Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New seating with storage for our dining room

Hey friends and fellow frugalnistas,
I've been dreaming of a bench seat with storage for our dining room since I started homeschooling L a year ago. It just seemed like the best idea, since the dining table is where we do most of our bookwork.

I was trying to work out how I could build something custom for the space when my neighbour asked if I wanted a low shelving unit her husband had already built that her family no longer needed. I snapped it up when I realised it was the perfect height for our dining room and had three cubbies - one for each of my children. It's super sturdy too and comes on wheels, so it's easy to shift around when needed.

The only thing the shelving unit was missing was a soft squab to sit on, so I started crafting one up as soon as my lovely neighbours dropped the bookshelf off.

To make the squab, I simply cut down a foam mattress we already had to the size of the top of the bookshelf. I then covered the mattress with a white slip cover that I sewed out of an old duvet cover. The slip cover buttons at one end, so can be removed for washing.
I then sewed what basically amounts to a colourful fitted sheet, to go on top of the white slip cover. It's even easier to remove than the slip cover, and should hide any food stains fairly well with its colourful pattern.

I don't have a sewing machine, so hand-sewed the whole thing. It took aaaages, but inspired L to get sewing too and we had a lovely time crafting side by side. She made herself a book bag, which she's really pleased with.
I already had the fabric for the fitted sheet cover, and I reused elastic from a worn out fitted sheet to make it, which means that the entire seating area cost me nothing out of pocket.

I still need to work out exactly what I'm going to use each of the cubbies for. At the moment they're taking the overflow from our homeschool shelving unit, which might be all they need to do. I'll have a proper look at all our homeschool stuff and figure it out at some point. Right now I'm just enjoying having somewhere to put books and science equipment that we don't use on a daily basis.

The kids love sitting on the new bench seat, and our cat has adopted it as his new favourite place to sleep, so everyone's happy with how it's turned out. We can easily fit three children along the bench seat, where we only used to be able to fit two dining chairs, so it should make entertaining guests easier too.
It's funny because the longer we stay in this house, and the more we customise the furniture to our needs, the larger the house feels to me. I'm really loving our home. It's my happy place.


  1. So cool Emma! I just love smart storage solutions ❤️ your home looks fantastic! We put a lot into creating our little safe spaces don't we!? Great work! Esp with the hand sewing!

    1. Thanks Aimee! We sure do. I bet my house doesn't smell as nice as your one does - with all your soap creations to make it fabulous.


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