During the Georgian era, architecture and interior design was characterised by timeless elegance and delicacy. By the late 18th century, many grand properties were fitted with narrow sash windows and as a result the window seat became a highly fashionable item.
The Georgian window seat stood as high from the floor as a chair, with identical roll-over curves at either end and rich upholstery. Today, the window seat has evolved in form but its concept is very much the same. 21st century window seats are almost always integrated into the wall rather than a stand alone piece of furniture, but they still provide that peaceful spot from which to gaze out at the clouds for a moment’s calm, enjoy a good read or simply sit and reflect at the end of a busy day.
Whether you own a characterful period property or a modern build with contemporary features, a window seat can enhance any room, adding both decoration and purpose to a beautiful window space.
Modern window seats are as much about storage as they are about style. With the help of a little skilled carpentry, a small, disused corner can soon be transformed into a stylish, integrated storage solution. Take a look at some of our favourite ideas:
Drawer function – Great for tidying away games in a playroom or entertaining space when not in use. Create symmetry between the joinery and interior design by applying drawer handles that match or complement the ironmongery of your windows.
Image via studio-mcgee.com
Open shelving – Have yourself a miniature library beneath your window seat, or use the shelving to display photos or ornaments that complement the interior.
Hinged-top storage – Not only would a hallway window seat provide a place to sit and get ready to head outdoors, by adding a hinged-top you’ll have the perfect hiding place for muddy shoes and dog toys that would otherwise clutter up your entrance hall.
A friendly space
Built-in seating gives you the opportunity to maximise on the space in your home; with a bit of creative thinking, you can turn those tricky or awkward areas into functional, usable spaces that can be fully enjoyed by you and your family.
So often we assume that window seats are intended as a solo retreat when you’re looking for a quiet corner to take oneself away from the action. However, they can also be great for larger dining or social spaces – especially if you’re pushed for space.
By placing a dining table in the middle of a room, the areas around it are taken up with chairs for seating, resulting in a lot of wasted space. Building a banquette window seat will allow you to position the table closer to a wall freeing up additional space.
Image via pickmanmuseumshop.com
This type of dining arrangement also makes for an ideal study area for completing homework, or working from home. A sophisticated, bistro-style dining room lends itself perfectly to relaxed dinner parties with guests.
Planning a window seat
Not all window seats are created equal, and as with so many things in life, this disparity comes down to planning. While some window seats provide a carefully-placed and sophisticated accent that complements the rest of the interior, many seem like merely an afterthought; a bolt-on feature that feels more like a spare part in a room than an intentional detail.
If you’re planning on incorporating a window seat as part of your new window renovation project, it’s important to speak to your design team early on in the development process. They can offer expert advice on what size and style of windows will work best with both your property and your window seat plans.
For example, one Westbury customer was keen to incorporate window seats into the design of her new timber orangery. She was delighted with her long, contemporary seating area which not only provides a tranquil place to sit back and enjoy a good read, but also a spot from which to take in wide, undisturbed views of the main rear garden framed by the striking oak and black finish on the joinery. With pads and cushions that mirror the furnishings within the orangery, this window seat helped the homeowner create one seamless interior design that flows throughout her new extension.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to upgrade the windows on your existing property, your designers can advise you on the best style and finish to give you the window seat feature you’ve always wanted.
In a world filled with artificial lighting, it’s great to have a special place to relax and sit in the natural sunlight.
However, there’s nothing appealing about the idea of sitting beneath a draughty, ill-fitted window with peeling paint and other visible signs of wear and tear.
Windows are an important home investment, and choosing a quality product can change the whole aesthetics of your house – both inside and out.
When considering your options, be sure to choose a highly-efficient window type that will offer exceptional performance and have a significant impact on your fuel costs. Improving the energy-efficiency of your windows could push your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) up into a higher band, which could also increase the potential sale value of your house.
So whether you’re looking for a quiet kitchen space to enjoy a morning coffee, a cosy corner for whiling away a Sunday afternoon with a good puzzle or just a place to sit and rejuvenate after a long and relaxing soak in the bathtub, a window seat will certainly provide a charming addition to any room in your home.