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DIY Ikea Window Seat with Nordli Hack

DIY Ikea window seat with storage. This is an Ikea bench hack using Nordli drawer units. It is so affordable that we got the whole window seat built-ins done for under $400! If you are looking for affordable DIY bench seat solutions, keep reading and watching (because there’s also a video) !

Also if you’d like to see more ideas on making your home functional and beautiful, be sure to follow me on Instagram.

pillows | wooden crate

DIY Window Seat Ikea Hack Video Trailer

Here’s a 1-min video trailer of this project so you get an overview on what I did. 

You can watch the full length video which is embedded in the middle of this post. If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here.

I’m posting DIY videos on my channel on a regular basis, so subscribe if you like to see more videos like this!

Get the PDF

I have everything that you need for DIY Window Seat in this post. But it is a long read. If it’s more convenient, you can purchase the PDF file for only $4.99.

It has the full tutorial with all the pictures, optimized in a book format, faster to read, and free of ads. This way you can print it out and bring it with you when you are shopping for materials or building this project.

DIY bench seat with Ikea Nordli hack

DIY bench seat in an easy way is something I’m forever interested in because it makes such a big impact on a space. In fact, one of my popular posts on this blog is a DIY Ikea Banquette tutorial for my dining room. So this time, I’m sharing another Ikea bench seat DIY, but for my bedroom window seats!

I used Ikea Nordli 2-drawer chest and hacked it into a super long window seat with storage for my bedroom because I have some awkward empty space that is impossible to use well. Also would like to have more closed storage so release some pressure from my packed small closet.  

pillows | pampas grass | wall paint: BM calm

This DIY Ikea window seat project is so versatile that you can not only use it as a window bench, but it’s also great for dining room banquette, breakfast nook, or other bench seat needs for your home.

It has lots of closed storage which is always great because it contains the mess within. Plus having drawers just makes it so easy to access things within. I’ve also got some Ikea drawer organizers which fits pretty well inside the drawers. 

Before diving into the DIY process, I’d like to share with you what the finished DIY Ikea window seat looks like. 

pillows | wooden crate

I’m planning to DIY some bench cushions for this DIY window seat. But for now, I’m using a chunky runner rug and folded in half to serve as a cushion.

Ikea Nordli hack and DIY window seat project cost

For this Ikea window seat hack, I’m using the Ikea Nordli 2-drawer chest. You can also use Nordli 4-drawer dresser. The reason I got the 2 drawer unit is because I want to use the drawers, but create my custom top and bottom to fit my space wall to wall. 

I’ve also considered other drawer and dresser units from Ikea, but their Norli dresser units offer the most flexibility in terms of width and height. I have found their 2-drawer configuration has the perfect height for a bench seat hack. 

The height is 17 ¾”, so plus the top and bottom, you can have your finished bench seat to be around 19 1/4” or above, which is considered to be within standard bench seat height (18” – 20”). 

pillows | pampas grass

This project is really affordable compared to hiring out or buying as furniture. 

Each of the Nordli 2-drawer units costs $60. With four of those and all the materials to make the customization happen, and we got the whole project done under $400. Considering how much storage it adds to the space, I think it is a steal!

I didn’t include the tool cost because most of those I already have on hand. Also tools are something that you invest once and use them over and over again.

Ikea window seat hack modifications

For this Ikea Nordli hack, I did make quite a few changes to make it fit my space better. Here’s a summary:

Raise bench seat height

First of all, I raised the height of Nordli dresser units so it serves more like a furniture piece. My finished DIY bench seat height is 23 ½”. 

This is because I’m not using it as a dining banquette where the height is limited: 1. it has to work with the height of dining table; 2. it has to allow people to put their feet on the ground comortably.

In my case, I’m using it as a window seat, so the height is less limited. Also I don’t have any other furniture on that wall so I’d like it to fill the vertical space more by having a slightly higher appearance. 

Add custom bookshelf to the bench seat

I created a custom book nook to fill the extra space because I want this window seat built-in to be wall to wall. With 4 Nordli drawer units, I have about 14 inch empty space. So I used the remaining space for a custom bookshelf. 

This bookshelf has a shallower depth compared to Nordli dresser, and that’s because there’s a big closet door on the right side wall of this space.

Custom bench top and power socket under it

I created a bench top for this DIY window seat so it can handle a lot of weight, plus a more custom look. Also, I have added an outlet box on the bench top that is hidden but super accessible. 

There’s a wall outlet that will covered by this Ikea window seat, so adding bench top power strip allows me to still have access to the power and also plug in any appliances such as humidifier, laptop chargers, etc.

outlet extension

Ikea window seat hack video tutorial

Here’s a full video tutorial of this DIY window seat with Ikea Nordli hack. I created this video walking you through my DIY process, and highlighted a few key points to make this project successful. You can click on the video below to watch it.

If you want to watch more videos like this, be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel.

DIY Materials and tools

Ikea Bench seat hack materials:

Ikea Nordli 2-drawer chest. I got this unit in white color. On Ikea’s website, they only listed dark gray color but I was able to find the white version in the self service furniture area. So I suspect white is a new color so they haven’t updated it yet on their site.

2 x 4 (8 ft) boards

1 x 4 (8 ft) boards

Wall outlet extension

Shoe molding

2 x 12 boards

Ikea window seat hack tools: 

Brad nailer

Kreg pocket hole kit

Orbit sander

DIY Ikea window seat instructions

Assemble Nordli 2-drawer chest

I assembled Ikea nordli dresser units following their instructions manual, kept the box frame and the drawers separately. It was pretty easy to assemble.

Then I placed all four of them in my bedroom, to get a general idea of how they will fit in the space. This helps me to plan out how much extra space I need to fill up because I plan to have my window seat bench be wall to wall. I will use the remaining space for a small book nook.

I had to remove part of the Box moldings and baseboard, so that the window seat bench top can touch the back wall, and book nood will be flush to the wall.

Build base for bench seat

Next step is to build a base for this bench to sit on. I used some 2×4 boards to build long rectangles with braces that the Ikea Nordli dressers can sit on. 

I used a Kreg pocket hole jig to make pocket holes, and used pocket screws connected all the pieces together. 

If you don’t have a pocket hole jig, you can pre drill and screw everything together. But I’d recommend to countersink the screws if they are on the surface so that when attaching trim later on, there’s no gap.

You can see that this 2×4 frame fits my entire wall snuggly. I have the smaller box on the right because my book nook has a shallower depth due to the door opening on its right.

Then I attached the 2×4 base to my wall stud. Btw, I didn’t remove the baseboard on the back wall because I plan to leave some space there for my power outlet to reroute.

I’m not using the standard Nordli dresser unit which has a top and bottom board. Instead, I created my own bottom board for those Nordli units and used it to attach to the 2×4 base later. We used some 1 x 4 boards that I got from the Homedepot. 

I cut them to size and then used a nail gun to staple them to the drawer frame. I used 2 boards per unit. You can cover the bottom completely but that would be more costly.  

It also raises the height of those drawers by ¾”. With the 2×4 base being 3 ½” tall, I can use a 4 ½” baseboard to cover them all.

I then put all the Nordli drawer units on top of the base. And it’s looking pretty good! 

On the right side of this space, I have a big closet door, so the remaining space needs to have a shallower depth. I used that space for a small bookcase by attaching ¾” thick wood board around to create that nook.

Attach Nordli dresser to the base

Once the small bookcase is done and I’m happy with all the placement, I attached all the Nordli dresser units together by 1 in screws .I also made sure to clamp them together so that their top is aligned which makes it easier to attach a bench top later.

I have a wall outlet that is right behind one of the drawer units. So I created a notch on the back of one of the drawer units before attaching it to the base. 

An optional step you can take is to shim the gaps. I used a level to ensure my top is leveled, and shim any open gap between the 2×4 base and Nordli drawer chests.

I also attached all four Nordli drawer units to the 2×4 base. When I designed the base I made sure that there will be at least one vertical board around the middle of each unit to make it easier to attach. I used some 2 in screws to do that.

DIY custom bench top

Now it’s time to add a bench top to this window seat. We Used two 2 x 12 boards from Homedepot that are 12 feet long. The reason we used the 12 feet board was because my wall is 11 ½ feet long and I want this DIY bench seat to look continuous. 

Update: I made a mistake here that I used green wood instead of kiln dried, so my bench top actually shrunk a bit since the DIY. So I would recommend getting kiln dried wood or use the method below to make your bench top 🙂

If your bench seat is less than 8 ft, another great option is to join two sheets of 4×8 plywood together and then using a wood veneer to conceal the edge. I did it for my home office desk that I think looks pretty good. So check out my Ikea Alex desk hack post.

So for our super long window seat bench top, we joined two boards together with pocket holes and screws every foot of the length. We also added wood glue between them.

Then we patched it up using wood putty and sanded the surface smooth with an orbit sander. We gave it a few coats of white paint. 

At this stage, we also cut out a rectangle shape so we can house a power socket under this bench top. 

To create the door that can cover up the power strip, I use a ¾” board and attached it to the bench using two hinges. I also used two small wood blocks to make the door sit flush with the bench top. 

Then we moved this giant bench top to our DIY window seat in the bedroom. Moving it is not easy I would say as it is super heavy and long, but we did it! Yay!

This is what it looks like after we added the bench top to the window seat. It was pretty snug to the wall so we didn’t attach the bench top to the nordli dressers below it. If you’d like to attach it, you can use L brackets to do so.

Add trim and finishing touches to bench seat

Now the basic structure is all done, it’s time to add all the nice finish touches so this DIY bench seat will look super custom and polished.

I have planned to cover the 2×4 base, so I cut out some baseboard to size using a miter saw. The baseboard I used is the same of what I have in this room so it looks more uniform. I attached the baseboard using a brad nailer

With the 2×4 base and the ¾” boards that I attached to the drawer unit, my 4 ½” baseboard covers them perfectly. I painted the ¾” board white because there’s a tiny bit peaking. 

BTW, If you are looking for a lower height bench seat such as for dining banquette, you can use 2×2 base, or skip it all together and only keep the ¾ boards as the bottom. In this case, you can choose trim pieces according to your bench seat base.

My house is really old so the walls are curved. To seal the gap between the bench top and my wall I got some shoe moldings. I attached them at the edge where bench top and wall meets, except the power socket part. 

Then I applied some speckle and caulk to conceal all the gaps and nail holes. I did some touch up paint so everything flows together. 

Also I made the mistake of painting the bench top a light gray color and only realized it after the bench top installation ?. So I ended up giving it another few coats of paint.

I also finished off the book nook which is looking cohesive with the whole bench seat setup.

Add Nordli drawers to DIY window seat

To slide in the drawers, I basically followed the Ikea instructions. First pull the tracks out, then place the Nordli drawer and slide it in. Once it sits at a proper position, I push the white switch and to the engaged position. 

You can check out my Youtube video to see how I added the drawers.

There is a caveat in terms of the white switch on Nordli drawers. It is important to make sure those white switches are on the off position when you first attach the drawers.

I have made the mistake of not setting the white switch to the off position and that made it impossible to lock the drawers to the track. So make sure that  the switch is disengaged before you add the drawer, and re-engage the white switch once the drawer is in position. 

The white switch does wobble a little bit so don’t mistake the wobble as the switch. Otherwise the drawer is really easy to install. 

What’s nice about the Nordli unit is that their drawers have soft closure which just feels so nice to use. Also bench seat with drawers is such a great storage solution!

Add hidden outlet socket to bench top 

Because I have a wall outlet that will be covered by the window seat, I want to reroute it somehow so I can still have access to it. 

The solution I came up with is to add a power extension cord and have it hidden under the bench top with a hinged door. I found this outlet cover with power strip from Amazon that doesn’t take much depth which is perfect for my case. I left about ⅝” gap between the wall and Nordli dressers. 

In the previous step, I have created a notch on the Nordli back frame and also the bench top. To create the door, I use a ¾” board and attached it to the bench using two hinges. I also used two small wood blocks to make the door sit flush with the bench top. 

So the next step is to create a box to house the power extension. 

I cut several pieces of quarter inch wood and glued them together using wood glue. I clamped them overnight for the glue to cure. I also created a notch on the left side of this box so that the outlet cable can pass through. 

To add it in, I slid in the box from the top and placed it on top of the notch I created previously on the Nordli back frame. This outlet extension comes with some double sided tape. So I just use them to hold everything in place. 

Having this hidden power outlet on the bench not only lets me still have access to the wall outlet that is covered by my window seat, but it also makes it convenient to charge my phone or plug in small appliances such as a lamp or humidifier. I also love that bench top power strip is pretty hidden, so most of the time things still look tidy when I’m not charging anything.

Get the PDF

I have everything that you need for DIY Window Seat in this post. But it is a long read. If it’s more convenient, you can purchase the PDF file for only $4.99.

It has the full tutorial with all the pictures, optimized in a book format, faster to read, and free of ads. This way you can print it out and bring it with you when you are shopping for materials or building this project.

Ikea Nordli bench seat hack summary 

Those are all the steps to make your own DIY window seat with Ikea Nordli hack! It was such a fun and rewarding project, although it does take some time and patience!  

I just love how hacking Nordli dressers makes it possible to fulfill my needs and make my space more functional with tons of storage. I hope you find this post and video useful  if you are looking to build something similar or looking for ideas to hack Ikea Nordli units! 

Also if you’d like to see more ideas on making your home functional and beautiful, be sure to follow me on Instagram.

And let me know if you have any questions in the comment section.

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10 Brilliant Ikea Hacks We Learned on TikTok– PureWow

By Sydney Meister

Published Jul 13, 2021

When we’re scrolling through TikTok, there’s always one video that stops us dead in our tracks: Ikea hacks. These furniture flips and DIYs are affordable, creative and downright fascinating. Transforming an ordinary bookcase into arched built-ins? Genius. Elevating a regular ol’ cabinet into a contemporary rattan console? Sign us up. We can’t seem to look away, and neither can the other 344.1 million users who have viewed the hashtag #ikeahack. So, without further ado, here is the crème de la crème of Ikea hacks, from ones that incorporate the fluted surfaces trend to Organic Modernism-approved boucle fabrics.

1. Fluted Media Console

One of the hottest emerging trends of 2021 is fluted accents—aka rounded molding that covers a wall, giving it a more textured finish—and brass hardware. So, when DIYer and founder of XO My Home, Kim Bai saw West Elm’s Quinn Media Console, she *understood* her assignment. Using the Ikea Kallax, fluted trims, brass legs and some white chalk paint, Bai converted a run-of-the-mill cabinet into a luxury designer console. Bravo. (Psst: Here are Bai’s step-by-step instructions if you want to try this at home).

2. Glass And Cane Display Cabinet

You’ve probably noticed by now that minimalism is taking over the design scene. That means taking a less-is-more approach to open shelves and maintaining clutter-free countertops. However, as much as we love this aesthetic, we’re not quite sure what we’re supposed to do with all of our stuff. Answer: this DIY of the Ikea Billy Oxberg Cabinet. With just a little fluted trim, chalk paint, and acrylic and brass cabinet pulls, this DIYer crafted a coastal farmhouse cabinet that could be a part of Serena and Lily’s latest collection.

3. Custom Built-ins

Spanish-style arches in cabinets, doorways and fireplace surrounds are having a huge moment. But they’re not exactly a practical investment. “Not only does it take costly skilled carpentry work to add arches, but homes that mention arches in their listing descriptions sell for 1.3 percent less than similar homes…and take two days longer to sell,” according to Zillow’s Amanda Pendleton. Not to worry, because Tamara Smith of @mygrandparentschair has a hack that’s budget-friendly and removable for when you want to put your house on the market. With just a few layers of dramatic paint, trim and hardboard, Smith transformed the Ikea Billy Bookcase into a timeless, custom built-in bookcase that’s so right now (you can find the IG tutorial here).

4. Rattan Chest Of Drawers

Confession: We love a good designer dupe, and this Studio McGee-inspired hack is insane. Julianna Claire of Blush & Camo took the Ikea Tarva 6-Drawer Chest and flipped it into a beautiful handmade piece with some cane webbing, brass handles and weathered oak stain. The finished work looks nearly identical to McGee & Co’s Summer six-drawer dresser, so you can get the vibe until you can afford the real deal. Find the full tutorial here.

5. Boucle Accent Chair

When it comes to textile trends for 2021, boucle upholstered pieces are mecca. But, like most items in the luxury design world, most of these cozy statement pieces are astronomically expensive. Finally, we’ve found a boucle DIY that we can actually afford! The talented Drew Scott of Lone Fox took the Ikea Tullsta Armchair and converted it into a highly-sought after staple with boucle fabric and pool noodles. Yes, you heard us, pool noodles. Check out the full video of how he did it here.

6. Black Fluted Dining Table

We get it; DIYing fluted accents are all the rage. But sometimes, they can come out looking messy and “homemade.” Not in this case. This DIYer used medium-density fiberboard, two Bekant tabletops, wooden dowel rods and a coat of matte black paint to create a dining table that even Kelly Wearstler would covet. It’s chic, it’s sophisticated, it’s edgy AND it doesn’t cost a fortune. We’re clearing our weekend plans to take this one on.

7. Industrial Oversized Wall Mirror

Jonesing for the Anthropologie Reese Mirror? If it’s out of your budget, consider this easy this DIY instead. All you need is two sheets of plywood, some trim wood, and nine packs of Ikea’s Lots mirrors, and you’re good to go! Check out this tutorial by The Sorry Girls for a step-by-step guide to bringing it to life.

8. Glass Indoor Greenhouse

Helping your houseplants survive winter can feel like an exercise in futility (not to mention how ugly indoor greenhouses can look). Now, there’s a hack that’s both chic and functional, so you can have your (vegetarian) design cake and eat it too. Using the Ikea Rudsta Cabinet, grow lights and a rechargeable fan, this DIYer created a plant sanctuary that tons of DIYers have replicated on the @ikeagreenhousecabinet Instagram page.

9. Boho-luxe Dresser

There’s a pattern here: Everything Anthropologie touches turns to gold—and we can’t afford all of it. Thankfully, clever DIYers like @__karaweber have saved our wallets with this clever Ikea Malm Dresser hack. All she used were these adorable brushed gold cabinet handles and this vinyl textured wallpaper to create a boho-luxe look that’s easily Anthro-passable.

10. Rattan Pendant Light

Last but not least, this light hack (because who doesn’t love a good rattan pendant?). Using the Ikea Seagrass Lamp Shade, this DIYer took Jute Twine, Command Hooks and Dimmable + Hands-Free lights to create a simple, easy, and renter-friendly rattan pendant light that’ll be sure to give your apartment character.

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IKEA Hack: 16 Furniture Hack Ideas

New Life

February 6, 2017 6:05 pm

Last week, IKEA announced the Delaktig line of modular, easily upgradeable designs. The first product will be a set of aluminum profiles, which can become the basis of both armchairs and beds. Afisha Daily recalled examples of successful hacking of IKEA furniture that have already taken place.

Children’s stool balance bike

What you need: Frost stool in duplicate

Already an honorary ikea hacker from Switzerland, Andreas Bend, together with his like-minded designer Samuel N. Bernier, saw the wheels of a children’s bicycle in the seats of familiar stools, and cleverly transformed their legs into a steering wheel and frame. True, some of the necessary plastic parts had to be printed on a 3D printer. Surely a child will want to join the process of creating such a bike. You can find detailed instructions and 3D models at the links.



3D models


Dish lamp

What you need: a large beautiful dish, for example, “Gultet”

Designer and Los Angeles-based blogger Sarah Sherman-Samuel proposes a simple and elegant, like one, two, three. The main thing is to successfully drill a hole, attach a cartridge with a wire and a switch. If you are not an expert in electrics, then you can buy a ready-made kit. Edison light bulb will add originality to the lamp.



Serving table from the table

What you will need: Vitshe laptop table

Style me Pretty blog creators in love with design Abby and Tate, for over three years, have been creating a variety of pieces of furniture and decor. The couple shares their results and detailed instructions on how to repeat it all in the DIY section. One of them is a mobile party bar, the main detail of which is an IKEA table, a piece of plexiglass, wheels and some paint.



Shelving unit made of boards and separate fasteners

People who do not have enough shelving options presented in the IKEA line, create them on their own. For example, if you take a few hanging shelves (or ordinary boards) and fasteners painted in different colors, you can get a nice and functional piece of furniture. The design is so simple that you do not need instructions.

Lamp jellyfish

What you’ll need: Boya Pendant Light

Inspired by ocean life, a Canadian designer added several tentacle-like fabric and paper elements to a familiar light fixture. A simple way to place a glowing jellyfish under the ceiling in the bathroom.

Stool hangers

What you need: Beckvem ladder stool, wooden hangers and boards

The habit of throwing things on a chair can be transformed into a good habit. A student from Belgium decided to please his girlfriend and put things in order with the help of two Ikea stools, wooden boards and hangers. And if the clothes still didn’t take root in the new place, with proper refinement, the design can pass for an easel.

Table cat house

What you need: Lakk coffee tables, rope, plush fabric shops, as well as solving problems with a scratching post. The main thing is to please the cat with the color and texture of the shelter.

Baby bed playhouse

What you need: Kyura baby bed, plywood sheets, boards, jigsaw

If a child refuses to understand that a tree house is more of a danger than entertainment, make a compromise – build such a house in an apartment. All work will take one weekend, but you will have to try and refer to the detailed instructions. But the topic of gifts will be closed in the near future.





Table of paper holders and stool

What you need: Fluns paper coasters and Frost wooden stool

Malaysian Kenneth Yeoh made the perfect coffee table with magazine shelves from the most inexpensive items that are not original. It remains to turn on the fantasy to decorate the item and fit it into the interior.

Paper holder shelf

What you need: Fluns paper holder

Ikea hack for beginners: if you don’t have the strength and patience for a coffee table, you can get by with a corner shelf. Find a free corner in the room and fix a pre-colored paper stand in it. The multifunctional shelf is ready.

Railroad wallboard

What you need: Lillabu children’s railroad, pieces of linoleum painted matte black

As soon as your hand reaches out to throw away the old children’s railroad, try to find it decoratively e use in adults life. Fasten the road with trailers to the wall and place chalk boards of appropriate shapes in the “figure eight” cavities. An idea worthy of applause.

Shelving hamster terrarium

What you need: Expedit shelving unit or Nordley chest of drawers

Your pet deserves more than just a cage with a wheel. Take an example from Australian Martina, the owner of a hamster named Sonic. She created an entire maze house out of a standard shelving unit by pulling out a couple of shelves and installing glass partitions. The main thing is not to forget about good ventilation.