Monday, April 23, 2012

192 Playroom Progress - Sweet Seating Part 1

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a super fantastic weekend!  I am excited to be popping in today with more playroom progress.  I can't wait to check this room off of our project list.  Playrooms are my favorite rooms to "play" with when it comes to design and organizing, so to finally be working and making progress on ours has been oodles of fun for me lately.

Before I get into our seating solution for the playroom, let's take a second to remember what we started with.


If you have been following the blog for a while, you have probably noticed that we play musical chairs with those white slipcovered chairs.  They really haven't ever found a permanent place to call home, they are typically room fillers and always land in a place that needs seating until something better comes along.  I was going to Craigslist them, but I really love their versatility and the fact that they have washable slipcovers, so they may just hang out in storage for a bit.  What I do know is that they are not ideal for a playroom.  First, they are white.  Surprisingly, they don't get all that dirty, and when they do, they are washable.  However, they still require maintenance more frequently because they are in a playroom that belongs to three boys.  Second, there are only two chairs and we have three boys... that's never a good equation.  Third, I can't snuggle up and read a book or watch a movie with the boys in those chairs.  That is a must.

So, I have known for a while that the chairs were going to be temporary in the playroom, it was now a matter of making a decision on the best solution for the space.

I thought up a couple of options:
  • Daybed:  Too deep for the space, wouldn't leave enough room for play and would cause an awkward layout
  • Settee: Perfect size but too fancy pants for a playroom
  • Sofa:  Most expensive option.  Takes up much of the room as well.  Would need to find something that could be slip-covered and would need to be washed frequently.
  • Bench: They are typically a good size and could give the playroom layout flexibility.
I weighed out all the options, and decided a bench was the way to go.  Plus, we still had a couple of bins of wooden train tracks, blocks and Geotrax sets that were in need of storage, so if I could find a way to combine the storage and seating, that would be a giant win for us.

So the last I left you the room was freshly painted and stenciled with a fun birch tree wall treatment:


Now, before you say it, I will.  I could write a book, 1,001 ways to hack an Expedit bookcase from IKEA... You know where I am going with this right?

I couldn't help it.  We used an Expedit as storage in our last playroom {which now lives in the laundry room}, so I already knew how much one Expedit can hold in terms of toys {or anything really}.  And now that I am an IKEA family member, I scored two Expedits for a total of $100.


Oh yeah, we cheated and snagged a new light fixture too.  The kids picked it.  I decided since I was already the last on the birch tree train, I may as well be the last on the IKEA Maskros light train as well...

Anywho, do you see all that seating/storage we are gaining with those two Expedits?  Boatloads!!


Not the softest yet, but absolutely space saving and storage adding.  To make them nice and cozy, we ran to Home Depot and had them cut down two pieces of MDF board; one the length of one Expedit, and one the length of one Expedit plus the distance from the end of the Expedit to the wall.  Then, we went to JoAnn Fabric & Craft Store and purchased 2" foam:

 
In the photo above, you can see the depth of each item.

The foam came cut the right length by the fabulous Joann employees, however, it was a bit too wide for the bench.  To cut the foam, we started by placing the MDF board on top of the foam and marking the exact size with a black Sharpie marker:


And then cutting the foam down to size with our Thanksgiving turkey carving knife.  Like butta!


Because I don't have the sewing skills to sew a slipcover for the foam cushions, we made the choice to upholster it instead.  I found some pretty green indoor/outdoor fabric here.  I always go with indoor/outdoor fabric when possible since it's great for durability with kidlets.  If you are planning on re-creating this project, I recommend you measure and order accordingly.  Some fabric selections will allow you to get two seat widths and others will not.  It all depends on the shape, size and fabric you personally select for your space.

After measuring, cutting and ironing the fabric, we laid it out on the floor face down.  Then, placed down the foam and the MDF board on top.


We used the pattern as a guide to keep the fabric straight as we pulled and stapled all the way around the board.


We actually folded the fabric over before stapling it, just to be sure the staple had two layers to grab through and to be sure it was not going to easily tear or fall apart.


Not the prettiest, but nice and straight and tight.


Next step was to place the upholstered cushions back on to the Expedits and breath a giant sigh of relief when all fits and looks amazing!




And that is as far as we got this weekend making this post part one of a two part project.  Next steps are to add support in the corner where the bench overhangs the Expedit and affix the cushions to the Expedit and the Expedit to the wall.  Then, we can add a part three post of adding baskets and lots of pillows and cozy things to break up all that busy {but playroom fun} pattern on pattern going on.

Who else is feeling accomplished after this weekend?  Anyone else been hacking IKEA pieces lately?


Pssst!  See how we added corner support and affixed the bench tops here.

192 comments:

  1. This looks amazing. I love the color blue and green together.

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  2. Jen!!! The wall looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Where did you find the stencil? And those new benches... I am so jealous now! I wish we had a room to do that for our little boy! I'm so not a sewer either... although I'm trying to learn. I love how you all just stapled the fabric on to the MDF. ;) Fantastic job as always, Jen! Your kids are so lucky!

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    1. Thank you so much! Here is the link to the stencil: http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/allover-stencil-birch-forest.html?category_id=12

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. Great idea!!
      Would it be sturdy enough for adults to set on??

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  3. You are so incredibly creative! I absolutely love this! I just may have to copy the Expedit seating for my basement. :)

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  4. Love the seating Jen. I was just looking for options for a seating area. Do you think this would hold up for adult seating?? (Meaning will the expedit benches be strong enough to have a few adults sitting on them?)

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    1. They are very strong and quite a good size. IKEA also has some leg options to raise it up a bit if that is something you would want to do as well. The hubs and I have sat on these with the kids and they held us all just fine. :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. Do you think they could withstand classroom use? I'd love to be able to use this idea in a classroom for a reading nook!

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  5. It looks awesome! I wish I was creative! x

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  6. oh em gee Jen, I love that birch stencil and your expedit benches are divine! I was thinking EXACTLY that bench idea for our Alma house so so so excited to see it so succesfully done, what a fabulous result!!! Loving the space so much so far!
    Kate

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  7. I love it! I could totally use these ideas for our playroom/office/guest room and basement playroom. I've been dreaming about adding 3 various Expedits for our house...just need to find some time!

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  8. I LOVE that fabric. It is exactly what I have been looking for to use in my home. Thank you so much for including the link. I wrote it down and adding the link to my favorites. ;)

    xoxo
    Kristin
    theocdlifestyle.blogspot.com

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    1. It is pretty fab fabric! :) Hoping to find more places to use the leftover pieces!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. LOVE this idea - inspired me to start my first big DIY project! A few amateur questions here: How much fabric did you purchase to cover the two expedits? Did you use a staple gun to adhere the fabric to the board? Thanks so much :)

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    3. I too am interested in how much fabric you ordered? I am going to attempt these benches for my son's playroom (I am so not craftty!!!!!) We will see how it goes!
      Thanks!!!

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    4. Two bench boards fit the width of the fabric so I only needed enough to cover the length. I ended up ordering three total yards.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    5. did you have a lot extra? could you have gotten away with 2.5 yds?

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    6. Because we measured for our space specifically, I always recommend readers do the same. We added in the corner piece which created a longer bench on one side. How much fabric you need depends on the size of the bench you are creating.

      Thanks so much! xo!
      Jen

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  9. Hi! Was the foam super expensive? I've been looking everywhere for a good deal and it is always so pricey! Any suggestions on that piece of it? Thank you!

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    1. Ooh, great question. Yes, the foam was VERY expensive. A total of $70 for this project, and that was at 50% off with a Joann coupon {so typically $140!}. Yuk, but, we figured we were getting boatloads of storage/seating for far less than a sofa so we justified it.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  10. Wow...this is really amazing! I love everything about it! I'm curious about the corner, though. It doesn't look like the Expedits go all the way into the corner, but the seating cushions do. Do you have something underneath holding it up? Or do you just warn people not to sit there? ;-)

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    1. Thought I would save Jen a reply.. She did state that the "Next steps are to add support in the corner where the bench overhangs...". That would suggest that she doesn't have support at the moment but she plans to create some.

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    2. You got it! :) Stay tuned for part two which will chat about adding corner support, affixing the bench to the wall and attaching the top MDF/cushion to the Expedit.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  11. This is beyond fantastic. I love it. That light fixture is incredible.

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  12. I’ve been wanting to do this exact project somewhere in our house…this looks awesome! And thank you – now I can show my hubby a sample. With the amount you frequent Ikea in the Twin Cities, we may just run into one another. I go there a lot too!

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  13. Wow this project looks AMAZING! First of all I love the wall I didn't see you did this yet and I am just head over heasl for the color combination, love green, white & blue together so much! The patterns look fab together. I am currently trying to do a breakfast nook on a budget with benches and this little bench project you just made has totally made me want to copy it! We got quotes from a carpenter for $2600 for built in benches, we just can't see spending that kind of cash so this is a fab idea! thanks again, you always come through with awesome ideas for my similar problems or projects!

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    1. Oooh, I love to hear the savings for DIYing and hacking IKEA furniture! Glad it is a possible money saving solution for you! I would love to hear how it pans out!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  14. Ahhh. Where in the world to begin. Come on! LOVE the outdoor fabric. Just bought it in yellow for my side patio. LOVE the idea of the seating option. And the birch tree wall? Beautiful. There is so much texture and pattern going on . . in a really great way. Awesome blossom.

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    1. Thanks Courtney! I am having a bit too much fun with this room, but I think that's a good thing. :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  15. You are so creative! This is such an amazing idea.
    xox
    Kerri at HollyMuffin

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  16. I like this idea for a buffet/bench for my dining room, but would have to raise it a bit higher. Thanks for the great idea!

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  17. They look great. Love the colours. It's great to have multi-purpose furniture.

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  18. LOVE those benches!Just a quick question...Whats an Ikea family member? How do you become one?

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    1. It's similar to how some grocery stores have their "reward cards" to get the advertised price. Every month they have different specials if you use an Ikea family card. If you don't have a card you don't get the extra discount. Not a credit card. You can either get it by applying online & print out a paper to scan at a kiosk in the main lobby/entrance or you can get your card there without doing anything online. They do email the monthly specials

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    2. Yep! I second what Mindy said. It's free and you get monthly discounts and extra time in the play place for the kidlets and even free coffee/tea. Here is the scoop: http://info.ikea-usa.com/FAMILY/?src=ikea_web

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  19. Jen - I have to say that I am IN LOVE with this bench idea! Love everything about it! In fact, we will be moving soon and I may take the opportunity to use your bench idea in our new playroom. Truly awesome!

    Tina

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  20. Holy transformation! The storage is such an amazing idea...and so important!

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  21. Love the bench idea! Perfect for a combo of storage and seating!

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  22. I love this seating solution that you came up with! Those expedits are so versatile - amazing!

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  23. aw man... totally inspiring me to do something in our play room!!! beautiful work!

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  24. I love this! Did you attach the MDF to the Expedit? Do you plan to? Or do you not feel like it's necessary? I'm dying to try this now! I have so many places in my house to use this idea. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    1. Last Paragraph: "Next steps are to add support in the corner where the bench overhangs the Expedit and affix the cushions to the Expedit and the Expedit to the wall."

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    2. You got it! :) Stay tuned for part two which will chat about adding corner support, affixing the bench to the wall and attaching the top MDF/cushion to the Expedit.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  25. Thanks for posting this... I have had the same expedit for months now and haven't got around to making a cushion for it. I had just planned to sew a cover for a cushion and place it on top but using the mdf underneath will help strengthen it. Thanks again for the constant stream of ideas I collect from your site :)

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  26. Oh my goodness!! This room is turning out amazing. I think you have outdone yourself with the wall and benches. Your creativity is wonderful and I love reading your blog.

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  27. I love the fabric you chose! I am also addicted to ikea's expedit's I think we have 6 in our house already:)

    Jessica
    stayathomeista.com

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    1. I was going to respond to this comment & then realized I follow your blog too. Haha!
      I was going to say it's nice to know I am not the only one who hoards expedits! My fav piece of furniture ever.

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    2. Oh, it's absolutely my favorite piece. I have six or seven as well. Maybe we should start an Expedits Anonymous support group, lol!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  28. Thank you so much for posting this. What a fantastic idea. I have a window seat in my living room that I have been thinking of putting a piece of foam in forever now but because I don't sew I didn't want to put the expense out to have it done. I never even thought of using the piece of MDF cut to size and then upholstering it! I am so excited now to jazz up my window seat! Thanks again!

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  29. Wow! That is fabulous. Please say you will put those cushions on your Etsy, ha!

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  30. It looks so nice! I admire you for you brave choice of patterns! Honestly, I would never choose such bold patterns to put next to each other! But you always figure out a way to make it classy, do it yourself, and make it playful for 3 young boys! Very nice job!

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    1. Thanks. I just went for it, it's a playroom right?! :) I am having fun with the space, that is for sure!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  31. I cannot thank you enough! We have a spot in our family room that needs this EXACT thing done over a storage bench we made and we have been trying to figure out how on earth to do it. This looks beautiful, and I will be doing this to a T! Thank you thank you!

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  32. Renee in MichiganApril 23, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Awesome!! We used one of those in our last house in our living room for extra seating (uncomfortable seating as I never made an awesome cushion like you just did. : P ) and most importantly TOY Storage. Now in our new home it lives in our master bedroom along the wall and acts as our linen closet as we don't have one for our small master bath and the hall linen closet just isn't big enough to hold towels/sheets and toiletries for a family of 5. Can't wait to see what pillows you come up with!!

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  33. You are so ambitious! The speed at which you conquer these projects amazes me! Great job!

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  34. i LOVE it! The patterns and colors are amazing together. I am a new, recently addicted, follower of your blog. I am always so inspired whenever i drop in...which has turned into a regular daily appearance. Thank you! My only small request would be a budget breakdown to get an idea of whether or not I could tackle the same project. I know finances can be private matter but just thought I'd throw that out there! Also, where is the rug from? Is is jute? Is it comfy enough for play? Asking because we are considering the same for our playroom.

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    1. Hi Angie!

      I will be sure to do a budget breakdown in the next post. I need to be better about that, it slips my aging brain from time to time. ;)

      Here is a link to the rug: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80050171/#/60050172

      It's great for adding a natural element to the space, it doesn't eat toys/legos and it is a great price for the size. Not the softest rug however... not bad, but not super cushy.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. thanks so much! it is so helpful to have others experience'/opinions.

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  35. That looks great!! You are so clever. What a great idea.

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  36. that looks fantastic ! great idea !

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  37. I LOVE THIS ROOM! So far -- SO GOOD!!! That's IT -- I'm running out to get paint chips. Thank you for sharing!

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  38. Wow that looks great! I love the color combo.

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  39. Oh my goodness, you are amazing! My dream would be for you to come to my house and make it as beautiful as yours!

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  40. That is brilliant, I'm totally doing that for my bench.

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  41. I love the green fabric against the woodland stencilling...fantastic!! I can't wait to see the rest of your progress.

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  42. This is fantastic. Still trying to clear the junk out of our soon to be playroom. Love the storage and seating idea.

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  43. I wanted to ask where you got the slipcovers? I have some not pretty 80s chairs. Do you chairs swivel? I am in need of some. I don't think I could drive across Wisconsin to get them though.

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    1. Hello!

      The slipcovers are from IKEA which is also where the chairs were from. Here are the links -

      Chair: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40038303/
      Slipcover: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70071720/

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  44. Really fresh and fantastic color combo! So much fun, love it all. Question though: how many yards of fabric did you need?

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    1. Super question! It was three yards of fabric because we were able to do each piece of the bench out of the same fabric by placing them side by side when cutting.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  45. This is fricking awesome - I am SO going to do this in our soon-to-be spare room!

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  46. Hi Jen! as always you do a fantastic job...this is exactly what i was trying to create in my room!

    Natasha

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  47. i was wondering, what did you do to make the cushions stay put? anyway, i love this idea, you're so creative.

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    1. Stay tuned for part two which will chat about adding corner support, affixing the bench to the wall and attaching the top MDF/cushion to the Expedit.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  48. I just said 'oh no you didn't' for the first time in my life. Jen that is pure brilliance! I can't wait to see it with the baskets.

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  49. Love what you've done and I think its perfect for kids! I also cant wait to see what it looks like when you add more stuff :)

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  50. I can't wait to see the baskets you use for storage. We have an IKEA trip planned in two weeks and since it's a three hour drive each way, I have to plot out my purchases in advance.

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  51. wow! LOVE that fabric! where did you find it!?
    Melissa
    www.melissaandameliawags.blogspot.com

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  52. One word: AWESOME!!! Great job and LOVE the ROOM! :)

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  53. OMG! So beautiful. I love it so far!

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  54. Jen, it looks so pretty! Great job on choosing fabric and making the seat, I love it!

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  55. I love this idea. We've been planning to build some banquette seating in our kitchen for a while. I'd love to do this, but am a bit concerned if it will hold "large" adults. WHen our paretns visit we have 4 overweight adults we need to seat. I'd hate for them to collapse under our parents.

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  56. Love the fabric and the seating using the Ikea expedits.

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  57. I really like how that turned out, great idea for next time I redo the kids play room. Thanks for sharing I always love your projects

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  58. Wow ! i just love ur ideas so simple and so useful . Completely love this transformation AMAZING JOB !

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  59. WOW! It is amazing how much just a wall treatment and seating will really change a space! it has an entirely different feel, now! I absolutely LOVE the colors you chose, too! Looking forward to seeing how everything comes together! Great job!!

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  60. Wow! That is the best hack - EVER! You have really inspired me to look at furniture differently & put my own spin on it. Thanks for sharing!

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  61. Ok, LOVE the wall treatment and love the seating!!! What a fun playroom! I am with you - a playroom is the perfect place to play with fun wall treatments and fabrics. Great job! I can't wait to see the rest!

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  62. I seriously could not be more in love with everything you do! I wish I was creative at all hahah.

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  63. i love the idea, but does the "bench" hold the weight of an adult? or multiple adults?

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    1. I think so! It seems quite sturdy, the Mr. and I have sat on it with the kids and all was well!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  64. I LOVE the Expedit! We almost trashed it when we last moved, but I knew I kept it for a reason. First, it sat at the end of our bed and served me VERY well when I needed a place to sit my pregnant butt and squeeze on my shoes in the morning. It also was great storage for books in be bedroom. Recently, though, my daughter turned 1 and our toy collection increased. The toy boxes I was using in the family room looked clean but she couldn't get anything out! So I moved our Expedit bookcase into our family room and have about three toys in each space. She loves to pull the toys out. It's easy clean up for me, and all of the toys get used!

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  65. This is maybe a mommy-brain moment I'm having, but why do the expedits need to be mounted to the wall if you've already got them horizontal?

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    1. The reason we are considering it, is we don't want the bench to push away from the wall if we are leaning back of getting cozy. Not necessarily a safety reason, more just to create a sturdy built in feeling.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  66. I love watching the transformation of your playroom. My youngest saw the pictures and told me he wanted a tree wall in his new room! lol

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  67. Love it! No IKEA hacks recently, just a lot of new buys!

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  68. This is exactly the idea I had for our front hallway!! I would love a seating area to put shoes on and add some baskets for mittens, etc. This is a fabulous tutorial, thank you! And thanks for the heads up about Ikea Family, though we usually get a family member to pick up our stuff as we don't have an Ikea in town - shock!! :) We now have 4 & I'd love more!

    Question, though, is this sturdy enough for adults to sit on?

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    1. I think so! It seems quite sturdy, the Mr. and I have sat on it with the kids and all was well!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  69. Forgive me if this is mentioned somewhere and I missed it - it looks like the foam was cut between 1/2" and 1" larger than the mdf, is that correct? Also, was the mdf the exact size of the ikea piece, or did you have them cut it slightly smaller?

    I am getting ready to do this with two separate ikea pieces in our home (great minds think alike, right?) Originally I had planned on sewing cushions, but I like this idea a LOT better - less sewing, less fabric, sturdier.

    Thanks again for another great inspiration piece!

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    1. You are correct - the foam was cut a little larger so the edge is soft/foam vs. a hard MDF edge. It's nice when your legs rest against it or should a kidlet bump into it. The MDF was cut to about the exact size as the top of the Expedit, we just had Home Depot cut it for us when we purchased it and they got it pretty exact.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  70. Those "benches" turned out great! Love the stencil wall too.

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  71. I am in the middle of a playroom redo myself! I fell for the Expedit shelves too :)

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  72. Jen, this looks terrific and will attempt it in the coming weeks. Regarding the foam, I'm thinking of ordering a custom cut here: http://www.diyupholsterysupply.com/custom-foam-rectangle.html. The pricing seems very reasonable; it is coming out to around $25 + shipping for a 2" high density 2.4 foam.

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    1. Wow, $25 + shipping versus $140 (or even $70 with a 50% off coupon) at a craft store like Jo-Ann's. I like the way you think!

      One question... what's the deal with firmness? Is 25, 33, 40, or 50lb best for seating like this?

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    2. What did you end up using for firmness? This sounds like a great deal!

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  73. You really amaze me..this room is incredible...so smart with color, design and functionality. Thanks so much for the cushion tutorial!

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  74. Hey, your project is awesome! Howevere I was wondering if you have the exact measurement for this project?

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  75. I love this seating for the room! Are they actually stable enough to sit on thought? I'm sure for the kids its fine, but are they stable enough as a bench seat for adults?

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    1. I think so! It seems quite sturdy, the Mr. and I have sat on it with the kids and all was well!

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  76. I absolutely Love this idea. After we move, I just might have to do something similar at our house. Thanks for sharing this adorable storage/seating solution. =D

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  77. I absolutely Love this idea. After we move, I just might have to do something similar at our house. Thanks for sharing this adorable storage/seating solution. =D

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  78. I just did this thanks to your tut! I wish I could have gotten the fabric a bit tight but it looks amazing! Great idea and thank you for sharing :) Kelly xo

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  79. I love your new playroom. It totally makes we want to make benches with bookcases - GENIUS!

    We are running a Before and After Link party to support Habitat for Humanity, with a chance to be featured on other big blogs and win gift cards. Would love if you entered! http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/2012-before-after-series/

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  80. Your playroom looks awesome! We are planning on doing a similar book case/seating bench in our nursery and this has helped to inspire me! Wanted to ask which size Makros light you used...the smaller of the two? Looking into using this in our nursery as well and think the large may be a little too big for the space.

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    1. Hi Erin!

      We used the smaller of the two. The larger one seems huge to me! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  81. Where did you get the little coffee table? I just love the space you created!!

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    1. Thanks Kim! The table was a DIY project: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/10/organizing-legos-part-2-creating-table.html

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  82. What kind of staple gun did you use? I'm having trouble getting to staples in all the way.

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    1. I'm wondering the same thing. My mdf is 1/4" and my staples are 3/8". However, the staples only go about halfway in leaving half of the staple exposed. Any suggestions?

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    2. Sometimes that would happen to us as well, we just had to push a bit harder on the staple gun, and use a hammer to pound in the few that wouldnt initially go in.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    3. Hammering the staples worked well. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
  83. Love this idea but it kind of seems like a waste of the vertical wall space. Got any ideas on what you're going to do there?

    ReplyDelete
  84. I haven't purchased the foam yet but it's on sale this week at Joanne's. What was the length and width of the foam? Anyone know. I can't find the dimensions for the expedit online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here you go:

      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20116274/

      More specifically:

      Width: 17 3/8 "
      Depth: 15 3/8 "
      Height: 72 7/8 "
      Width: 44 cm
      Depth: 39 cm
      Height: 185 cm

      Delete
  85. I was very inspired by your playroom seating and so I did the same thing for our basement playroom! I have a question though - I'm finding that the staples tend to scratch the finish off the Expedit once placed on top. Did you have problems with that and if so how did you address it? I'm thinking of either running a bead of silicon over each staple or something like that to avoid too many scratches over the sides of the shelves (just in case they move to a vertical position at some point in the future!)
    Thanks again - I love your blog and all of your ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! We actually used screws to attach the cushions directly to the expedits since I feared the busy boys would have it slip out from under them. Since you are preserving the expedit, you could give silicone a try or maybe a rubber rug pad?
      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  86. I just found your blog and LOVE all your ideas! Do you happen to remember what color blue paint you used for the wall behind the oak trees? Please send me a quick email if you know: amandaszymanski@gmail.com Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amanda!

      The blue paint color is called Behr's Seven Seas.

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
  87. Hi! Thanks for sharing this! It looks amazing. I recently put some Expedit bookcases in my daughters playroom as a little bench as well, and have been paranoid to sit on it myself. I worry about it breaking from too much adult weight. I saw that you posted back in April that it held up fine when you sat on it, and was wondering if that still holds true? Any issues at all? Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristy!

      We have all sat on it without problems, but I personally can not state how much total weight should be placed on the Expedit {or how much it can support}.

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
    2. This is a great idea thanks for sharing

      outdoor storage bench

      Delete
  88. Hi, Jen! I have fallen in love with your blog. (Never said that to anyone before!) ha! Quick question...do you have any suggestions on how to make an Expedit bookshelf fit a space that doesn't match the bookshelf measurements? My husband and I are not expert carpenters, but we don't want to pay big bucks for a custom window seat either. Maybe you already have a blog post on the step by step instructions on the 1,001 ways to hack and Expedit? ;) Would love any tips you have...thanks again for a fantastic blog!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Becky!

      The Expedits seem to have hollow components, so I am unsure how you could shrink one down at all.... that is one thing I haven't tried.

      Sorry!

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  89. Awesome!! Is there any chance you still have the dimensions that you cut the mdf and the foam to? I need to make the cushions before we build the shelves and need to know the exact dimensions!! THANK YOU SO MUCH, I can't wait to build this!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hi Jen - The benches look amazing. I had a really quick question. Do you glue the foam onto the MDF board? How do you secure the foam to the MDF board?
    Thank you ~ bujin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      By wrapping the fabric tightly around the foam and board, there was no need to secure the foam to the board, the fabric holds it nicely in place. :)

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  91. Is there a post about how to screw the board to the bookcase after you cover it with fabric. Did you screw it from underneath?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Misty!

      You can find those details in part 2 here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/04/playroom-progress-sweet-seating-part-2.html

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  92. thank you, thank you! Hoping to finish mine this weekend. Thanks for all the inspiration! I could spend days on this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi Jen!
    Quick question: why mdf and not pine? I went to home depot and mdf is heavy! Lol :) just curious (I'm a DIY newbie)
    Thank you for all the great ideas!!!
    Beatriz

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hi love this idea! How much fabric did you but to cover it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much fabric did you need to cover both of them?

      Delete
    2. It will depend on the fabric you select and the width of the fabric that you select. You will need to do measurements of your project. Different fabrics come in different widths. Ours was wide enough that we were able to order three yards total and get both benches done side by side on the fabric.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  95. Hi Jen,
    What is the name of the fabric you used for the benches? I can't get to it with the link. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  96. This is amazing! I'm thinking about making one for the foot of my bed. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  97. I am building a studio inside an american trolley and I've seen palettes used in this fashion but I am so not crafty in that sense! I'm so happy to have found this as a solution. As much as I want the place to be eco-friendly and recycled, this is so much more efficient!

    ReplyDelete
  98. I have been wanting to use the expedit shelves for this exactly just didn't know how! Thanks for showing me how easy it is! Btw I love the color scheme.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hi There,

    I had a quick question about your expedit use in your playroom.


    Is the expedit able to support adults sitting on it in its horizontal position? How much weight would you guess could safely sit on top?

    Thanks :) Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  100. Thank you so much for posting this! We spent our anniversary weekend driving to the nearest Ikea (5 hours away...) and brought home 7 of the Expedits! We are using three in the toyroom and four are used as the bases for our girl's "beds" (two with a mattress on top). We are LOVING them. I am still working on the padding and getting enough bins (we went the Target route) but we are very happy with what we have!

    ReplyDelete
  101. I posted a photo on my blog of the seating bench I created using your idea. Thought you might be interested in seeing it. http://www.asliceofhomeschoolpie.com/2012/12/not-your-normal-bookcase.html

    ReplyDelete
  102. yay! i did it! i did it!!! thank you so much for your post!!! look here... http://ocdisnotadisease.blogspot.com/2013/01/imitation-is-purest-form-of-compliment.html

    ReplyDelete
  103. I have done the EXACT same thing by using the IKEA storage as a bench in my kitchen nook area. I've been waiting awhile to put a cushion on it because I wasn't sure where to get the materials. Now I do! This blog post was so helpful! Thank you.

    =)

    ReplyDelete
  104. I am in the process of doing the exact same thing. in the process came across your blog. the playroom is beautiful! I had one question..your ikea expedits look white. the ones i have are more an antique white or eggshell. did you paint yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maya!

      Ours are slightly off white, or what I call "IKEA White". We didn't modify the color at all.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  105. Hi, question... what thickness is the mdf board?

    ReplyDelete
  106. This is adorable I absolutely love this fabric!! May i ask about how many yards you had to purchase of this fabric for the 2 bookshelves :) Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Three total since it was wide enough for both benches to fit width wise. :) I am guessing it will vary by fabric and project.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  107. This looks amazing! I was thinking of doing this for a window seat/storage but was wondering how yours had dealt with the weight? IKEA's website says the maximum loading weight was 13kg which doesnt seem a lot. Has yours withstood more than that?

    ReplyDelete
  108. Love this idea and decided to do it myself. Thanks so much my son loves it!!! Such great storage and I don't have to look at all the toys!

    ReplyDelete
  109. I just found your blog and I'm obsessed!! I love that you repurpose so much Ikea furniture... we have so much from when we were first married and I'm finding tons of new uses for it now that we've got 2 boys & a 3rd on the way:) I KNEW those Expedit bookcases were a smart purchase 7 years ago!! :) Thanks for the great tips!!! Definitely stealing your birch tree wall idea :)

    ReplyDelete
  110. Hi Jen, love your work and the large natural rug! Where is it from please? Thanks Vendula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vendula!

      The rug is IKEA: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60050172/

      xoxo!

      Delete
  111. Hi Jen, your room looks fantastic.. Just one question though! I have made a bench seat myself with the expedit book shelf, however am looking to get someone to make a cushion, although have seen you made your own. The only worry I have (as u thought to make my own also) is how would you clean/wash it?
    Adriana :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adriana!

      I used an outdoor fabric, which naturally repels stains, so ours have stayed quite clean. It is also very easy to clean with soap and water should we need to. I highly recommend outdoor fabric anytime kiddos are involved. :)

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  112. Looks great. I especially love the expedit shelves. Do you know if you can paint them. I know of your love for spray paint and was wondering if you have ever sprayed an expedit shelf. I would love to use the shelves in my kids playroom but I feel the need to decorate them a little more. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never tried painting or spraying them. I am guessing, it would be OK with a good primer, however, if they are being used in high-traffic spaces, I am not sure how well it would all hold up. Baskets and bins sliding on the paint would most likely wear and chip it down over time.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  113. Hi Jen, I was wondering what measurements you used for the mdf board and foam? I love this idea! Thanks, Stacy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stacy!

      We measured the top of the Expedit and cut it the same size for one side, and added in the additional width to account for the corner seat for the other. I always recommend doing your own measurements for projects just to be sure you are getting the best outcome. :)

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  114. Hi Jen,

    We built this bench in our playroom and we love it, BUT when we went to order the same bins/baskets in white or black as a back-up, and Target freaking discontinued the XL! I am sure this is completely inapproproate to ask you (as if you have nothing else to do) but if you have any connections with extra baskets - I would love to purchase them. We purchased other baskets, but they just don't seem sturdy enough for my boys. I bet you have some pull at Target :-). I hope this isn't a waste of your time...but after months of waiting for them to be added back, I figured I would give it a shot...THANK YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  115. I LOVE this idea, but since I don't sew much either, I would CHEAT, and use VELCRO pieces. Use enough fabric, that it can go around the whole piece of foam and overlap where the VELCRO will go. THAT way, it can be removed and washed as needed. Since I have a Chihuahua, most all I own has to be washable somehow :-) ENJOY

    ReplyDelete
  116. Just came across your site this morning, and love your designing style and organization ideas! Did you move homes since your previous playroom post? Looking forward to exploring your site more for great ideas! http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2010/03/march-featured-space-kids-perfect-play.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello and thank you!

      Our lower level actually flooded so we ended up having to renovate most of it. When we did that, we moved our playroom to another area of the basement, which had more room for the kids to spread out and play. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  117. Hi Jen! I was at a friends for playgroup this week and she had this and sent me your tutorial! She only did one shelf but I have the perfect set up for two like you did. Did you put anything in the open square in the corner? Or just leave it open? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Are the expedits white or high gloss? I am ordering some online and am trying to choose which color.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Hi Jen! Just curious if the MDF is needed or if you did it for extra support? Just wondering if you could do without it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We used it primarily to give ourselves something for the fabric to staple into, however, I find it makes the entire setup more solid as well. I have seen people use the Expedits as benches without the MDF, so I am guessing it would be OK. xoxo!

      Delete
  120. Jen, which Expidet did you use to create this? I know you said you had to cut it but it looks so perfect that I can't tell which one you did. :) Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  121. This looks like such a fun room! I want to get a storage bench seat for the kid's toy room that we are fixing up. It's time to get organized and I love the idea of a cheap bench! Thanks for the great post! http://homebins.com/collections/storage-bench

    ReplyDelete
  122. the expedite series is now called kallax, in case anyone is looking to duplicate this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been saving this idea for when I had a dining room and now I have one and am ready and can't get the shelves. ha ha. Do you know if these are strong enough to hold 2 adults each? I mean, the Kallax? Online says 66 pounds or 29 pounds each shelf but I wasn't sure if I add another layer of MDF and a cushion if it can be strong enough for a breakfast nook.

      Delete
    2. Hi Brandi!

      We have had a few adults sitting on our Expedits in the past without trouble. However, I can't personally speak for the Kallax as I haven't compared the two. I do think that the MDF top did help add a little extra support, and I would not recommend adding any type of legs to the bottom unless you are doing a solid base for even more support.

      xoxo!

      Delete
  123. Hi Jen,

    Great work - so creative! I just wondered if you had trouble with the seating part slipping around much or is the MDF heavy enough to prevent this?
    Thanks :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aifric!

      Check out part two here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/04/playroom-progress-sweet-seating-part-2.html We attached the tops directly to the Expedits.

      xo!

      Delete
  124. Awesome work Jen,
    I absolutely love your playroom benches. I can't wait to do it for my kids. I am missing the part where you hacked the Expedit shelf. So does that mean that you cut both horizontal boards to make it into an appropriate size for a bench? and you just tossed the middle, thinner sections? and you used to separate one? I just want to make sure I'm not missing anyting before I screw one up ;)

    ReplyDelete
  125. I I am obsessed!! We have an upstairs game area that is just being used for storage and I knew I wanted to make it a great area for us. I just didn’t know where to start and now you have made it possible for me.

    I love the whole design. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  126. I have been waiting for two years to make these benches ever since I first saw you post them and now I find out they no longer make these bookcases!!! I am so bummed! Hoping the Kallax ones hold up the same.
    Goofball Mommy
    www.goofballmommy.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am bummed too! How did the Kallax work??

      Delete
  127. Love your playroom! It has the best combination of colors and functinality!!! I want to do this bench in our playroom, but we have a 3/4 inch wood base board around the base of the rooms in our house. Did you have a baseboard when you built your shelves or has anyone else tried this with a baseboard? Where the seat comes to the baseboard and there is a slight gap, would it be ok to bring the cushion seat top an extra 3/4 inch over the edge?

    ReplyDelete
  128. What size staples did you use for this project? I love your ideas and am trying to recreate it. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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