Being able to use window treatments to balance natural light with our comfort level in privacy is wonderful. It means that we can hang out there and window-watch as much as we want! If you often enjoy relaxing by the window, consider building a window seat.
Here’s a look at how to design the perfect one:
Elements of the Perfect Window Seat
Ideally, you want to make sure that the window seat is at least 18 inches deep so that you give yourself ample sitting room and storage space underneath. Storage drawers and shelves are the functional beauty of window seats. Not only will you maximise the often wasted space right around the windows, but the creativity of stowaway options will also add to the wow factor. Imagine your guests’ marvel at how clever the set-up is when you pull open all the drawers and secret compartments. And if you’re an avid reader who enjoys books in the sunlight, make sure to frame the window seat with cubbyholes full of books. Go from floor to ceiling if you have more than enough books to fill them! It’ll be a slice of paradise for bookworms. Anyone who’s ever been captivated by this scene from the original Disney Beauty and the Beast will know exactly what that effect is like. Finally, take advantage of wide windows in your house by building a window seat that’s long enough to double as a daybed for napping or for guests to stay overnight.
Now that you’ve gotten the base down, it’s time for the finishing touches. Window seats always look the best when they seem to be built right into the room’s décor. So make sure the paint matches the walls and the seat cushions or throw pillows match the colour theme of the room. This will tie it all together into one seamless look. For the window treatment, go with roller blinds so that you can adjust the amount of sunlight that comes in during your reading or napping session. The cherry on top is installing a feature pendant light above the window seat for those nights where you just want to curl up there with a book.
Where you decide to build the window seat will change the design, of course. You may even want to put window seats everywhere throughout the house! Get inspired by these ideas for different areas of your house:
Bedroom window seat
Hang a curved curtain rod above so you can enclose the window seat with silk or filmy fabrics to create a cozy cocoon. It’ll be a haven within a haven.
Children’s room window seat
Use the built-in storage drawers and shelves for their clothes, toys, and books. If the room is small, connect the window seat with the bed or homework desk so that it looks like one giant fort. Another great idea is to place a twin-size futon mattress in the storage drawer under the window seat. That way, you can pull it out as an extra bed for sleepovers.
Kitchen/dining room window seat
Installing a window seat in the kitchen or dining room is a practical idea, especially if you have limited space. The window seat can then serve as a banquette or breakfast nook when you place a table in front of it and chairs on the other sides. It looks all the more impressive when you use the same finishing on the window seat as the kitchen cabinets.
Bathroom window seat
We often don’t think about putting in a chair or bench in the bathroom until we really need to sit down. Rather than using the toilet lid or the edge of the bathtub for those instances, a bathroom window seat fits the bill just right. And since storage space is always a premium in the bathroom, the built-in drawers under the seat would be great for clean towels, linen, or toiletries.
Besides the practicalities and the fact that it fulfills many of our childhood dreams of having one, a window seat offers us a more subtle gift: it reminds us to take a moment in our day to sit down and gaze out into the world in perfect serenity.