Turn a neglected space into the best seat in the house! A bench makes the perfect addition to a playroom, bedroom or lounge.
Relaxing with a view is an age-old pastime, so if you’re in need of a comfy possie to put your feet up, enjoy a cuppa, read a book and watch the world go by, check out this clever project. It also doubles up as discreet extra storage to make the most of the space. Made with basic timber frames and sheets of plywood, it really couldn’t be easier to build, so whether you’re a DIY pro or novice, just follow the simple steps to create your own storage bench.
Gather your supplies
A Seat frame rails (2) 70 x 35 x 3000mm dressed radiata pine
B Seat frame cross pieces (4) 70 x 35 x 520mm dressed radiata pine
C Front frame bottom plate 70 x 35 x 2960mm dressed radiata pine
D Front frame studs (5) 70 x 35 x 285mm dressed radiata pine
E Long front face 2400 x 387 x 17mm CD plywood
F Short front face 600 x 387 x 17mm CD plywood
G Top pieces (3) 953 x 555 x 17mm CD plywood
H Decorative panel board (3) 795 x 220 x 17mm CD plywood
I Piano hinges (3) 915 x 30mm
J Rear batten 3000 x 66 x 18mm primed pine
K Side battens (2) 555 x 66 x 18mm primed pine
L Long decorative panel trim (6) 795 x 42 x 18mm pencil round MDF architrave
M Short decorative panel trim (6) 220 x 42 x 18mm pencil round MDF architrave
N Skirting 2960 x 42 x 18mm pencil round MDF architrave
O Fascia (3) 953 x 42 x 18mm pencil round MDF architrave
P End fascia (2) 66 x 42 x 18mm pencil round MDF architrave
You’ll also need Power saw; cordless drill; spirit level; PVA adhesive; Dulux 1 Step Acrylic Primer, Sealer & Undercoat; Dulux Aquanamel Semi Gloss in white
Notes 1. All measurements are based on a 3m-wide unit placed between 2 existing walls. Adjust measurements to suit. 2. Check all components against the unit before cutting to size.
Step 1 Measure at front and back between walls and adjust frame pieces to fit. Cut timber to size. Fix seat frame rails (A) to cross pieces (B) so middle pieces are centred 1021mm in from ends. Allowing for skirting, if necessary, cut front frame bottom plate (C). Notch end frame studs (D) to sit over skirting and hard against wall. Fix studs to bottom plate with 1 stud on flat and centred 2400mm from 1 end.
Step 2 Place front frame 590mm from back wall. Place seat frame on studs and support back on temporary blocks. Screw seat frame to front frame. Check level and adjust if necessary by packing up off floor. Screw seat rail to rear wall studs and end studs into bottom plate of side walls using 100mm screws.
Step 3 Measure and cut plywood for front face (E,F), top pieces (G) and decorative panels (H), cutting long front face first. Clamp a second sheet of plywood to first and use edge to run saw along, ensuring blade is on cutting line. Then use factory machined edge of the long front face as the guide for all other cuts. Glue and screw front face pieces to frame.
Step 4 Use piano hinges (I) to join top pieces to rear batten (J), with a 2mm clearance gap between top pieces. Rear batten should run past top pieces by 68mm at each end.
Step 5 Screw rear batten and top piece assembly onto seat frame. Ensure gaps between top pieces are equal and line
up at front. Screw side battens (K) onto seat frame, leaving a 2mm gap between battens and top pieces.
Step 6 Cut long and short decorative panel trim (L,M) to size, with mitred corners. To make 1 panel, position 2 long and 2 short architraves face-down on bench with corners together. Coat with glue. Lay plywood on top and screw through it into timber, checking joins as you go. Repeat for remaining panels.
Step 7 Fix decorative panels 75mm down from top of front faces by gluing and screwing in from back.
Step 8 Nail skirting (N) on. Glue and screw fascia (O,P) into top pieces and side battens. Fill screw and nail holes and any gaps, then sand smooth. Undercoat, then paint in 2 coats of white, allowing to dry between coats. Complete the transformation with plenty of colourful cushions.