Rethinking the van Design Part 12 – Making a Cosy Couch


As mentioned in previous articles we soon discovered the need for a comfortable seating area. What we had before was basically two seat tops fixed to a board and they were neither cosy nor comfortable. It was a ‘live and learn’ experience and as soon as I got my head around the remap the couch was the first thing on the agenda.

After removing the kitchen to make way for the new luxury couch I set about measuring and designing it. I was very clear in my thoughts about how it should be so the design part came very easily.

It was to be an L-shaped number that would sit behind the driver’s seat and give us a place to relax, eat, play Scrabble, work, write and generally feel good about ourselves. To do all those things we’d need a table but more on that later.

The couch design is a modular thing consisting of three sections; two I built from 45mm sq timber and the other made from an adapted set of drawers (we still had to consider storage).


one of three completed sections of the couch. The basic frame allows for storage space and comfort.


The first ‘box’ took me a while to make (around three hours in all) as I was finding my way with it. I like to take things steady anyway, these things have to last so in my most anal capacity I really want to make them as well as I can.

The second box was a lot easier having done the first and took around 70 minutes to knock together. A combination of the durable 45mm sq timber, PVA glue, 75mm screws, corner brackets and a day of graft resulted in all three modules being ready to fit.

The building was only the first stage but with them ready to go I was able to shift them around for the best fit. The final install comes later after some more wall panelling.

You can see the couch building gallery by clicking here.

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