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DIY window seat tutorial by Little Terraced House

Victorian houses have surprisingly little storage, so I am always looking for solutions to create extra space for all our clutter, without compromising on the style of the house.  This blog will take you through a DIY window seat with storage in a bay window – creating a stylish space to sit and hide away your bits and bobs.  You can find more about our renovation and DIY projects over at Little Terraced House.

DIY window seat: Tools & materials

DIY window seat with storage: Step-by-step tutorial

Step 1. Draw out your plans for your window seat

First and foremost, sketch out a plan of your window seat so that you can work out the lengths of wood required and how much MDF you will need.  I chose to set our seat back a little, as if it had been flush with the corners of the bay window, it would have been far too deep. I also wanted to keep the original skirting board intact, so this guide works around them.

Step 2. Build the frame

Use an angle finder to work out the angles of your bay window.  You then need to set the mitre saw to the correct angle and cut the lengths of wood for your frame as illustrated below and using the plans you drew up at step 1. The cordless Bosch mitre saw is great for beginners as it is light and easy to use. You will need to turn the wood on occasion if it is too deep for the saw to get through in one cut.

Build the frame of the window seat

Use 3.5 inch screws and heavy duty rawl plugs to fix the battens to the wall. Space the screws evenly for a strong grip. Check regularly that the frame is straight using a spirit level.

Using the pocket jig to make holes for you to screw the frame together at an angle. This allows you to easily put it together in situ without having screws sticking out of the frame.  You can then fill the holes with dowels provided in the kit or wood filler. I used wood filler which I then sanded back smooth.

You can also use instant grab adhesive for a really strong hold. Apply this first and then screw the frame together using a range of screws. I used 3.5 inch screws for the main frame and the 2 inch screws to add the support battens.

It’s a good idea to prime and paint the frame now. I didn’t do this, but it would have been much easier if I had!

Step 3. Attach the MDF cladding

The front of the window seat is clad with 6mm MDF sheets.  

Cut these to size using the mitre saw and simply attach with instant grab adhesive and panel pins or screws (only use screws if you plan to panel over the top like I did. Panel pins will be easier to hide with paint otherwise).

MDF cladding to build the structure of the DIY window seat

Use clamps to keep the MDF in place with the adhesive dries. It’ll help get it really flush against the frame.

As with the frame, it may be easier to prime and paint the inside of the cladding before attaching it to the frame.

Step 4. Attach the panelling

If you are panelling your window seat, now is the time to do it (i.e. before you attach the seat). Use 6mm MDF for the panelling.
If you are cutting around decorative skirting boards like I did, you can draw the pattern onto a sheet of MDF using a scribing compass. Once you have drawn out the shape of the skirting board, you can cut out the pattern using your jigsaw. When you have cut the shape out of the board, you can cut it down to size. My panelling is 100mm wide. Where the panelling meets the skirting board, it is 100mm wide at the narrowest part.

You may also wish to include an airbrick at this stage.

Step 5. Attach the seat

The seat is made using 12mm MDF. You could also use ply which would work well.

The window seat has four top sections. The two corners, which are fixed to the frame and the two middle sections which can be removed to access the storage below. You could also add a hinge to these two sections to make it even easier to access the storage.

Use the mitre saw to cut the angled sections. An angle finder will help or a cheat’s way to do this is to create a paper template by simply positioning a sheet of paper and making a fold along the wall, as illustrated below.  

Attach the seat to the DIY storage bench

Attach the fixed sections with screws. Use a countersink drill bit first to allow the screw to sit slightly lower than the top of the seat, then fill over with wood filler.

Step 6. Attach decorative beading

DIY window seat

You can now add decorative beading. I added a half dowel along the edge of the seat using instant grab adhesive and panel pins. You could also add decorative moulding within the panels for a period finish.

Step 7. Fill and finish the window seat

Use wood filler to fill any joins or over any screw holes and sand back smooth. Use caulk around all the edges for a flawless finish.

Step 8. Time to prime

Prime the window seat with a suitable MDF primer and paint as desired for a perfect finish. And there we have it, your very own DIY window seat with storage!

Finished DIY window seat with storage
Finished DIY window seat with storage

Did you enjoy this article on a DIY window seat with storage by Little Terraced House? Why not read our tutorial on DIY ornate wall panelling or even our wall and ceiling paint buying guide!

Are you creating your own window storage bench too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

We are excited to share that we have partnered with the Instagram famous styling duo Style Sisters to create an exclusive Edit and 10 top tips for styling a child’s bedroom, featuring clever storage and multifunctional furniture.

Before
Top storage tips for a child's bedroom by The Style Sisters
After

The Style Sisters have risen to fame by helping their clients to style and organise their homes and wardrobes. From smaller wardrobe detoxes and decluttering to full organisational home makeovers, the sisters are on hand to transform their clients’ homes.

The Edit

The Edit focuses on clever storage solutions and multifunctional furniture for a child’s bedroom. With the help of ManoMano, you can shape your world in your own vision and make the most of whatever space you have – from wooden bunk beds with drawers underneath and a cow themed storage stool to characterful home accessories.

  1. Wooden Bunk Beds £269.99
  2. Storage Animal Stool £79.99
  3. Chest of 5 Drawers £221.00
  4. Real Cow Hide Rug £153.99
  5. White Ladder Shelf £179.99
  6. Blayne Pendant Light £68.48
  7. Children’s Desk and Stool £86.16
  8. Wardrobe £359.99
  9. Knot Cushion £39.99
  10. Teepee Play Tent £42.99
  11. Storage Box £49.99

*Stock levels may vary and will be restocked throughout the year. Alternative products are also available on the website.

Top 10 tips: Styling a child’s bedroom

1. Choose furniture that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also holds plenty of storage! You want to make sure you’re picking pieces that are stylish, practical and functional. 

2. Beds with under the bed storage like the drawers in the bunk beds we have chosen are a great way to maximise space and storage. 

Under bed storage comes in handy to maximise space
Under bed storage and ottomans come in handy to maximise space

3. Ottomans are perfect for storing away items like toys and teddies, you can make them multi functional by popping a few cushions on top so it can also double up as seating. 

4. Think outside the box with storage especially in smaller rooms. Don’t neglect wall space! Use shelves to display and store items.

5. Think about purchasing furniture that can grow with your child rather than nursery furniture. Consider a chest of drawers you can add a changing topper/ mat to, so that you can simply take these off when the child no longer needs them, leaving you with a chest of drawers that still has purpose in the room!

Choose pieces of furniture that can grow with your children
Choose pieces of furniture that can grow with your children

6. Over the door storage is also a great solution for otherwise unused space. A great hack is to use over the door shelving (shoe pockets also work great and can be found inexpensively) – you could use them for teddies/toys! 

7. Desks don’t have to be big and bulbous! Choose one that has lift-up storage like we have used and consider placing shelves above to store craft items on. This way it takes up minimal space but hosts a cute creative corner for the children to use and love! 

Multifunctional desks with lift-up storage are a clever way to store more away

8. Slimline velvet hangers are perfect for a children’s wardrobe. They take up less space than other hangers and leave everything looking super stylish too! 

9. Sleek freestanding shelving displays are great to store books and toys. They make a lovely alternative to a traditional bookcase and are more narrow so don’t take up as much room. 

Try a ladder shelf for storing books & toys

10. Storage baskets are perfect for holding children’s toys. Choose baskets that match the style of the room and go as big as the space will allow. You can place them around the room to store the toys away – you can also bring the basket into other rooms when needed!

Gemma & Charlotte, The Style Sisters
Gemma & Charlotte, The Style Sisters

 “We’ve loved creating an edit with ManoMano and wanted to show what can be done to freshen up and modernise a kids bedroom. Our aim was to utilise space by selecting furniture with storage incorporated into it and we’re excited to show you the end result”, the Style Sisters.

Have the Edit & top tips for a stylish, multifunctional child’s bedroom inspired you? Share your results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the house, and one of the rooms with the least storage space. These handy bathroom organisation tricks will help keep the space clutter-free.

 1. Extra Shower Rail

bathroom organisation tricks Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano shower rail

Keep everything in your shower within reach and off the floor by putting up an extra rail in your shower. 

2. Wall-mounted cabinet

Bathroom storage ideas
Source: ltdcommodities.com

Make the most of every inch in your bathroom by transforming your toilet into another storage surface. Pop a tray on the cistern and hang all your toilet essentials off the sides.

3. Drawer Organisers

Source: HomeBNC

If you’re sick of opening your draws and scrabbling around in a heap of half-finished tubes and tubs every morning, this is the tip for you. Pick up some cheap draw organisers or small baskets and transform you bathroom experience.

4. Extra Shelving

bathroom organisation tricks Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano shelves
Source: Graceful Order

Save yourself from filling the sink with products by adding some small shelves next to the mirror.

5. Cabinet Toothbrushes

bathroom organisation tricks toothbrush storage Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: lisotic.com

A few little cuts will keep your toothbrushes off the sink and clean in the cabinet.

6. Magnetic Storage

bathroom organisation tricks magnetic strip Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: Diply

Repurpose a magnetic knife strip in the bathroom and save your small items from getting lost. 

7. Bath Time Baskets

bathroom organisation tricks toy storage Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: Tiger Feng

Prevent the bathroom from turning into a impenetrable mass of toys with some baskets and a shower rail. This system means that happy bathers can still easily grab and replace a favourite toy as well.

8. Mason Jar Organiser

bathroom organisation tricks mason jars Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: DIY Playbook

This chic organisational idea finds a use for all those jars you just can’t bear to throw away. Simply attach your jars to an appropriately sized piece of wood and then mount it all on the wall.

9. Repurposed Baskets

Transform industrial, wire baskets into chic shelves and give yourself stacks more storage space in the process.

10. 360° Shelving

bathroom organisation cabinet storage Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: MiniManor

Stop creating a product avalanche every time you need to dig something out of a cupboard; install a lazy-Susan. With gentile spin, nothing is out of your reach!

11. More Shelves!

Use all of the space available in your bathroom, and add a shelf above your sink to keep everything neatly organised at eye-level.

12. Magnetic Makeup

bathroom organisation magnetic board Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: LauraThoughts81.blogspot.com

Display your makeup in this gorgeous, magnetic display and stop it from piling up in your drawers.

13. Filing Your Hairdryer

Use a file holder to store your hairdryer and its cord neatly out of the way.

14. Potty Shelving

bathroom organisation pot storage Handy Mano ManoMano Mano Mano Handymano
Source: Fahiony.ru

Who says pots are only useful in the garden? Adding pots into a shelf will enable you to corral all those long-handled objects in one place.

15. Ladder Shelving

Source: mcoghlan.mx

Give yourself an added layer of shelf space with a vintage ladder. You can use it to hang towels to dry, or add baskets to store smaller items as well.

16. DIY Rope Shelving

Source: The Home Depot

Create these nautical-inspired shelves with a bit of rope and a few planks. 

Did you enjoy this article on our top bathroom organisation tricks? Why not read our tutorial on designing a DIY bathroom shelf or even our bathtub buying guide!

Are you organising your own bathroom? Share your finished results with us on Instagramusing the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

DIY bathroom shelf design by My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy 

Is there anything better than soaking in a bubbly bath with a good book and a cup of tea? We have teamed up with My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy to create a step-by-step DIY project which shows you how to build a little bath-side shelving unit by recycling leftover materials. The resulting driftwood-style bathroom shelving unit is the perfect place to store bath products and provides a handy stand for your mug (or wine glass!). 

You don’t need much timber for this project – we’ve upcycled small 20cm offcuts of scaffold board and broken broom handles to create a compact unit, but you can make it any size and shape you like, as long as it is securely assembled and feels sturdy. The sanded and waxed timber creates a soft, driftwood finish that’s ideal for coastal-style bathrooms, or you could paint and seal the wood to coordinate with your interiors. The creative bathroom shelf unit is a great storage hack for small spaces – and is cheap and easy so can cater for everyone.

DIY bathroom shelf design
(C) My Thrifty Life & Andy Greenacre

Find out how to upcycle and design your own DIY bathroom shelf in 7 easy steps here.

Project created by My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy with photography by Andy-Greenacre.co.uk 

Did you enjoy this article on how to design your own DIY bathroom shelf? Why not read our tutorial on creating a raffia mirror in 10 minutes or even our bathtub buying guide!

Are you designing your own DIY bathroom shelf? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!