The Project House – Mr. Project’s Built-in Window Seat with bookshelves

January 21st, 2014

Okay… I haven’t updated on the house in a few weeks. So much has happened… so much is happening right now. It’s really kind of overwhelming to keep up with it all, and take pictures, and blog and whatnot. And so pictures were kind of piling up and I knew I needed to get to an update, but then I went out of town on business for several days, and pictures really started piling up, and the whole idea of updating on the build seemed really overwhelming.

So finally I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer, and started flagging images. Well there were more than 60 images that I want to share… and really, I couldn’t do that in one mega post,  so I decided to catch up a bit by showing projects/categories for a few quick posts. This way I can get a bunch of little posts done and get all my updates posted, without feeling overwhelmed.

Onto the first project… The built-in window seat in the Guest Room. This is one of those projects that I just didn’t think we’d get to until after we moved in. Mr. Project was feeling motivated, and asked what I was planning and said that maybe he could get it done… well if you know my husband, you know that when he says that, he is about 5 minutes away from diving in head first and getting said project started and finished in record time.

Here is the window wall of the room. I really wanted double or triple windows in all the rooms instead of one big slider window. I just think it looks so quaint and designed.


I planned for this room to have a window seat with shelving on the sides, so I had the framers keep the ceiling lower over this one part of the room, and then raise it up higher for the rest of the room. I basically wanted it to feel like a more enclosed space.

When Mr. Project asked what I wanted the space to look like, I drew this (awesome) picture on the wall:


Apparently I need to brush up on my perspective drawing… I drew a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf on each side of the windows, and then a bench area between. Then detailed the paneling on the inside of the seating area, and the front of the bench. We made a few measurement decisions – how deep, how wide etc. and then Mr. Project got to work!

First he made bases for everything to sit on. He said that this was the most important part of the job because if the bases were off, then everything else would be off. So he spent a long time putting these in and making them completely level and plumb.


Once he had the bases in, he built each bookshelf in two pieces (because they are so tall). I don’t have any during pictures of this process because I had to go home and be a mom/get work done. But Mr. Project stayed late that first night assembling the shelving and router-ing the v-groove paneling for the shelve backing. The next day when I came by again, it looked like this:


That’s a lot of progress for less than 24 hours. That Mr. Project, he’s pretty amazing. The second night he stayed late again and paneled out the window and created the face frame (from poplar wood) for the shelving, and the paneling on the inside.


So the next morning when I came to the house… this Is what I saw!


So amazingly gorgeous, and absolutely perfect. Less than 48 hours from Mr. Project just asking what I wanted it to look like – to – being all done except the baseboard, front trim, and liftable-seat. He really is amazing!

Here’s the simple v-groove detail in the back:built-in-window-seat-vgroove

And the inside paneling:

built-in-window-seat-detail2  The crown and face frame detail.


If you want to know more about HOW he created this, I can see if Mr. Project will write a how-to with some additional images and notes. Just let me know in the comments/ instagram/facebook, and if I get enough interest, I can convince him to write a post all about building a built-in window seat with bookshelves.

Stay tuned to my blog for a lot more house projects and mini-update posts the next few weeks. We’re less than a month out (cross my fingers), so things are really picking up!

As always – for daily updates subscribe to my Instagram or Facebook feeds.

18 responses to “The Project House – Mr. Project’s Built-in Window Seat with bookshelves”

  1. Vivian white says:

    beautiful!just what I want my husband to make in our new house!please ask your very talented husband to post the how-tos!

  2. Judith says:

    Wow, it is beautiful. Yes, I would love for him to write more about how he made them.

  3. Mary R says:

    he really is amazing. I love it – such a warm and cozy addition. If I were staying with you as a guest, you would probably have to kick me out : )

  4. Christie Rinatd says:

    I would be so greatfull for details! My husband and I are right in the middle of building almost the same thing! I was so excited when I saw this on FB this morning. We also used poplar, Mdf and some plywood. The bench seat is in and the lower cabinets but we have not begun the built-in bookshelfs. Any hints, details or lessons learned would be so appreciated!

  5. Lauren says:

    You have one amazing husband!!
    My husband and I are in the process of renovating. I really love seeing all your progress right along with ours. Although you have a ton of progress and ours is slow going!! Thanks for the updates.

  6. Tamara says:

    Yes, I would LOVE a how-to. I have two kids that have been promised window seats and builtin shelves. We are hoping to complete them this year, so any info would be wonderful. Thanks for all the inspiration! 🙂

  7. Laurie says:

    I would love to see a tutorial! Your house looks amazing and I love all of the trimwork your husband has done and you’ve designed. I check back often in hopes that there are updated pictures of your house. 🙂

  8. January says:

    Would Mr. Project be willing to teach the husband? Cause Mr. Projects projects are amazing!! 🙂

  9. Kate C says:

    I’m itching to help you paint!

  10. Stephanie says:

    I love all the woodwork you are adding to the house! Do you have an estimate on how much you have spent on supplies for mr. Project to create all those extra details? Mainly jest trim, not the kitchen cabinets.

  11. Jen Allyson says:

    We’re not exactly sure yet… our wood has been delivered though our builder’s supply house, and so that bill goes directly to the builder. I really don’t even know a ballpark right now, but in a few weeks we’ll have all the invoices in and I should have a pretty close number for all the trim products used in the house.

  12. Nicky says:

    Would love a tutorial with a list of tools used. Love following along and seeing the build.

  13. Cindy B. says:

    Your man is AMAZING!! And to think he did all that in 48 hours! It would take my man 48 DAYS just to get started! I dream about something like this someday.. A perfect spot to read and store all my favorite thing.. *sigh**

  14. K says:

    I would LOVE a how to for this! He’s done an amazing job and we are about to start a built in bookshelf/desk project soon!

  15. Brandon says:

    What type of wood is he using for the sides, shelves, and front trim? It looks like melamine? If it is, how do you get enough strength out of it? Perhaps a few close up shots to show some details? Thank you!

  16. Jen Allyson says:

    He’s using MDF for the shelves and sides (full weight MDF not light weight), and the front trim is Maple (you can use MDF, but it’s not as robust if you have climbing children etc.).

  17. Amanda says:

    I’d LOVE some how-to info and pictures if he’s willing!!

  18. Jake says:

    What were the measurements used for the window seat and shelves?

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