How to Create Your Own Window Seat

Nothing says "let the world go away" quite like a personal window seat. Just the thought of spending time with a good book or gazing out the window from a comfortable perch - thinking lofty thoughts or about nothing at all - takes my breath away. Window seats are simple to make. If you can build a box, you can build a window seat. If you don't have a place for a built-in, then you can create one. Your space will tell you what will work, and what you steps you will need to take to make it the perfect space for you. Here are some easy tips to help you get started:

The Alcove Window Nook

If you have an alcove, dressed by a lovely window, then you are truly blessed. You have the perfect spot for a window seat. Take your measurements of the intended space. Your width will be the longest part. Measure twice. The depth should be about 18 inches. That gives room to sit in comfort. The height should include the thickness of the cushion. You will need one base, two long sides, two narrow ends, and a cover.

You may want the cover to open and close for storage. Piano hinges are recommended since they are applied to the inside of the lid. Paint or stain as desired. Add trim, a cushion, and a few pillows.

Safety Tip: Building codes require that the windows near a window seat be outfitted with safety glass.

The Flat Wall Window Nook

You have a window, but it's rather high up and without a nook. No problem. You can create that nook, by building closets or bookcases on either side of the intended window seat. If you wish, you can build an entire wall of shelves, closets, and cubbies. Your window seat can still be successful, even though the window is higher up on the wall.

Simply measure the space from the bottom of the window down to the top of your window seat. Then measure between the new closet walls. You now have a space for one of my favorite building materials: bead-board, also known as wainscoting. Paint the wainscoting a contrasting color to the surrounding built-ins. Remember a darker color will add depth to the space, while a lighter color adds warmth. Add trim, a cushion, and some colorful pillows.

The Flat Wall-With-No-Window Nook

Good grief! A wall with no window? How terrifying! Have no fear - imagination is here. This may actually be the best area to create the perfect seating, reading, and daydreaming nook. No limits. Design your wall with the nook as the focus. Bring out your window seat an extra 6 inches, so that the bench is a full 24 inches in depth. Give your window seat a wider space, wide enough to curl up with your favorite book. Include lots of down lighting and use "daylight" bulbs. Place a mirror where you wish the window to be, and frame it just like a window.

Another idea, if you are artistic, is to simply paint a window with a view. Add framing, and a few blooming house plants, and you have your own private garden spot. Dress up your nook with cushions and colorful pillows. This wonderful area is your own private escape, where you can read, write, or dream.

A window seat is simply romantic, bringing to mind whispers of gentler times. I know of no better place to slow down and "rest a spell." Curling up in a window seat can beckon us away from the hurried clatter of our modern lives, as it reminds us that rest, too, is progress.