You’ve seen them. Those soulful photos of a girl wistfully staring out the window. Or a sitting with a book and headphones seemingly lost in thought. You may even have wanted that scene for yourself. And you can! All you need is a window seat, good music, and an emo expression.
But where do you start? Well, window seat ideas vary. You could build a bench and install it yourself. You could hire a contractor to build a book nook by your window. Or you could buy ready-made window seats online. Let’s look at some options you could try out.
1. Ledge with a View
Sometimes, you move into a house and find a pre-existing window seat. It looks like an elongated window sill, so you may be unsure of what to do with it. It’s not wide enough to be turned into furniture, but you can still make it a cozy perch, especially if it has a pretty view. Place colorful cushions on the ledge and dust it daily. This invites your guests to sit on the ledge.
2. Extra Baggage
Tiny Houses have become popular in the past decade. And they always have drawers, beds, or even an ironing box tucked beneath their multipurpose furniture. You can tweak this concept for your full-sized house. Install a chest of drawers perpendicular to the window. Pad the top of the drawers with comfy cushions. Put a bookshelf next to the bench and you have a reading nook!
3. Triple View
This may seem like a strange layout because it has windows on three sides. But it was a fully thought-out design idea – you can tell because of the pretty sights outside the window. Mount a chest of drawers just below the window-line and soften it with lush cushions. Pick the cushions carefully. You want them to show off your character and taste … and to be machine-washable.
4. Extend the Intimacy
Sometimes, the window seat is wider than a sill but still too narrow for sitting. In such cases, decorate the sill with flower vases or potted plants. You can then make a special sofa for the window. It should be a backless bench with firm, long-lasting padding. Select slow-fading fabrics for your cushioning, since it’ll be exposed to strong sunlight (and dust) every day.
5. Closer to the Floor
Not all window seats are at chair level. So if yours is a foot high or less, turning it into a bench may not make sense. You can still put cushions on it, and keep it dry and dust-free. It won’t be as comfortable to sit n though, because it bends your knees at an awkward angle. So the cushions will largely be decorative. But it makes a good ‘stool’ for books and coffee cups.
6. Perfect Petscape
House cats are independent and territorial. They like having their own special corner, whether it’s on top of the fridge or in your lap. So why not turn your window seat into a pet nook? Drape a fluff-free cloth over it and get a cat cushion. Your cat will shed all over the fabric, so it helps if it’s machine-safe. If your cat lets you, hang out with him/her and enjoy the view together.
7. Recessed Seating
If your home didn’t come with a window seat, you can easily construct one. Take out a portion of the wall and create a hexagonal indent that pushes outward. That way, you can make a window nook without affecting the layout of your home. Install wood panels (or PVC panels) below and above the window seat. These panels should match the rest of the walls in the room.
8. Restaurant at Home
Lots of us rush for window seats in eateries, buses, or even planes. Why not replicate the idea at home? If you have picture windows, you can position tables against the window. Pair them with seats, booths, or benches on the opposite side. Now you can enjoy a fancy restaurant ambiance in the comfort of your home. Especially if you have a hotel-worthy view.
9. In the Zone
Have you heard the 20-20-20 rule? If you work on a computer, you need to take a break every 20 minutes. Look at an object that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds – it reduces eye fatigue. This could be a good way to use a window seat. Make it a study table, using the ledge as a desk rather than a chair. Then every 20 minutes, you can look outside to restore your concentration levels.
10. Arch Nemesis
For homes with long arched windows, try Number 9 on our list of window seat ideas. The ledges below the window are too low for comfortable seating. But if you put a long table between the windows, it becomes a cozy work spot. You can crane your neck to look out the window.
And you can stand, stretch your legs, and sit on the window sill for a few minutes of rest. But the table is long. So the people working on either end of the table may be happy/But the ones stuck in the middle will plot and scheme as they try to trade places and get a better view.
11. Cute Little Corner
This window seat is tiny, but it makes a perfect nook for one. The sill is too small to sit on, so extend it perpendicularly to make it L-shaped. Use shutters/blinds on one window and use that side as a backrest. Use colorful cushions, a poof, a fluffy faux-fur throw rug, and a cute artsy stool to finish off. This space is ideal for reading, napping, crafting, ideating, or taking a cookie break.
12. Landscape Layout
Most window seat ideas have one basic assumption. They treat the window seat as an additional space, a ‘break’ from your main seating area. This home takes the opposite approach, turning the window seat into the focal point. The window fills most of the wall, so pair it with a padded wall-to-wall bench with padded seats and cheerful accent pillows. They brighten up the room.
13. Interior Inspiration
Ledges and throw pillows seem to be the standard structure for window seats. But what informs your choice of accent cushions? This home draws inspiration from its hard furnishing. The cushions pick hues and tones from the varied shades of brown on the wooden floor. This wood also accents the steps on the staircase. The clever color coordination brings the room together.
14. Books and Largesse
Window seats are positioned for the best view. But they’re usually on the smaller side because it’s a supplementary feature. Still, if you have extra-large windows, why not make the most of it? In this example, a long bench is mounted in front of the window, with a hollow space below for customized storage boxes. A large bookshelf on either side completes the picture.
15. Above it All
Attics are often converted into bathrooms because they’re poorly lit and bathrooms don’t need natural light. Besides, with an attic bath, you don’t even have to smoke the windows. But an attic could make a nice chill-zone too. Expand the window so it stretches to the vaulted ceiling, letting in more light. Then build a padded bench under the window and enjoy the high view.
16. Bare Bones
Your window seat ideas don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. If your house already has a wooden bench and drawers beneath the extended window sill, soften it with loose fabric. A few throw pillows, some sheers, and a pretty mat or rug are all you need. The sheers are key because in this case, the window opens out onto the street, so you do want some privacy.
17. Hiding Place
It’s not just kids that play hide-and-go-seek. As the resident adult, you just want to sneak away sometimes. So build yourself a little grotto by the window. Long floor-length curtains will tuck your nook out of sight. Then when you need to get away, you can slip behind the curtain with a book, a handheld gaming console, headphones, or bowl of comfort food. They’ll never find you!
18. Mat and Plant
Here’s another idea for your hidden nook. On one side, put some pillows and a potted plant, then partially draw the sheers. Add a fluffy rug just to soften the hardwood feel. No one will look at the other side of the curtain, so that’s a good place to hide when you need to stare out of the window and daydream for a while. They’ll walk past tons of times and never know you’re there!
19. Poets Delight
In old books, you often see illustrations (and descriptions) of artists. They’ll be sitting under a tree writing poetry in a leather-bound notebook. Or painting on their easel. This set up is today’s interpretation of that scene. Turn your window seat into a creative space. Use a scented candle and some of your favorite knick-knacks for inspiration. Then sit and make nature-inspired art.
20. Bar and Breakfast
Lots of us have bars at home. They’re well-stocked and we use them to entertain friends and family. So if you have a large window seat, you could use it as a bar-room countertop. Place high bar stools beside it and enjoy the ambiance of your favorite spot without leaving the house!
21. Indoor-outdoor spaces
Some homes have an area that partially open. It’s a kind of alfresco space that part porch, part patio. You might hem the indoor-outdoor space with roller shutters or gapped fencing. Or you could put up partial walls, large windows, and roofs with massive skylights. Install L-shaped seating by the window. Use padded wooden benches with storage space beneath them.
22. Comfort and Color
This window seat idea uses the same set-up as the previous one. The l-benches aren’t padded, but colorful cushions soften and brighten your space. It’s a lovely space for semi-outdoor entertainment on sunny afternoons and warm evenings. Plus, while it has an outdoor feel, it’s fully protected from chilly winds, rain, and bugs so you can stay late into the night.
23. Stately and Sophisticated
So far, the window seat ideas we’ve looked at have been warm and playful. But what if you want something that’s more conservative and mature? You can achieve this using color. The example here is based in gray, with a padded window bench and a cozy gray armchair on the side. To up the elegance factor, sheers are installed all around, lining both the windows and the walls.
24. Featured Furniture
While this example is taken from a hospital room, you can tweak it for your home. If you have a regular window and you’d like a window seat, you don’t have to refurbish or call a contractor to stretch the ledge. Instead, buy a customized row of chairs like the ones pictured here. Place them next to the window and drape a pretty scarf, rug or doily over it. Now you have a window seat!
25. Corporate Couture
Here’s another iteration of the same concept. It would work great in a library or home office. Instead of backed chairs, buy a wide backless leather seat and lean it against your large windows. For your bookshelves, install sliding glass doors. Use tinted or mirrored glass on for the shelves. The glass will reflect the outside view, making the room feel larger and brighter.
26. Wicker Wonder
Not everybody wants to sit on the window seat. Some prefer to use it as a work surface or storage space. In this case, the space below the bench has been converted into a cubby covered with a crosshatched wooden mesh. A wicker armchair or rattan seat is positioned near the window so you can still relax and take in the view, even if you’re not sitting on the ledge itself.
27. Just for Two
This isn’t a conventional window seat idea, but it’s certainly one way to go. The room is narrow and has long windows, but not much natural light. So instead of building a low bench that will barely rise a foot above the floor, you can use two comfy chairs and a stool. Wingbacks are nice. You and your partner can sit by the window sip, tea or whiskey, and watch the (grand)kids.
28. Wall to Wall Views
Artistic homes have amazing window seat ideas. This room has one purpose – communing with nature. Sure, you could go outside and be in nature. But then you’d have to deal with sweat and bugs and bird poop. To build a dedicated room where one entire wall is a window. Mount a wall-to-wall padded bench below it. Now you can sit or nap in nature without having to go outdoors!
29. Cream and Tan
A lack of soft furnishing doesn’t make a space hard. Not necessarily. This monochromatic room feels gentle and ungendered even though it doesn’t use any fabric. The benches, chairs, open shelves, and window frames are all made of pale-colored wood. This makes the whole room feel light, airy, and cozy. If you must have throw pillows, buy a maximum of two in neutral tones.
30. Cottage Couture
On the other hand, if you want to go full woodsy, you can play with lumber paneling. These panels construct the walls and floors of this narrow room. An extended ledge would close the space too much and make it feel claustrophobic. Instead, tuck a pair of wicker chairs, a matching table, and a textured rug. Now you have a window seat breakfast nook despite the tight space.
31. Boudoir Bench
Just because you have a big window doesn’t mean your space will be well-lit. It really depends on which side the window is facing. In this case, the window seat is in a dimly lit bedroom. Pad the ledge with cushions and throw pillows that match your bedspread. This example uses browns and beiges that pleasantly complement the brick tile walls.