13 Ways to Take Advantage of a Sunny Window

Bright living room with white sofa and chair

Blondie in the City 

A bright, sunny window sets the mood for your whole home. In fact, it might be the sole reason you bought or rented your home: because you picture yourself lazing in the sunbeam, just like a cat. But deciding exactly what to do with your perfect, sun-filled window can be a challenge. A dedicated reading corner? Lots and lots of plants? All the things? Or maybe you should dedicate the whole space to your actual cats.

Take a deep breath and picture how you want to enjoy your sunny space. And if you're still struggling for the perfect inspiration, these 13 ideas may help you decide.

  • 01 of 13

    Soften the Light

    Black, white, and gray living room
    Organized Home

    Sunny windows are a wonderful addition to their room—but there is one drawback. They're sunny. Watching television, eating dinner, or even just holding a casual conversation all increase in difficulty when you're busy shading your eyes. Tone down the brightness with luxurious gauzy curtains perfectly sized to your window in a neutral shade. White curtains may be the most modern, but any toned-down shade will temper the sun.

    Ethereal Apartment by Organized Home

  • 02 of 13

    Let Your Succulents Dangle

    Plants in glass containers hanging in front of window
    Embrace the Perfect Mess

    Take your terrarium-making hobby to the next level by dangling your homemade creations against the window. (And if you go store-bought, we won't tell.) Or fill round glass vases with gorgeous sun-seeking succulents to keep them happy and well-fed. Embrace the Perfect Mess filled glass ball planters from the Dollar Tree with dirt, moss, and river rocks to help her plants thrive.

    Succulent Window Planters by Embrace the Perfect Mess

  • 03 of 13

    Perk Up Your Morning Routine

    Small cafe table and chairs in front of large window
    Nicole Valentine Don

    Stop chugging down coffee every morning beneath dim LEDs. If you're blessed with a beautiful, sunny window glowing into an empty corner, take advantage of the morning light. A small, two-chaired table in the perfect spot (like in this Australian home studio featured on Nicole Valentine Don) can transform your morning routine from dull to delightful. After all, sunlight gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy—and starting your day with a little bit of joy can staunch off the gloomy doldrums of routine.

    Home Studio by Nicole Valentine Don

  • 04 of 13

    Give Your Cats a Rest

    Cat sleeping in wicker basket cat bed on shelf
    Hymns & Verses

    Is there anything our furriest, moodiest friends like more than sunlight? Quite possibly not—which means handing over sunny windows to your cats may be the kindest solution. Blogger Hymns & Verses used an inexpensive wicker basket, plywood, and brackets to make this simple and cozy sleeping nook for kittens. Stuff it with a plush cat bed for the ultimate in comfort. You may find your furry pals more friendly now that they have a sunny spot of your own.

    Hanging Window Basket Cat Perch by Hymns & Verses

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  • 05 of 13

    Brighten Your Work Space

    Long white shelf as DIY desk below open windows
    Dreams and Jeans

    Whether you work from home or just need a place to wrap up paperwork over the weekends, consider transforming your sunniest window into a glorious workspace. In this home featured on Dreams and Jeans, a streamlined white desk overlooks a riot of trees. Keep the space minimal and hyper-organized for maximum calming effects. For artists—or anyone else hoping to integrate more nature into their work routines—this sunny set-up might be life-changing.

    Window Desk by Dreams and Jeans

  • 06 of 13

    Pair with Black

    White upholstered chair in front of floor-to-ceiling windows

    Matching your uber-sunny windows with a stark black wall makes a perfectly modern pairing. The effect seems minimalist and sleekly Scandinavian—and the deep black tones down the bold sunlight. This look is perfect if you adore sunlight but hate the washed-out all-white decor that's so popular on Pinterest today. Blogger French by Design's home pairs a super-sunny window with night-black walls to create a show-stopper of a living room.

    French by Design on sfgirlbybay

  • 07 of 13

    Display Dramatic Greenery

    Potted and hanging plants in front of large window

    Christina Meneses

    There's no better place to show off your favorite hanging plants than a sunny window. Imagine gorgeous pothos leaves trailing towards the ground or a trailing succulent, like a donkey's tail, shining with light. Los Angeles hairstylist Christina Meneses hung draping plants before her window to make her inside space feel like a greenhouse. For plant lovers, there's nothing better than going overboard with your greenery—and a lush window scape makes those dreams possible.

    Plant Flashback by Christina Meneses

  • 08 of 13

    Create a Cozy Reading Nook

    White dog on white upholstered chair next to window
    A Burst of Beautiful

    Kick back and relax in your comfiest chair while enjoying bright sunlight. Turning your window into a cozy, relaxing reading nook lets you keep your nose in a book from dawn to dusk (and add a cute lamp to keep the word party going longer). A Burst of Beautiful created this nook by pairing a super-plush chair with a striped blue blanket and just a hint of greenery. And as you can see, it's not just humans who adore this quiet spot.

    Blue Reading Nook by A Burst of Beautiful

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  • 09 of 13

    Turn the Space Into a Bookshelf

    Piles of stacked books beneath window

    The Slow Traveler

    Your gorgeous, comfortable reading nook wouldn't be complete without places to read—and lucky for you, a sunny window is a perfect spot for a bookshelf. Line the windowsill with your favorite paperback books or just stack them underneath the sill, like in this stunning shot captured by photographer The Slow Traveler. Weathered pages make a complementary neutral accent for white walls, and colorful spines can turn plain into fantastical.

    Books Beneath a Window by The Slow Traveler

  • 10 of 13

    Start Your Seedlings

    Seedling plants in starter containers on a windowsill
    New York Botanical Garden

    There's no better place to begin your gardening adventures than a sunny window. Make sure the window receives a good amount of light throughout the day—as much as possible—and don't forget to water your new babies on the regular. If you're worried starting seeds inside, instead of beneath a grow lamp, makes you an amateur, don't fret. Even the New York Botanical Garden understands the beauty and ease of simple windowsill growing.

    Windowsill Seedlings by New York Botanical Garden

  • 11 of 13

    Build a Window Seat

    Dining table and chairs with DIY cushioned window seat
    Almost Makes Perfect

    Nothing beats the classic, built-in look of a window seat. Imagine stretching out in the sunlight, your back supported by a soft cushion. Or cozy up at dinner by installing a window seat that matches perfectly with your dining table, just like Almost Makes Perfect's gentle white and wood space. You don't need to spend a ton of money to get this stunning effect—many of IKEA's cabinets and dressers can be turned into seating. (Almost Makes Perfect used the NORDLI.) Or, DIY the project inexpensively.

    Dining Room by Almost Makes Perfect

  • 12 of 13

    Grow Herbs

    Herbs growing in white pots on kitchen windowsill
    The Home I Create

    Stop going to the store for six sprigs of basil — and then letting the rest rot. A sunny windowsill is an ideal spot to cultivate your own lush and flavorful herb garden. Pick your favorite easy-to-grow herbs without leaving the comfort of your own home. The Home I Create turned her kitchen sill into a monument to flavor by growing basil, sage, and oregano within feet of her cutting board.

    Indoor Herb Garden by The Home I Create

    Continue to 13 of 13 below.
  • 13 of 13

    Add a Pop of Color

    White kitchen windows with window panes outlined with bright yellow
    Cup of Jo

    Sure, a sunny window is bold enough—but pairing it with a stripe of vivid color can take it from ten to eleven. This colorful Seattle house featured on Cup of Jo surrounds a sunny kitchen window with a strip of cheerful yellow. A series of glass tulip bulbs complete the look. The result is something fun and relaxing to look at while you're elbow-deep in soapy water.

    Colorful Seattle Home by Cup of Jo