I don’t often stop and watch the world go by, I tend to focus what I would like to accomplish for the day. Some have suggested that I should do more watching and less “doing”. If I were to watch the world go by, one of the places that I would want to see it from is a window seat. One with a soft place to sit and ample space to curl up with a book or enjoy a short nap and of course, some “world watching”. Who doesn’t want a space like this in their home?
Adding a window seat could be a frustrating and expensive venture, unless you use the following tips:
- You do not have to “bump out”, consider “bumping in” to your existing space by installing bookcases or closets on both sides of your window. (This gives you additional storage as well as a place to sit.)*
- The correct depth and height are critical for comfort. (15″ high + 3″ cushion and 22″-36″ deep, depending on how you plan to use the space)
- Lowering the ceiling above your window seat creates a more sheltered feeling.**
- Lots of pillows are required to be comfortable when sitting against a vertical wall. Consider having slightly sloped ends to lean against.
- Make sure you make use of the storage under your bench, I like drawers or open storage. If you do the lift-up bench, it will be difficult to use it often, especially if someone is sitting on it or there a few things piled on top of it.
- Don’t skimp on the cushion and pillows, you want it to be comfortable so it will get used.
- Be aware that adding this will add character to your home, but may limit the flexibility of the furniture arrangement.
- Window Seats can appear in almost any room. (Office, family room, bedroom or kitchen)
*Click on the picture to the right to see how to make a window seat with stock cabinets.
**Christopher Alexander, an architect, discusses the importance of Alcoves in his book, “A Pattern Language”.
Pattern 179: Alcoves
Conflict: No homogeneous room, of homogeneous height, can serve a group of people well. To give a group a chance to be together, as a group, a room must also give them the chance to be alone, in ones and twos in the same space.
Resolution: Make small places at the edge of any common room, usually no more that 6 feet wide and 3 to 6 feet deep and possibly much smaller. These alcoves should be large enough to contain a desk or a table.
I invite you to consider the possibility of adding storage space, additional seating and character to your home by providing a space to watch the world go by.