Of all the home design dreams I have, decorating a cozy little window seat is definitely up there with the bigger ticket items like a wrap-around porch or even a home sauna. And even better if said cozy little window seat is in the attic so I can perch up there all day and scare neighborhood children. But I digress (and kid). Whether you live in a home with preexisting bay window seats, you’re trying to make use of an awkward nook by a window, or even if you just love the look and want to hack it in your current space, we have twenty stylish ideas and designer examples to bring your window seat dreams to life.
That little window bench is going to be the most popular seat in this peaceful sitting room designed by Heather Hilliard. The softly curved ceilings and pale blue and neutral color palette create the perfect relaxed mood.
You don’t have to customize furniture or invest in built-ins to have a show-stopping window seat. Here, interior designer Janie Molster slid a settee into the space created by the angled bay windows. Then, she painted the surrounding walls an energetic shade of flamingo pink, perfectly complementing the red stripes and softened by the gray and white curtains that make this little nook eve more intimate.
Though understated and neutral in color, this living room designed by Tamsin Johnson is bursting with personality, from the three-tiered arc lamp to the beach-y rattan furniture. The widow seat is a great addition to a living-room-family-room hybrid since it blends into the background when not in use (those sculptural spherical pillows help), but also provides a cozy spot when the occupant just feels like hanging out.
You don’t need a ton of space for a window reading nook. In fact, squeezing into a tiny space is what sets nooks apart. Case in point? This peaceful blue space designed by Elizabeth Cooper. And if you look closely, you’ll see the interior shelves built in for more books.
Perfectly proportioned with the tall, slim window, this built-in bench by Studio DB is a small but transformative accent that injects instant style into a transitional space.
Cameron Ruppert created cohesion with a corresponding duvet cover, throw pillow, and wallpaper. The light blue-gray and greens are ideal for a bedroom and the sloped ceilings around the window seat make it extra cozy. A pedant hanging right above the nook acts as an extra reading light, too.
With layers of soft neutrals and embellished details, this window seat designed by Nicole Hollis is a great spot for a cat nap. Keep a small stool of side table nearby for books or tea and opt for oversized lumbar pillows so you can lean against something soft instead of the hard wall.
The ceiling above the window seat gets the fun house treatment in this charming bathroom. Mimicking a circus tent but with a nautical flair, the bold turquoise and white stripes bring the space to life. The Lesson: When you have a unique ceiling, play it up even more with paint.
If you want your window seat to do more than just sit and look pretty, put it to work with built-inn storage. Cameron Ruppert outfitted this one with nine drawers and two cabinets.
This custom reading nook is the perfect place to curl up with a good book—or just to daydream. While the wallpaper certainly animates the walls, the curved headboard polishes things off even more.
This spacious nook immediately draws our attention to the arresting, calming scene outside. All it takes is a couple of blankets and pillows for optimal coziness, an overhead light, and a side table to rest your books and glasses. Let the view do the rest of the work. The clean lines and modern look are perfect for the simple bones of the space.
If you don’t have a bumped out window seat in a bay window or under a sloped ceiling, consider building a custom bench in a corner or a small, walled-in nook by a window. Designer Jenn Feldman created a custom banquette to encourage conversation and family reading time.
Heidi Caillier made this window seat comfortable and cozy by adding a custom upholstered cushion and a mix of throw pillows. Aside from the carpet and dining chair cushions, the window seat accessories are the only colorful and soft materials, so they really brighten and warm up the room.
Even an awkward hallway can be functional and homey with the right attention. Here, Heather Hilliard aded pastel mint and blue ikat pillows and a corresponding blanket and seat cushion to cheer up the hallway window seat. Flanked by two sconces, it’s the perfect place to cuddle up with a good book.
If your windows feature stained glass details, all the more reason to draw attention to them with bright accent pillows and a seat. Section it off with tall drapes like Fiona Lynch Studio did here for some privacy (and to block out the sun if it’s in a bedroom).
A window seat with a view is the best kind of window seat. To get the most use out if it, and if your space allows, customize hours to accommodate a twin-sized mattress rather than just a small cushion, as Chango & Co. did here.
You can anchor an room around a window seat if it’s large enough. Alison Pickart took advantage of large bay windows with a spacious window seat and then added a coffee table and angled two arm chairs towards each other for a little sitting room. This helps bring down the dramatic, high vaulted ceilings to a human and homey scale.
Cameron Ruppert made this window seat pop with a bright red cushion that complements the dining chairs, curtains, and throw pillow while still holding it’s own against the lacquered blue paint.
A built-in window seat is the perfect solution if you have tight corners but really want to a place to curl up in with a book. Velvet upholstery gives a formal touch and promises comfort. The wall sconce also helps save space while still getting the job done.
A window seat is a great place for kids to get comfortable and do homework when parents are busy cooking. Sometimes perching up the kitchen breakfast counter just won’t cut it. Heather Hilliard chose colors that make the pendant lights pop even more.