Project: breakfast nook built-in

Since we moved into our home a few years ago, we’ve never really known what to do with the breakfast nook area right off the kitchen. We already have a dining room complete with a table and chairs, so we didn’t feel the need for another eating area.

After a few years of debating, we finally took the leap and took a few weekends to make a built-in bench in the bay window of the nook!

This was no small feat – the only thing we really knew about it is how tall we wanted it and that we wanted it to do double duty as a storage area as well.

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A few days of planning and sketching, we decided on the dimensions, got our material list together, and headed off to the Home Depot!

We framed out the general area with 2x4s and mounted them to the walls. We also had a HVAC vent right next to the windows that we had to relocate.

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With our luck (not), the vent size was 14×4 – not a typical vent size when it comes to pre-made 90 degree joints that you can buy and build on to. We hat to buy prefab metal sheets that were basically half of a 14×4 box, cut the angle into it and seal it all off and to the vent hole with HVAC tape. It actually turned out pretty good and we didn’t cut ourselves (or a dog)!

After framing everything out, we put on the top pieces of the bench. Also, with our luck (not), the wall angles were 30 degrees, not 45 – so I had to jump back to Mrs. Griffith’s geometry class to come up with a way to get the angles right and not have to buy another $40 piece of furniture-grade plywood.

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After sealing the front of the wood with wood laminate tape to clean up the edges, we were ready to install the piano hinges and paint!

When they built our house a few years ago, they used a wonderful high-gloss oil-based paint that gives all the windows, door frames and crown moulding a beautiful glass-like finish that we were looking to replicate. Downside – it’s hard to find high-gloss oil-based paint ANYWHERE! We tried high-gloss latex and it didn’t stand up to the task. We ended up getting semi-gloss oil-based paint, because that is the highest sheen around anymore. After two coats, it was good to go and blended in pretty well!

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For the vent cover, we ended up framing out our own cover and cutting down a sheet of decorative grill cover to make our vent – I actually think the copper pops and makes the look of the bench complete!

So far, we have made an insert to our final bench cushion (once we find a fabric we like and the store has the 6 yards that we need to make it work.)

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The dogs are already enjoying it as much as we are!!

We will update with more photos once the cushion is complete and we figure out exactly how we are going to decorate the space!!!

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