Homes & Interiors

3 window seat design tips interior designers want you to know

There's more to window seat design than meets the eye – interior experts share what you need to know

Window seat design
(Image credit: Next)

While the elegance of a window seat has prevailed for centuries, there is an exceptionally high demand for this timeless feature at present, with search recently jumping by 54%. 

It is no surprise that this 18th-Century trend continues to stay in fashion – it exhibits the unmistakable charm of the period while offering a serene sanctuary to unwind in a modern living room. 

We wouldn't be surprised if you are already sold on a window seat, but before you make a move, we've taken three window seat design tips from a selection of celebrated interior designers that you need to remember before creating that perfect window space. 

See: Living room ideas – inspiring ways to decorate and furnish your space

1. Prioritize practicality

Window seat design

(Image credit: Neptune)

You may have fallen for the refined beauty of a window seat, but there is even more to this chic feature than you might expect. 

As the New York-based interior designer Tara Benet explains, a window seat's best asset is, in fact, its most secret. It has the ability to improve not only a window space but also declutter a room.

'Window seats are an attractive way to integrate hidden storage,' Tara shares. 'This is especially true for certain spaces such as playrooms, where there is lots of clutter that needs to be stowed away.

See: Window treatment ideas – ways with curtains, blinds and shutters for every room

Window seat design tips, window seat surrounded by bookcase

(Image credit: JMorris Design / Seth Caplan)

Jennifer Morris of JMorris Design also offered further ways to enjoy the secret versatility of window seats, revealing how you can use them to store 'books, games, or even a drink.'

2. Choose upholstery fabric carefully

Window seat design

(Image credit: Next)

Beyond its practicality, a window seat is, above all, aesthetic, and therefore, the choice of fabric is one of the most important steps in the process. 

In her discussion of the material, Jennifer reveals the factors that should influence your choice of fabric: 'sun glare and heat, privacy, air, and view.'

She continues: 'You typically apply these issues to window treatments, but they are important to review in a window seat because it could affect the fabric you use. The material should have some colorfastness if it gets blasted with the sun, so it won't get bleached out.

'You also need to think about the texture of the fabric and color,' the designer continued, before urging us to remember that some dark fabrics, such as vinyl, are notorious for 'trapping heat.'

Despite prioritizing the appearance of your fabric, Susana Simonpietri, Creative Director at Chango & Co, also urges us to keep practicality in mind, recommending 'high- performance fabric' that is 'sun-resistant' but can still 'take a beating from pets and little ones.' 

'Trust me – a sunny spot will be getting a lot of wear,' she added. 

See: 5 tips for choosing the best upholstery fabrics – from interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch

3. Create a flow between the indoor and outdoors

Window seat design, floral window seat set-up

(Image credit: Future)

With brighter seasons on the horizon, you may be wondering how to create an airy flow between your indoor and outdoor spaces. The unexpected answer, however, is in a window seat, as designer Margaux Lafond explains: 

'Window seats are a great way to bring the outside in and make use of an unused or awkward space for additional seating. This space typically becomes the perfect spot for a breakfast or reading nook if you add a few pillows, especially if you add a pendant light or a pair of sconces,' she shares. 

Margaux's suggestion is further emphasized by Jennifer Morris, who similarly urges us to 'consider the view aesthetics' to create a curated flow between the two spaces. 

Window seat design tips, window seat with view over river

(Image credit: Greenwich Historic by Chango & Co)

'Windows are a view out but also are a framed vignette of color and visual considerations that you invite into your space. Be mindful of what you are seeing and how it affects the area around the window,' Jennifer shares before encouraging us to 'play with colors from the outside space.'

Armed with these three tips, you can create a perfectly practical, but nonetheless elegant window space. Remember to choose your fabric wisely so that your window seat brings the colors of the great outdoors inside whilst resisting wear and tear for years to come. Then enjoy the serenity and secret storage space this asset delivers.