Creating Storage and Space in a Small Cape Cod Bedroom

The next step in the process was to build a window seat in the dormer. Two front dormers were added when we put the garage and breezeway addition on, Gaaa!, 17 years ago. I’d better look this up… Honestly, cold air came in around both dormer areas. The window seat took care of it though. This window seat was mostly build from scrap wood. I REALLY miss working next door to a shop that builds fine furniture. The guys who worked in the shop shared the wood scraps with us and there were some beautiful scraps. When I think of how many of those beautiful scraps we burned in the fire pit I cringe deeply and get very depressed. The window seat(s) came up before I realized I could easily build my own drawers. so for this project I bought pre-made Closet Maid drawers from Home Depot. I was not happy with the cost — close to $100 for the 4 drawers. Fortunately, they closed out this color two weeks later and Home Depot willingly refunded the difference, which was around $40!

Space saving drawers and a place to sit!

Space saving drawers and a place to sit!

I set to work sewing pillows for the room, a cushion for the seat, and a roman shade for the window. I bought a piece of foam online somewhere for around $30 and made the cover and blue pillows from leftover fabric. The fabric for the tan pillows and shade came from The Curtainshop. Hanging the drawers was no picnic but it was easier than I thought it would be. Here’s a picture of the dormer part of the project. I should add that I painted the room and refinished the window trim before building the window seat.

Here's the window seat with the cushion and pillows.

Here’s the window seat with the cushion and pillows.

Window dormer with roman shade, and window seat.

Window dormer with roman shade, and window seat.

Funny, I just noticed the Stieg Larsson books on the shelf which were not published yet when I did this project. Soooo, recent picture and nothing’s changed except the books on the shelves!

After the window seat came the floor. This is the crappiest laminate flooring I’ve ever worked with but the price was obscenely low — $0.69 a square foot from Home Depot. So, it was less than $100 for the flooring. Nice! I like it in the room for now. I need to be more patient in the future with floors because there is an obvious place near the door that had to be filled (I just could not get it right), and I cut the closet door trim too high. Not professional by anu means — last time, promise. Here’s the “showcase” floor picture.

Laminate floor in cape cod bedroom.

Laminate floor in cape cod bedroom.

As you can see, the baseboard trim has been removed. My architect, sister was on my case to update the “stock” baseboard so I replaced the “stock” baseboard with a two-piece system – costly but nicer, I think. The new baseboard is kind of a disaster in places though. One of the inside corners needed more than an 8th of an inch of putty. I kept measuring too short! It’s not really noticeable, except to a discerning eye, but it still sucks. And, I’ll need to maintain that corner because the space is so big that the fill will fall out over time. Again, last time, promise.

Onward and upward!

DIY TV Stand

We decided to get a very large TV for the basement family room. The idea had been discussed, agreed upon, and sealed by the fact that we would have all three offspring home for the summer. We have a nice TV in the living room but in the family room at the time was a 21″, old school, Sony, something or other that would not die. The thought of having all of the offspring and all of their friends in the middle of the house (living room) until all hours of the night so they could watch HDTV was more than we could prospectively tolerate. Sleep is very important thing, after all.

What we had for a TV stand at the time was a table we made (long ago) from basement project scrap. It is approximately 30″x20″. The TV is 46″. Can’t last forever in that situation, right? The components were stacked up here and there and the dvds and other TV things were in boxes all around.

Research began for TV (media) stands. Of course, everything I liked cost $900 and more. The budget allowed $100 for lumber plus a Kreg jig and other supplies-clamps and angle pieces,

Mini Kreg Jig and Kit – Rockler Woodworking Tools.

Universal Fence Clamps with Clamp-Itâ„¢, – Rockler Woodworking Tools.

I found this media stand/bookshelf on the Crate & Barrel site. I might have just bought this from Crate & Barrel (temporarily ignoring the budget), if it were made of thicker plywood instead of thinner “engirneered wood”

Crate & Barrel Media Console

This piece from Crate & Barrel looked like something I could build. Modified slightly, it could be stained to match the other furniture in the room, it could fit the space, there is ample room for wires (four components), and I really like the symmetry of it.

The C&B piece is 27.25″Hx15″Dx73.75″L. To fit the room and our components, I made it 21″Hx16″Dx76″L. I used 3/4″ plywood, maple on one side and birch on the other. Lowe’s cut the plywood for me. The bill for the lumber and cuts was $96.74–under my $100.00 budget! Also, on that trip I bought a light wood edge banding tape to cover the edges of the plywood in front.

I’d often read that pocket hole joinery creates strong joints in furniture, and I can now attest that it is indeed true. Using the Kreg mini jig and the right angle clamp system noted above you simply clamp, drill, and screw. Here’s a picture of how the pocket holes look. This was a practice piece. (click on image to enlarge)

As I mentioned previously the rough edges of the plywood were finished with edge banding tape. I bought it at Lowe’s but you can get it in the usual other places. This tape is made of very thin wood with an adhesive back that is ironed onto the edges of the plywood and trimmed with a knife. There is a special tool for the trimming but I used a utility knife with a new blade. You have to trim off the ends and edges of the trim because it doesn’t fit perfectly. Just try to get the edges right on one side so you don’t have to trim both. The ironing-on went pretty well except for a little bit of buckling here and there, probably from a too hot iron. I don’t notice it now.

It seemed like a good idea to finish the individual pieces of the unit before putting it together.

With the help of sandpaper and the three products in this picture, I managed to get a finish that is pretty darn close to the existing furniture in the room.

Here’s a picture of the finished project. (click image to enlarge)

Good, right? The feet were a quandary. What I had in mind were little metal post feet but what I could find of those were all too tall. What I ended up using are cabinet pulls attached to the unit with plates that are made for attaching furniture legs. You can see the feet in the picture. There are actually six but the two in the middle are inset. Solid as a rock. I can easily stand on it.

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