Last night I couldn’t sleep. That is VERY unlike me. I awoke at 2:00 a.m. unable to turn off the day’s stimulation. When I finally accepted I wasn’t going back to sleep anytime soon, I got up, went downstairs, grabbed a granola bar and sat at my window seat.
My window seat.
And just like that, my over-active brain left behind the events of the day. As I gazed out at the darkness and into the peace of night, I started thinking about other window seat moments and how it is the place I almost always go to unwind. I have spent so many hours sitting there I actually wore a butt-sized hole in the cushion fabric.
I have since sewn new cushions.
One of my middle-of-the-night memories was of the first time I saw our house and how I could just see a window seat nestled between the bookcases. I also imagined visually setting apart the space from the rest of the living room. As the area was built to be a porch, its enclosure and subsequent inclusion in the living room had caused the whole space to be out of proportion and difficult to use. It was too long and narrow to function as one room, yet there was no natural breaking point where the former porch could make the proclamation, “Hey, I’m my own space.”
So, in the spring of 2003 I decided to right that wrong. I took the vision in my head and set out to learn how to build a window seat and column-topped knee walls. It was the first project I designed and constructed myself.
From this experience, and the others that have followed, I know the power of the creative process. To make something real, that you can touch, sit on, see, and to know your efforts made it happen, well, that’s magic, and cements for me that self-confidence is not a gift we can give to others. Rather, self-confidence, a belief in yourself, is ultimately a gift we can really only give to ourselves.
Every day I enjoy my window seat, especially because I did it and that’s pretty darn cool. ♦
My girl sitting in the “Before” space. See how ottomans and a plant were used to try to create separation…
Now this is the completed space. It wasn’t in the budget to cover the original concrete porch floor with hardwood, so I installed parquet and an oak threshold which actually worked better. It blends, but it’s also a nod to the space being its own.
Most construction, even framing walls, is just creating boxes. The window seat was three small boxes inside one large box. And because the floor vents were being covered, the air had to be captured in two housings that redirected the flow out vents installed in both ends of the window seat…
Designed to accommodate a 300 pound person, the window seat is framed with 2×4′s. An outer skin of 3/4″ MDF completes the construction…
A restful place for Blackberry…
Each side of the space is flanked by column-topped knee walls…
Not only is the window seat a cozy nook for writing and reading, it doubles as a great storage place for Christmas decorations.
Do you have a space you want to transform? Don’t let doubt or not knowing how to do it stop you. Family, friends and the internet can probably answer just about any procedural question you may have about the project. Do some research and then start.
Of course, as you go along, unexpected stuff will come up, you can be sure of that. But with enthusiasm and care you will overcome each obstacle. And then when it’s done, send me a photo. I would love to see what YOU did!