Modern Castle is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Window Seat Ideas & Designs

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Looking to add more seating, storage, or just a little character to your home? If you’ve got a window, you’ve got everything you need to create your own window seat.

Adding a window seat is the perfect way to make a small area feel more custom and meet the specific needs of your family.

Not to mention, window seats can add custom charm and may yield big results if you’re trying to sell your house. Incorporating a window seat can help make a small space feel usable and well designed.

Got a small space? Check out our guide for the best small vacuum cleaners.

Window seat design - Ideas for a single window
Window seat design – Ideas for a single window

Window seat ideas can range from ornate and expensive to simple, yet functional. Depending on the exact layout of your windows, your window seat design will vary.

This guide will help provide the 101 on window seat designs and help you pick the right one for you. First you need to select a window that you want to use for your window seat.

You can use any type really, but the three most common layouts would be:

  1. Single Window
  2. Double Window
  3. Bay Window

Single Window

When you have a single window, you can make the space appear larger by making the window look like it’s a part of a larger built-in. Try adding bookshelves to either side for a custom look.

Single window seat design ideas
Single window seat design ideas

With shelving capping in the ends, you can easily build a small window seat in the middle. Or for a more custom look, you can design a longer seat that seamlessly merges the window seat and shelving.

Single window seat design ideas - In between shelving
Single window seat design ideas – In between shelving

Many people who opt for a window seat do so for a dual purpose design. In many cases, a window seat will serve as a cozy seating spot and also storage. 

A window seat could also serve as a dining bench, with a dining table adjacent to it and chairs on the alternate side.

Think of traditional banquette seating.

Single window seat design ideas - long window seat
Single window seat design ideas – long window seat

Double Window

With a double window, many people think that they cannot have a window seat. But in fact, that’s not quite the case. In rooms with two windows close to each other, you can easily frame the windows together with a little design work and some custom framing.

Double window seat design ideas
Wall with double windows

You can design a window seat in between the windows, or design one long seat that stretches the gap between both windows. I have illustrated what that would look like below.

With one long seat, you can design storage or shelving underneath, depending on how exactly you plan on using the space.

RELATED – Window seats and other built-ins can attract dust and other dirt. See our house cleaning schedule guide for help staying on top of your cleaning tasks.

In the space between the windows, you could do wooden floating shelving, a television, or a unique art piece that acts as a statement in the room.

Framing the entire design with single curtain panels on each side, helps to focus your eye on the middle of the design instead of breaking it up into multiple segments.

Double window seat design ideas
Double window seat design ideas

Bay Window

One of the most common use of a window seat is in the cavity of a bay window. This is common since the room already lends itself to having a seat there.

In the case of the window seat designs above, the window seat is built into the interior of a room and framed out with additional millwork, like shelving or cabinets, to give it that built-in look.

While there are pros and cons to each strategy, building into an existing nook allows you take advantage of square footage that is already there

Without a custom solution, these spaces remain empty many times- due to their unique size and layout.

Bay window seat design ideas
Bay window seat design ideas

When considering window seat designs for bay windows, it can be relatively simple- just add a framed-in seat or more intricate built-in.

If you’re handy in home improvement projects, consider adding wainscoting to the bottom portion of the wall. Traditionally, wainscoting is between 38-42″ from the floor and wraps a whole wall.

The top portion of the wainscoting would remain painted the same color as the rest of the room. This is an easy technique to highlight a special space and give it that truly built-in look.

Bay window seat design ideas
Bay window seat design ideas

Seat Styles

The actual style of the seat can vary greatly, depending on your space and the feel you’re going for. For low maintenance and the durability of a hard surface, consider a stained wood or painted wood top.

Window seat design ideas

Whether there is storage below or not, a wood top is a great option for lasting durability and gives the window seat a clean and simple look.

GUIDE: How to care for a wood window seat using natural, homemade cleaning products.

For a cozier spot for reading, napping, or just enjoying some sunshine, consider an upholstered top. Upholstered tops can be ultra plush by including pillows and blankets.

Or, an upholstered top could be rather simple and thin, with a conservative vinyl fabric for an easy wipe-down clean.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Need Help? Ask Your Question Below.