was for our large Thanksgiving dinner each year. We were using the seating for storage but most of it was for boxes we didn't want to go through.

With the toys taking over the living room, we decided to make this space a little less seating and a little more playroom. The way we built the seating made it pretty easy to take apart and Nate had it out in less than an hour. (It wasn't attached to the floor so no damage there)

Once the old seating unit was out, the first order of business was to build a smaller window seat that was more conducive to hanging out/playing/reading. We decided to also make this seat floating but a little more structural than the last one so we started with a base that spanned the width of the sunroom.

To make life easier, I looked up the size of an inexpensive crib mattress and used those dimensions to design the length of the unit. The width is much wider so I decided to create a center seat (width of two center squares) with two side tables (outer rectangles). The two side tables will have locked storage (for games) and under the seat will be open storage with baskets that we can put Will's toys in so he can easily access them.

We basically built this unit modularly. The side tables are just basic boxes made of 3/4" plywood. Each side was attached to the bottom by gluing the seam, pre-drilling holes and screwing them secure. The top and back was attached using glue and a nail gun (since the back was thin plywood and we didn't want the top to show screws. This process did require a lot of hands so there are no pictures of the process but there are a lot of tutorials online if you want pics.

The center was a little trickier. This is mostly because we were trying to use the scraps from the old seat to build this one. We started with a plywood base and then carefully marked out where our dividers would go. We laid a strip of glue and let the dividers sit and dry.

Once they were dry, we flipped the center piece over and screwed them into place and attached the back.

Before doing anything else, I primed everything since it would be harder to do once the top was attached. We also used our nail gun to attach the center piece to the base cross pieces. We attached the boxes in a similar way.

Then we were able to attach the top of the center. We nailed the top to the dividers and pre-drilled and screwed the the boxes to the top ends.

This obviously doesn't look very finished so I took some 1x2 trim pieces and framed out the boxes. I also added a 1x6 to the front of the base and trim pieces along the bottom of the boxes.

Then a lot of caulking....

And finally paint and we had a much smaller but more practical base for our new window seat.

There is a ton more to do in this space before it's ready for Will but forward progress is awesome!

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