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These Singaporeans Created A Window Sill Seating Nook For Under $200, Using Only Materials From Taobao

21 July 2023 | BY

Instead of spending $1,000 on a custom-built window sill seating nook, this couple turned to Taobao for an under-$200 solution.

These Singaporeans Created A Window Sill Seating Nook For Under $200, Using Only Materials From Taobao

Homeowners of a self-designed 4-room BTO flat, Lynette and her husband pride themselves on designing a space with minimal built-in items. Instead of a conventional modern living room, the couple’s home features a cosy communal coffee table area alongside a 2.4m window sill seating nook – the latter which they created for under $200, using only materials from Taobao.

Wanted a seating nook for comfort & practical reasons

Low coffee table, tearoom living areaCommunal coffee table space, window sill seating nook adjacent to tearoom-esque living area.
Image credit: Lynette

In an effort to be more present in their lives, Lynette and her husband opted not to have a sofa and TV in their living room, and instead chose to create a communal space centred around their coffee table.

With swivelling floor seats, round cushions, and their low coffee table, the couple’s tearoom-esque living area was a cosy haven for chilling and socialising – until they realised that the low seating would pose a challenge to elderly guests.

Rather than revert to the convention of placing a sofa in their living room, Lynette and her husband began to explore alternative possibilities. Eventually, they decided to put together a window sill seating nook beside their communal coffee table area, in order to offer their guests a more convenient seating alternative.

Acquiring materials from Taobao for under $200


Since the couple was on a tight budget, they turned to Taobao – Singaporeans’ go-to platform for affordable furniture – to find what they needed. Lynette explained that getting a customised built-in window sill seating nook would have cost them more than $1,000, and the couple wasn’t prepared to spend $500 on a local off-the-shelf seat cabinet to build their nook either.

In the end, they checked out their Taobao shopping cart with the following items:

  • Off-the-shelf 2.4m seat cabinet with 6 compartments (~$70)
  • Customised seat cushion with removable faux leather cover (~$40)

Seat cabinet and seat cushion from TaobaoSeat cabinet and seat cushion from Taobao.
Image credit: Taobao

Aside from being significantly cheaper than a built-in option, the Taobao seat cabinet offered Lynette and her husband increased convenience and flexibility. Since it wasn’t a fixed installation, they had the freedom to adjust their home layout as needed. “We picked the cheapest option, but there were many other alternatives with different configurations,” Lynette mentioned.

Because they required a cushion that matched the exact dimensions of their seat cabinet, Lynette and her husband chose to customise their seat cushion from a Taobao seller. Doing so also gave them the freedom to tailor the seat cushion to their preferences, since they were able to select the fabric, colour, and materials used within the cushion.

Seat cabinet arrived with packaging issues & damages

Packaging issues and bent hingesPackaging issues and bent hinges.
Image credit: Lynette

Prior to embarking on the creation of their window sill seating nook, Lynette and her husband were fortunate enough to have avoided any Taobao mishaps. However, the couple’s luck ended with their Taobao seat cabinet.

Upon receiving the delivery package that contained their seat cabinet, Lynette and her husband discovered that item had suffered numerous damages due to insufficient and improper packaging by the seller.

On top of broken packaging and cosmetic damages, they also found that one of the hinges for the seat cabinet was bent out of shape, and had to be bent back to its original structure in order to be functional.

Cosmetic damages on Taobao seat cabinetImage credit: Lynette

After further examination, the couple also noticed multiple cosmetic damages on the corners and sides of the boards used to assemble the seat cabinet.

Despite the imperfections, Lynette and her husband decided to leave the chipped parts as-is rather than fork out additional money and resources to repair the damages. However, they did take special care while assembling the seat cabinet, ensuring that the more damaged areas were fixed on the inner surface and hidden from view.

While they eventually managed to conceal most of the damages by placing the fitted cushion atop the cabinet, there was one external chip that they couldn’t fully hide. Lynette admits that she could have easily concealed the blemish by painting over the chipped area, but the couple wasn’t picky and chose to overlook the minor imperfection.

Taobao seat cabinet arrived with packaging issues & damagesImage credit: Lynette

“We knew that the quality might not be the best,” Lynette explained. She acknowledged that there were other sellers who carried better quality versions of the product, but reiterated that the couple’s main goal was to create their bay window seat for “as cheap as possible”.

However, in hindsight, the couple would be willing to pay a higher fee for better packaging, in order to avoid their items from getting damaged during transit.

Window sill seating nook for under $200

At the end of the day, despite the packaging issues and damages, Lynette and her husband have no regrets creating their window sill seating nook using materials from Taobao. The only thing they would have done differently is to request for photos of the delivery packages prior to shipping, in order to hold the sellers accountable and ensure that their items were properly packaged.

Final window sill seating nookImage credit: Lynette

Though not without its flaws, the final window sill seating nook was both aesthetic and functional. In addition to giving older guests a more comfortable seating option, the seating nook also serves as practical storage space – a large plus point due to the lack of built-in storage in the couple’s home.

“If budget isn’t a problem, definitely customise a built-in window seat,” Lynette advises. “But if you aren’t too fussy about the finishing and build, then our method is a much more wallet-friendly option,” she concludes, assuring fellow homeowners that using materials from Taobao comes with its own perks of affordability and flexibility.

For more on Lynette’s Taobao-furnished home, check out @makeitxl.

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Cover image adapted from: Lynette

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