What little girl wouldn't love a cozy reading nook to unwind in with her favorite books?
I absolutely adore the house we live in, but unfortunately it is a rental. Decorating Diva that I am, I am sharply limited as to how much I can alter this house. Of course this just means I have to get even more creative to achieve the look I want.
The house is a Cape Cod style house. So cute! The minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to put window seats in the dormer windows!
I suppose even if we owned the house, putting in perfect, built-in window seats would likely be beyond our budget or carpentry expertise at this time. I've always wanted something like this: (Photo is Link to Source)
Well, since that's not gonna happen...
What did I do? First I took measurements. Then I got some ideas about how I would create the dormer window seats. I though about using 3 wooden milk crates as a base for each seat (each of my 2 daughters has a dormer window in her bed room), and then put a piece of plywood across the top as the bench. Make cushions and voila - right?
Then I did some research and was unable to find wooden milk crates for less than about $14 a piece... a little out of my budget of "less-than-that."
A trip to the local hardware store brought more ideas, and then I found it! An industrial, plastic shelving unit made for storage rooms and garages. (Photo is Link to Source)
Very pretty and feminine, no?
... OK, well, not yet, anyway. But it will be!
It just so happened that the measurements from the baseboard trim on one side of the dormer window to the other was 36" across. The shelves? Yup - 36" wide. The whole shelf unit was $39.00 at the store, and would be enough to create 2 window seats plus I would have left-over parts. So here is a visual depiction of what I did:
What about a cushion? An old cushion from an outdoor chair works great! Don't have an old one? You can find them new at Walmart for around $15.00! (And they already have ties on them!)
Don't worry if the cushion is too long - once pushed into the dormer window area, it looks like it was custom made!
I then accessorized the seat with pillows and throws from around the house.
And here's the second window seat in my other daughter's bedroom. I'll add more cushions later.
And look! Hideaway storage!
Another issue I had was putting up curtains. The home owners don't want holes drilled into the old plaster walls because plaster tends to crack. So I used those pressure-seated shower rods for the dormer windows and removable clothing hooks to hold up light-weight wooden rods for the other windows.
Old Mardi Gras beads work well to hold the drapes aside to let in the light. And when we move out? All of this is removable and won't damage the walls or paint!
And what did I do with the left-over pieces of the shelving unit? Heck - I made myself a gardening and potting table! Once the weather is warmer, I'll move it out of my cluttered kitchen and onto the back deck.
Total cost of my dormer window seats? $40 for the shelves, $30 for 2 outdoor seat cushions and the rest of the stuff was fabric, pillows, etc. that we already had... so $70 for two cozy & adorable window seats and a gardening table!