Welcome to Pete Brown's 10rem.net

First time here? If you are a developer or are interested in Microsoft tools and technology, please consider subscribing to the latest posts.

You may also be interested in my blog archives, the articles section, or some of my lab projects such as the C64 emulator written in Silverlight.

(hide this)

Window Bench Seat Update: Crown and Valence

Pete Brown - 23 October 2011

Today I made some more progress on the trim around the window bench seat I built.

For reference, the wall the window is in was a blank wall when we moved in. We had the bow window installed. I designed and built the trim around the window, the bookcases and the bench seat all from plywood, stock lumber, pine panels (for the seat itself) and a little bit of trim. You can see pictures of that whole process at the end of this post.

Today's work was creating a way to add some crown-like elements to the valence that overhangs the seat. I couldn't simply extend the crown that I've installed in the room as there's an awkward join where the bookcases meet the valence. It's only about 2" deep, so the regular crown would overlap itself in an annoying and unsightly way.

The Corner Block

To work around the awkwardness, I decided to terminate the room's crown molding at a custom-made corner block. This is simply a 2 1/2" by 3 1/4" or so poplar block made from a few pieces of wood. The dimensions were based upon the measurements of both the room's crown molding and the valence trim I'm building. The opposite wall will have the mirror image of one of these.


The corner of the block was roughly trimmed to allow the edges to sit flat against the wall, and to allow me to line up the bottom with the trim board on the bookcases. I also chopped off the top corner of the part that will go behind the crown, as the wall had some bow out up top.

This photo shows the corner block in place on the left-side bookcase.


I'll put a cover on the bottom, and likely a coved support to finish it up.

The Valence Trim Build-Up

Now I needed to create something relatively shallow, but attractive. It also needed to tie in with the rest of the trim in the room. Because the window trim is a flat board with cove molding under it, I decided to do something similar, but smaller, and bring that detail out to the valence. Here are the parts I used:


The pieces that make up the valance include a few pieces of pre-primed MDF trim, one of those plastic-wood cove pieces, and some 1/4" poplar. I used trim because I wanted as much pre-primed as possible, as I know from experience that priming is time-consuming and annoying on plain wood trim. If Lowes had 1/4" lattice as wide as I needed, I would have ditched the poplar, but alas, there was none to be found. Also notice how I used a piece of regular 1/2" baseboard trim but hide the top ogee behind the wood. I actually expose the base of that because I wanted something that came in at least 7" length and was pre-primed.


I have more trim to put up, including a small piece of coped cove to fit in that little trouble spot in the corner.

Oh, and my little helper decided the best way to help me is to pretend my square is actually a gun ;)


Earlier Construction Photos

I don't recall how many of these I've posted before, but I don't believe I put them on my blog, just Twitter. In any case, here are some photos of the creation of the bench seat over time. Umm, pay no attention to how much the seasons change outside that window. Yeah, I work slowly :P


Oooh. I'm glad we got rid of that couch some time ago! And that carpet. Oh, and that window. And that railing…

In late 2005, we had the living room window replaced with a bow window, and had a second bow window installed in the east wall that overlooks the woods and ravine. At the same time, we had the contractors add more windows to the kitchen, replace the ugly old deck doors with nice sliding glass ones and re-side the house. I also completely renovated the kitchen (another on-going project0 and enlarged the opening to the kitchen from doorway size to around 8' across with an arch over it. We had electricians do this electrical work, and contractors handle windows, doors, and siding. Everything else, I did.

The end result was to add a LOT more light to the upstairs. The house felt so closed before (common for houses built in the late 70s when windows were particularly leaky and so were kept to a minimum)


I started the bookcases and base cabinets in late 2010. The rest of the construction is spread throughout 2011. It also involved re-routing some electrical and networking cables, wiring lights, moving outlets and more.


That brings us pretty much up to where it was today. Of course, the shelves were all in put place and the shelf pin holes grommeted after this last photo.

What's left to do?

  • Complete the valence trim
  • Trim the inside of the valence where the drywall meets it (same cove I'm using outside)
  • Doors on the bottom cabinets
  • Final coat of trim paint over all that white primer (ugh. I hates painting, my precious)
  • Touch up the green wall where I filled the holes
posted by Pete Brown on Sunday, October 23, 2011
filed under:      

Comment on this Post

Remember me