A window built into a thick wall very often leaves a recessed opening that gives into the room. It is the perfect place for snuggling into to read a book, to look out of the window, to do both, to sit to chat…Soft cushions on the seat and around will help make the space comfortable and welcoming. Any material that is appropriate to the room style can be used, even rugs and blankets. The fillings must be soft and welcoming too.

At around 40  – 42 cm (approx. 16″ ) high, such a window seat will be either be at the base of the window frame, or if the window is set higher, then cut into the wall lower down. The back of the window seat may be window frame, plaster or wooden panelling.

Opening up a thick wall below a  window that may be still, say 50 cms ( 20″ ) or more above it may seem futile, but it isn’t. It really works. By opening  up the space, the room and even as you walk past it,  the area seems so much  more inviting that it did before. Fill the back and sides with pillow sized cushions and watch people use it. The other thing that happens is that  more light enters the room and it comes in lower, to warm and send shafts of light over the floor.

In fact it doesn’t really matter if window seats aren’t used, as long as they aren’t cluttered  either  –  it’s the feeling that they could be, and the  extra light that comes into the space, and the new patterns it makes on the floor  that makes them so worthwhile.

A good tip, where there is any sign of condensation or a window might be left open, is to make the back half of the underside and the back gusset with water proofed or water resistant material. Also to move the cushion off  the seat in any room that isn’t in constant use or continuously aired and heated.

If a window seat isn’t possible for one reason or another, then a stool,  ottoman or chest pulled up in front, with a squashy cushion or two on it, can do the same thing.

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