A window seat is always the best seat in the room, made for soaking up the light, gazing out at the view, curling up with a book, snuggling with a loved one, or sneaking in a power nap.
The built-in, upholstered window seats common today are a modern evolution of the small free-standing benches that people began placing beneath their sash windows centuries ago. If you don't have the budget or the space for a built-in, you can improvise a window seat using a wood or upholstered bench or loveseat of any style or period. Just pay attention to proportion to make sure that the window seat fits seamlessly beneath your window of choice, and style it to suit your needs by adding throw pillows, a cozy blanket, or a reading light.
Let these window seats—located everywhere from the living room to the bedroom, dining room, mudroom, home office, and beyond—inspire you to install a window seat in your room(s) of choice that will become everyone's favorite spot.
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Leave the Windows Bare
In this light-flooded Palo Alto, California home from Cathie Hong Interiors, a built-in, wood-topped window seat in the dining room creates an off-duty reading nook or extra bench seating when there's a crowd. Windows are curtain free to maximize functionality, while patterned throw pillows in neutral tones add softness.Continue to 2 of 21 below.
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Maximize a Pass-Through Space
This spacious upstairs landing from Mindy Gayer Design Co. is flooded with Southern California light, making the pass-through space an ideal location for a built-in window seat that runs beneath a wall of double windows. A natural-toned floor basket is a decorative way to store extra blankets or favorite reading material between uses to keep the space looking tidy.Continue to 3 of 21 below.
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Cozy Up the Home Office
One of the joys of working from home is having the option to stay focused—and take needed breaks—in any location or posture without having coworkers looking on. This cozy L-shaped home office from Anita Yokota includes a cozy and casual window seat daybed for reading drafts, brainstorming new ideas, or grabbing a power nap.Continue to 4 of 21 below.
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Optimize the Mudroom
This built-in mudroom window seat from Becca Interiors is located steps from the front door of a Hudson River view Colonial home in New York state, making it a convenient place to take off muddy boots or set down your sun hat and farmers market haul.Continue to 5 of 21 below.
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Create an Attic Perch
This attic reading room from Jersey Ice Cream Co. is kid-friendly but fun for the whole family, with cozy floor rugs and pillows and wrap-around banquettes that include a built-in window seat that hides the AC and offers natural light and views.Continue to 7 of 21 below.
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In this spacious bedroom from Emily Henderson Design, an extra-long window seat is built beneath a large bank of windows, hugging the irregular shape of the room's walls to maximize surface area and achieve a streamlined look. The extra bench space means that it's big enough to share or use to display plants, books, or decor objects. A reading light sconce in the corner and some throw pillows and blankets make it comfortable and functional.Continue to 8 of 21 below.
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Accessorize the Dressing Room
This fully loaded dressing room from Britt Design Studio includes ample storage for clothes, accessories, and shoes, plus a built-in window seat under the arched window for gathering yourself before heading out to face the world.Continue to 9 of 21 below.
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Use Warm Colors
This kids room from Becca Interiors has vintage wallpaper and furniture, warm colors, and tons of homespun Colonial charm. But the focal point of the room is the charming double window seat that's all set up for story time.Continue to 10 of 21 below.
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Add a Storage Bench
If you don't have the budget for a built-in, or your window is on the smaller side, try installing a bench instead. In this bedroom window seat hack designed by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design, a simple upholstered bench with built-in hidden storage is wedged into the corner for extra stability, and runs to the edge of a small window to fill the space and create the impression that the window is larger than it is.Continue to 11 of 21 below.
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Christina Kim Interior Design created a reading corner in this blue-and-white home office, complete with a comfortable window seat flanked by bookshelves for storing reading materials and displaying objects.Continue to 12 of 21 below.
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Create a Way Station
This long, rectangular combination laundry room mudroom from KG Designs has wall hooks for storing jackets and backpacks, bench seating for putting on shoes, and a pair of window seats where you can take a load off while you wait for the towels to finish drying.Continue to 13 of 21 below.
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Not every window is possessed of a picturesque view. This window seat from JK Interior Living faces a brick wall, but lets plenty of natural light into the mudroom, and includes a place for plants on the windowsill. The bench is outfitted with a generous smattering of plump pillows, and dark navy wall paint defines the window seat area.Continue to 14 of 21 below.
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Add a Spa-Like Feel
This spacious bathroom from Desiree Burns Interiors has enough room for large twin vanities, with a generous window seat tucked in between them that adds a spa-like feel. The window seat is built in beneath a large arched window with a view of the outdoors, a perfect place to paint your toenails or share a moment with your partner while admiring the leafy view.Continue to 15 of 21 below.
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Create a Kids Reading Corner
This kid-friendly corner window seat from Mindy Gayer Design Co. is decorated in keeping with the blue, white, and red theme of the room. Built-in drawers add storage, a thick upholstered seat provides comfort, and plenty of throw pillows and a spare blanket invite quiet time and encourage reading.Continue to 16 of 21 below.
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Add Bench Seating
In this roomy bedroom from Emily Henderson Design, the closets on either side of the far window make it impossible to install a built-in window seat. But there's room enough for a small wood bench that can serve as a perch for putting on shoes, sipping morning coffee, or daydreaming by the light of the window on a cold winter's day. Light billowy curtains scrape the floor and help fill in the empty space around the bench without looking heavy or encroaching on the closet doors.Continue to 17 of 21 below.
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Fill a Dead Space
This built-in window seat with under-bench storage from KG Designs turns the dead space of an empty hallway into a dedicated zone for reading, chilling, or seating waiting clients just outside of the home office.Continue to 18 of 21 below.
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Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made by Carmona gave her parents' rustic and traditional mountain home library a modern refresh with white paint, floor-to-ceiling shelving, and a built-in window seat for whiling the hours away reading, hanging out, and playing music in the shadow of the wood-burning stove.Continue to 19 of 21 below.
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