Whether you need extra space for dining or just would like window seat ideas for making a nook to catch up with a favourite book, we’ve got great solutions from practical window bench seats, ideal lacing up little school shoes, or comfy bay window seats for lounging in a quiet patch of sun. Get your window seat right, and it can rapidly become the best seat in the house.
How Will You Use Your Window Seat?
Don’t just think about the available space for your window seating think about how and when you’ll use it. In the day you might want to curl up with the window open catching up on calls, so you’ll need window coverings that can be used to manage the changing light. Using it as an extension to your dining space? Look at faux shutters that can provide noise reduction from passing traffic and make a space feel more intimate and secure even on the darkest stormy night.
Window Shapes & Styles
Bay window design lends itself naturally to a built-in window seat. But lots of windows can be adapted. Large modern windows are more suited to a long low structure in wood or harder edged polished concrete. Even floor length windows can also be created from freestanding blocks or benches. If the windows are large and you are creating something from scratch, consider building in heating to keep the seat toasty and offset the chill large windows can sometimes create.
Comfort is Key
When looking for ways for how to dress a window seat don’t just think about fabrics and colours of your window seat cushions. Seat pad thickness is key (at least two inches) and consider materials; feathers will mould to you but a sponge based filling will spring back into shape for low maintenance. Often overlooked is where your feet go; if you want guests to sit formally for a while during dinner it will be more comfortable if the front of the structure does not run flat to the floor. If you are having it built-in allow for a slope under the seating pad so the feet can tuck underneath. A much easier position to sustain.
Storage & Kids
A window seat with storage is a double win. If in a dining area use it for occasional tablecloths or candles to de-clutter everyday cupboards. In a living room a bay window seat with storage is an ideal place for turning playtime quickly into grownup time by making the seats flip up on hinges to provide easy access toy storage (look at our child safe mechanisms if you have little people and pets around). In bedrooms winter blankets or guest linen can be safely stored, moth-proof, in a cedar chest covered in pretty seat cushions.
For bookworms window seat furniture should be planned to allow for you to while away the hours when head first in a page-turner. Make sure the seat is at least 50cm deep for comfort and preferably with a wall to lean against. Built-in bookshelves around a window make an inspiring reading nook, and bookcases or fitted bookshelves turn a bland wall at the top of some stairs into a star feature. And don’t forget somewhere to rest your mug.
Kitchen & Dining Room Seating
Window seat dining is a fantastic solution for rooms that are small, as when not in use, the table can be pushed against the window increasing floor print in a kitchen or dining room. It also is greatly adaptable for homework age kids who need guidance as parents cook. For sanity’s sake ensure you choose cushion pads that are removable and washable. If you want something more luxurious try a plain velvet with a restaurant grade ‘rub count’ (this measures how much wear and tear they can take) so you can attack with a damp cloth after a lively supper.
Now the practicalities. Condensation is caused from the water droplets in the air hitting the coldest surface in a room, which tends to be the window pane (worse on single glazed windows). Prevent condensation by ensuring there is good ventilation to reduce the moisture in the air, keep lids on when boiling pans and use your extractor fan. If there is too much direct sunlight or heat try top down/bottom up blinds to help manage solar gain as the sun moves through the day (so no one complains about having the hot seat). If you do have a south-facing window, consider Duette® Architella® that can keep out the effects of full glare and thermal gain.
It’s essential to properly plan your window treatments: blinds or shutters are the best option as they won’t take up extra space. Avoid vertical, venetian or roman blinds (unless they are hung very high when open). If you are committed to one of those styles create a false back on your seat, so you can lean back in comfort without the clattering of your window covering ruining your enjoyment. And finally, sit back and watch the world go by – the best part of a window seat of course being the view.