Window seat ideas can come in all shapes and sizes. From spaces with extra storage, and a reading nook in a sunny spot to a cosy place to enjoy the view, they are endlessly charming.
Whether you're designing a self build, new extension or renovation, creating a link between the living spaces and the great outdoors is key for a stunning modern home.
Working out the configuration and style for your individual home can be tricky so take a look before at some beautiful projects for inspiration, ideas and top tips to create the ultimate window seat.
1. Framing the Perfect View
First things first, the success of a good window seat is balanced on the view it frames. While it doesn't have to be of the garden, try to hone in a spot which will bring you back time and time again.
If you're self-building or extending, make sure your architect/designer includes the window seat right from the initial stages of the design. Try to avoid south-facing spots to limit glare and overheating from the sun and opt for slim sightlines to really make the most of the view.
(MORE: Design Briefs)
2. Make the Most of Small Window Seats
It's important that the window is large enough for you (and your partner/dog/cat) to sit in comfortably. Make sure the cill at least 500mm in depth and no more than 700mm off the ground — any higher and it may become difficult to get out of!
3. Let's Talk About Window Seat Storage
Window seats offer a perfect opportunity to add some extra storage for toys, books or even spare bedding.
Lift up tops in built-in units are great for a bespoke look, or bookshelves with treasured ornaments encourage a special spot for relaxing.
4. Choosing Materials for a Window Seat
From a functional design point of view, selecting the window cill material is key. A nice oak or timber surround (like the example above) looks great and creates the effect of a picture frame.
Many integrate a cushioned seat into the cill, which can be as simple as a piece of foam wrapped in a material.
5. Designing a Window Seat from the Outside
There are two main methods of designing a window seat in terms of the exterior of a building. The first is to have it flush on the outside and built into the room (this is the most cost-effective approach, shown above).
The second is to have an extruded box bolted on to the facade. This can be built using either structural timber frame, with floor joists to create the extender cill seat, or in steel frame (steel is better for larger frames).
6. Add a Window Seat in the Kitchen
Create relaxed seating in the kitchen with a window seat. Perfect for lazy Sunday breakfasts with a view, this kitchen's larder units have slide-away doors hiding the toaster, bread bin and everything needed within two steps of the window area.
7. Adding a Window Seat to an Existing House
Try to pick a location where there is already a window, as this may reduce the cost of structural works. However, if there isn't a suitable option, new openings require a new lintel (specified by a structural engineer).
8. Bay Windows are Great for Window Seats
Ideal for a nap in the sun, this oak frame bay adds extra charm to this living room while cosy cushions finish the look.
9. A Window Seat for a Bedroom
Framed in timber, this loft conversion's bedroom window seat is such an eye-catching addition it makes the space feel much larger while providing a spot to relax in away from it all.
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