Updated: Nov 14, 2022
In Gig Harbor, I designed and added a built-in storage bench with hinged lids for our dining room. Have I ever told you we move? Like... all. the. time? We don't even know why sometimes. We tell ourselves we travel the country, flipping houses. That's gotten a lot more difficult as we now have five horses and only a three-horse trailer. We may stay put for a few years. The house in this post is one we owned in Gig Harbor, Washington. I LOVED Gig Harbor!! It had the quaint PNW vibe, but was just a ferry ride away from Seattle and city life.
We have a big family and this house was just... small. Before we get any closer to Autumn and Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share this storage project that not only made the dining area in that home look much larger, but it allowed us to store our crockpot for neighborhood chicken-noodle soup nights during Snomageddon, 2019.
I started by framing with 2x4's. I found the studs in the wall with a stud finder from the hardware store. Pretty inexpensive, and I'll try to find a similar one on Amazon and post the link on my blog. (Yes, I may get a tiny commission, but that helps support me as I write this content for you!) We had a pier foundation, so I screwed the 2x4's directly into the LPV floor. I wanted the inside of the bench to be easy to clean as our youngest was only three, and was likely to spill. The vinyl had to stay!!
I finished the framing with the pocket holes facing up. I must have been tired. But those pieces were covered by the lid, so it didn't matter to me. If it will bother you to see the pocket holes when you lift the lid, please feel free to crawl on the floor, lay on your back, and screw those pieces in from below. I'm lazy.
I was a little concerned that the piano hinges wouldn't be strong enough, but they worked perfectly. Additionally, the bench was LOOOOOONG. I think it was about 11', so I wanted the top to be in two separate pieces.
This angle shows the face of tongue and groove. I actually decided to do it this way because my husband travels for work, and I didn't want to wait for someone to help me load 3/4" plywood. I could easily load 8' tongue and groove myself.
(I'm lazy and stubborn, too...)
The bench was almost finished. I had stained the top Jacobean by Minwax. It was a little darker than I would have liked, but it did draw the eye across and make this very small dining room look larger... BONUS!
The dining room had a ton more storage space after the bench went in. I put my bigger - small appliances in there. (misnomer? oxymoron?) The blender, bread maker, turkey roaster and crockpot had a home all was right with the world.
When our little town shut down for Snowmageddon, we had plenty of room for all of the neighbors to sit and eat both here and at our island. I miss that little neighborhood, our friends, and our front yard bonfires!
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Materials: Below are links to the tools and products that I use, but you can use any brand. I encourage you to get the best tools you can WITHIN YOUR BUDGET! Chop Saw https://amzn.to/3AL7iPy Table Saw https://amzn.to/3BbQO4i Palm Sander https://amzn.to/3BeLWM5 Drill https://amzn.to/3AFmD40 Kreg Pocket Hole Jig https://amzn.to/3TT4Orl Kreg Pocket Hole Screws https://amzn.to/3Bb72L1 Wood Glue https://amzn.to/3qbXRUk