DIY IKEA HACK
After assembling the IKEA units, I removed the baseboards in the nook. Then, I put the NORDLI pieces in place to see how they would fit.
After I sorted out how I was going to configure the bench, I primed and painted the entire nook.
To start customizing the NORDLI units to function as a corner bench, begin by attaching the 3 units together, so they are one solid unit.
Then, I flipped the unit upside-down and attached two pieces of ⅜" thick MDF door stop trim to the front and back of the bottom of the pieces. Adding these smalls strips to the bottom makes the drawers glide perfectly, and they don't add much height to the bench.
Next, attach the NORDLI units to studs in the wall to keep them from shifting. Cut some scrap pieces of lumber to fit the open corner, and attach to studs in the wall. The tops need to line up so that we can add a bench top securely over the whole thing.
To make this bench look like a built-in piece, I primed and painted all of the drawer fronts to match the colour of the wall.
Now it was time to add the top of the seat. Cut some ½" MDF with a table saw into two pieces that fit perfectly over the base units.
I finished the benches off with some baseboard trim on the bottom front, and caulked and painted the whole thing to make it look seamless.
The niche on the opposite side of the bench was created in the same way, but we capped it off with an old MDF shelf that was cut to size. I tacked it in place with silicone and finishing nails.
I decided to add a DIY board and batten trim to the breakfast nook. Finally, I caulked all the seams and joints with paintable latex caulk to give the whole bench a built-in, seamless look. Once that was dry, I painted all the trim with the colour-matched white paint.