How to make a sofa on the windowsill (and how to hide the radiator)?

This time, the designer is tackling a new question: how to close up the ugly radiators that are ruining the interior of her Victorian home. Erin has created not only a beautiful but also an extremely functional area: here you can bask in the sun in early spring or lie down with your favorite book on a cloudy autumn day. And if the width of the window allows, then you can equip a full-fledged sleeping place for a guest who stayed overnight.

We tell you how to create a similar chill-out zone yourself.

Step 1. Prepare the work area

First, dismantle the window sill and prepare the workplace by freeing up space around the radiator. 

Step 2. Building the frame

First of all, decide on the size of the bench. Cut the planks to the appropriate length, 10 cm wide and 5 cm thick. In the photos, the bench has an unusual shape, you can repeat it: then cut the bars at an angle so as to form the lower base for the banquette. Or make a rectangular bench. 

Before attaching the vertical support bars to the base, determine where the vents will be located and make sure that the vertical supports will not interfere with them.

As for the height, the most optimal for the windowsill is 48 cm. Considering the height of the pillow that will lie on the bench (about 5-7 cm) and the thickness of the wooden panel on the top of the bench (about 2 cm), the vertical supports should be about 40 cm in height.

Attach the front frame to the floor with long nails.

Install a massive wooden board along the back wall and, using 5×10 cm bars and a length corresponding to your size, attach the front frame to it. This will ensure the strength and stability of the entire structure. 

Step 3. We sheathe the frame with drywall

The most suitable material for sheathing in this case is drywall. Cheap and easy to use, it will create the illusion that the banquette is an extension of the wall. You can even use drywall left over from a previous renovation. 

Cut drywall pieces to fit the front frame and attach them to the frame with drywall screws. 

You can hide protruding screw heads and drywall imperfections with a thin layer of putty. And if your bench has the same shape as in the photo, then do not forget to putty the corner of the bench.

The easiest way to create the feeling of built-in furniture is to continue the plinth from below the banquette, which is used in the design of the rest of the room. 

Step 4: Cut Out the Vents

In order for the hot air from the radiator to circulate calmly and for the structure to not overheat, you need to cut holes for the ventilation grilles. Consider the width of the skirting board you are going to use around the vent. 

Cut out pieces of the grill that will cover the ventilation holes, slightly larger than the holes themselves. Attach them from the “wrong side” of the drywall base using a construction stapler. Make sure that the location of the pattern matches on all the grids.

Attach decorative skirting boards around the vents using glue and/or finishing nails.  

Step 5. Making the top of the bench

For the upper part, choose high-quality plywood at least 2 cm thick (so that the plywood does not sag under the weight of a person sitting on the couch). Cut it to the dimensions of the supporting structure.

Make sure the plywood is well sanded and attach it to the supporting structure.

Step 6. Paint!

Finally, the fun part begins. Apply two coats of primer before painting, as drywall absorbs paint like a sponge. Choose the color of paint that the walls are painted with. Be sure to let each coat of paint dry.

Step 7. Thermal insulation

This step is optional, but if you don’t want your banquette seat to get too hot, you can run flexible thermal insulation through the vents to dissipate the heat. 

A beautiful bench that hides bulky radiators from the eyes is ready. 

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