17 Cozy Window Seats for Readers, Loungers and Daydreamers

With an inviting mix of furnishings and accessories, a cushioned bench with a view might just become the most coveted spot in the house.
A playroom with a window seat by interior designer Kati Curtis
Photo by Thomas Loof

Interior designer Kati Curtis mixed styles and eras when reenvisioning the formal dining room of a 1920s Tudor home in Brookline, Massachusetts as a playroom. Traditional sconces by Visual Comfort provide reading light for the room’s window seat, which brilliantly doubles as a toy chest. In the same corner, a sculptural Eames for Herman Miller stool keeps company with a playfully upholstered vintage chair under a pair of brutalist chandeliers; all were 1stDibs finds. Accents in the fanciful Landry & Acari rug underfoot pick up on the vibrant red of the walls.

A bedroom with a window seat by interior design firm Solís Betancourt & Sherril
Photo by K. Willis

The serene primary bedroom of a Hamptons beach house by Solís Betancourt & Sherrill may look like it has always had a window seat, but the firm’s principals, Jose Solís Betancourt and Paul Sherrill, introduced it when they renovated the Watermill, New York, home. Solís Betancourt notes that they needed to accommodate HVAC ducting and add storage to the room. Those structural modifications allowed them to create the inviting nook. In keeping with the residence’s French country vibe, the designers installed two pairs of antique window frames that afford access to the storage closets. They found treasures to complete the space on 1stDibs, including a demilune table and mirror from Churchill Galleries as well as a 19th-century French armchair from Côté Jardin Antiques.

A home office with a window seat by interior designer Marea Clark
Photo by Bess Friday

In a Craftsman home in San Francisco designed by Marea Clark, the window in the client’s study looks out over Presidio National Park and the Golden Gate Bridge. “With that view, it was important to make the space special,” says Clark. “The room is swathed in wood paneling, so we wanted to honor the history and depth of the space while bringing in some fresh new pieces and color.”

Clark used a mix of fabrics to reference the room’s wood tones and the nature outside the window while adding texture and pattern. The circa 1980 walnut desk table and the client’s own captain’s chair also harmonize with the wood-paneled walls. The globe sconce is by the Urban Electric Company.

A living room with a bay window seat by interior designer Nathan Turner
Photo by Victoria Pearson

When designing a 1930s Hollywood Regency–style house in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, Nathan Turner bathed the living room bay-window seat in a soft lavender to create a jewel-box vibe. He then turned to France for the furnishings — literally. A shopping trip there with the client yielded some stunning vintage pieces, including the delicate gold-toned tasseled stool and the dainty nailhead-trimmed desk chair. The Lucite-and-brass desk, however, was purchased in neighboring Belgium.

A dining room with a window seat by interior designer Katie Ridder
Photo by Eric Piasecki

Katie Ridder used the window seat in the dining room of a prewar apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue to create a serene moment in the busy city. She paired the banquette with an antique table and chair and tied the room together with a rug that picks up on the striking blue-lacquered walls.

A home office with a window seat by interior design firm Hines Collective
Photography: William Jess Laird

The office in a Connecticut family home is a perfect place to work, daydream or just dream if there’s time for a nap. Devin Hines, founder of Hines Collective, and his team furnished the minimalist space with vintage pieces that he found on 1stDibs, including a Hans Wegner daybed from Mid Century Mobler and a Warren Platner for Knoll stone-topped table from Tom Gibbs Studio. A vintage walnut chair complements the custom built-in desk. For the window seat, “we wanted to lean in to the idea of a room within a room,” Hines says. “So, we focused on creating an area of respite where one could step away from the usual day-to-day office activities to take a call, have some coffee or just take a beat before sending the next email.”

A home office with a window seat by interior designer Kylee Shintaffer
Photo by Haris Kenjar

Tasked with creating a study, reading and storage space in the former library of a 1930s brick Italian Renaissance Revival home in Seattle, Kylee Shintaffer ingeniously built alcoves around each of the room’s windows. A black-lacquered oak desk and an Oly Studio chair upholstered in fabric by Kravet make up the work area, with a brass martini table from Revival Home by the window seat giving the client a place to unwind at the end of the day. Another brass piece — a globe lantern ceiling fixture by Vaughan Designs — sheds light on things, while a wool flat-weave rug provides cohesion.

A window seat under a stone stairway by DHD Architecture & Interior Design
Photo by David Joseph

The hacienda-style home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, by DHD Architecture & Interior Design may measure 12,000 square feet, but the siesta nook the team tucked under a stone staircase is the epitome of snug. Everything in it, from the lighting to the handloomed cushion and pillows, was sourced locally. Those choices “just added so much texture, history and character to this modern hacienda and felt really contemporary at the same time,” explains firm partner Steffani Aarons. Only the rug, a vintage piece belonging to the clients, came from elsewhere.

A bunk room with a window seat by interior design firm Studio DB
Photo by Matthew Williams

Studio DB tucked some thoughtful amenities into a guest room in a four-story beach house in New Jersey. “We designed the bunk room with hidden storage and charging stations,” says firm cofounder Britt Zunino. “The window seat maximizes the ocean views and creates additional seating for reading and hanging out.”

The room’s nautical blue and sunny yellow evoke a perfect beach day, which is appropriate for a home located on the Jersey Shore. Zunino used a Moroccan rug, flush-mount ceiling light with a hardwood canopy and vintage-inspired red sconces to deck out the space.

A den with a window seat by interior design firm Cloth & Kind
Photo by Sarah Dorio

In an Atlanta showhouse, Krista Nye Nicholas and Tami Ramsay, founders of Cloth & Kind, used muted colors, geometric patterns and comfy furnishings to make a bonus room over the garage into a den that works for daytime reading just as well as it does for evening cocktails. “We loved transforming this space,” Nicholas says. “Especially the daybed area, because you can’t help but be drawn into it — sunny and moody spots alike beckon you to take a seat and abide awhile.”

The team reupholstered a vintage wingback chair to provide additional seating and placed a tree-trunk coffee table to serve as a spot to set down a cocktail or coffee. On the floor, they added texture with an antique runner over a neutral jute rug.

A parlor with a window seat by interior designer Sarah Vaile
Photo by Micheal Kaskel

In designing the parlor of a 100-year-old Greek Revival home in Lake Forest, Illinois, Sarah Vaile used the window-seat area to pay tribute to the family’s love of games. A game table with a Greek key motif acts as the focal point. It’s flanked by the clients’ existing chairs reupholstered in Schumacher chevron velvet; the Roman shades and bolster are done in the brand’s Thistle pattern. A vintage chessboard sits at the ready, waiting for competitors.

A home office with a window seat by interior designer Avery Cox
Photo by Lindsay Brown

The owner of a 1920s bungalow in Atlanta asked Avery Cox to restore the charm that had been stripped from the house over the decades. “The window seat is a coveted feature that embodies the essence of comfort and nostalgia,” Cox says. “The built-ins surrounding it enhance its charm, creating a sense of intimacy and enclosure within the larger space.”

The rich colors of the reupholstered vintage chaise longue and Balkan Bessarabian floral kilim rug add some punch to the office, while the mixture of patterns, books and art enhance the layered, personal feel.

A staircase landing with a window seat by interior designer Casey Kenyon
Photo by Chris Mottalini

Casey Kenyon cleverly took advantage of the natural light in the staircase landing of a 1910 townhouse in Manhattan’s West Village to create an airy reading nook. Next to the daybed-style window seat, adorned with an antique tapestry pillow and kantha quilt, a Spanish gilt-metal cocktail table and a Cedric Hartman floor lamp provide all that’s needed for a lazy afternoon with a favorite book.

A guest bedroom with a window seat by interior designer Marylou Sobel
Photo by Anson Smart

The current owners of an Arts and Crafts home in Sydney, Australia, that’s been in their family for four generations brought in Marylou Sobel Interior Design to refresh the decor. “They asked us to preserve its past while embracing a colorful future,” Sobel says. That included sprucing up a handsome but dark built-in window seat in a guest bedroom. “The bench seat is original, down to the stained-glass windows and the ceiling, which still has horsehair plaster.”

Sobel designed the custom pillows and curtains and placed a wooden pedestal nearby for a plant or cut flowers, to give the area a light, welcoming feel.

A den with a window seat by interior design firm ABD Studio
Photo by Suzanna Scott Photography

The den of a San Francisco Edwardian home designed by ABD Studio was carefully conceived to accommodate both work and play. The usual mirrored top on the Made Goods faux-shagreen coffee table, for example, was replaced with a wood-veneer inlay to deter cheating at cards. The custom oak window seating was added to take maximum advantage of the view of the Laurel Heights neighborhood.

Two slimmer pieces, Lawson-Fenning’s Thin Frame lounge chair in antiqued brass with brown leather upholstery and Jonathan Adler’s Rider X-bench in an upbeat print, offer more places to sit around the table, as does a hide layered atop the vintage rug. Ravenhill Studio’s three-arm Church pendant hangs above.

A bedroom alcove with a window seat by interior design firm Hendricks Churchill
Photo by Tim Lenz

In a riverside cottage in Connecticut, Heide Hendricks and Rafe Churchill, the principals of Hendricks Churchill, framed a windowed alcove within the primary bedroom with a dynamic light blue paint. They accented the custom bench with comfortable pillows and an Adirondack-style root table resting on a hide rug. “We wanted to draw the eye out to the river,” Hendricks says. “This window nook is a prized spot in the home to read and enjoy views of the property throughout the day.”

An attic room with a pair of window seats by interior design firm Reath Design
Photo by Laure Joliet

Frances Merrill, founder of Reath Design, took on the full renovation of a 1925 Woodside, California, Tudor for a family of six. “This was an unfinished attic when we started the project,” Merrill notes. “We needed to carve out three children’s bedrooms and baths, and a hangout space. Fitting it all in was a challenge, but adding the dormers meant we had the ideal spot for a pair of window seats.” Pierre Frey wallpaper envelopes the nooks, while a vintage Moroccan rug and Jieldé sconces complete the space.

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