Got a view? Get a window seat

5 years ago
3 minutes

There is magic in a window seat – a sense of being suspended somewhere between indoors and out and the feeling that this fantasy place is the most relaxing you could possibly find.

You don’t sit like an adult in a window seat; it’s a place of childish abandon. You lie down with your feet up the wall or curl up and stare out.

Don’t think that these only exist in Edwardian homes with bay windows. They can be created anywhere – even in a contemporary apartment where the pay-off is most likely brilliant. After all, the view was probably a big factor in your decision to buy the apartment. Enjoy it!

Let’s assume your apartment’s best views are from the living room and out over the balcony. A window seat would be perfect in the space beside the sliding door. However, two of the defining characteristics of this piece of furniture are the cosy feeling of it being in a nook, and storage in the seat.

Create your seating

There are a couple of things you can do here to make a traditional-style window seat. The easy way would be to throw a lot of money at it, but we won’t do that.

A wooden dining bench from Freedom is an economical start and you can create the storage with a few rectangular baskets that fit neatly underneath.


Creating the nook effect largely depends on how much space you have left at the end. There are a lot of interesting possibilities here, so let your imagination go. What you use only depends on your decor and how handy you are.

The screen, or whatever the end element becomes, need only be the width of the bench and it’s up to you whether it goes all the way to the ceiling. Try a floor-to-ceiling frame over which you can trail a climbing plant – or use a tall houseplant to define the nook. Maybe a simple screen of vertical wood, which is quite easy to make, would suit your apartment better.

You also need one long bench cushion in a colour that works with your other furniture. Try West Elm or major soft furnishings outlets, or have one made to measure at The shape is so simple, though, that maybe you could buy a piece of foam, some upholstery fabric and beg a crafty mate with sewing skills to run one up.

That’s it. It’s up to you whether you dress up the space with smaller cushions. Maybe a couple of tallish plants on the balcony, not big enough to block the outlook, of course, would add life to the space and create a foreground dimension to the view.

If all that sounds a bit too complicated, a super-comfortable lounge chair with a smart side table and a standard lamp behind it is hard to beat.

Other possibilities

Use three or four Ikea bedside tables, such as Malm or Kullen to form the base.

Temple & Webster has cushioned storage benches available online and rectangular ottomans with or without storage are available from

An antique chaise lounge would be a real statement piece, or for that resort-style luxury, Mooi Living has soft, squishy bean-bag style day loungers.

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