Eke Out More Space: Put Your Windowsills to Work

Eke Out More Space: Put Your Windowsills to Work

Tess Wilson
Apr 11, 2017

When you're scouring your apartment for any other possible space to stash books, magazines, plants, or anything else, don't overlook the windows! A windowsill or window frame is basically a built-in shelf that you don't have to buy or build, so make the most of it—and enhance your view while you're at it.

Windowsills are often the perfect depth to hold books and are especially handy for a window that's right next to the bed. There's no reason not to fill the entire sill, just be sure that you don't care whether the books you store this way fade!

This window holds a delightful variety of helpful accessories that are far too pretty to hide away in cupboards.

In a very small bathroom, a windowsill acts as an additional medicine cabinet. Keep bathroom staples like cotton balls, face wipes, tampons and soap looking neat (and right on-hand for you and your guests) by storing them out of their store packaging and in see-through jars.

In another bathroom, a windowsill serves as gallery wall and plant shelf, all whilst providing privacy.

If you can store your shower essentials on a windowsill, you won't have to mess with inevitably frustrating shower caddies. Bonus points if your shampoo and conditioner are prettily packaged or if you decant them into uniform vessels.

A window frame provides a few inches—or more, if you're lucky—of space in which your skillets and pans can nestle. Just install a pot rack across the frame and make the most of that extra space.

A collection of costume jewelry is stored on a windowsill (featured on Refinery29), turning an unused space into a glittering wonderland that's easily accessible.

Windowsill as plant shelf is a no-brainer, and building multiple shelves into your deep-set window frame like Emily Henderson did above maximizes your growing space. Plants get the light they need, they're all corralled for easy watering, and even the dingiest view is enhanced when viewed through lush greenery.

(Image credit: VISIONDIVISION)

If you happen to have deep window wells like those above from The Gold Brain, you can install shelves to hold all kinds of things. This house in Norway boasts window shelves that accommodate books, ceramics, firewood, knickknacks, and even a workstation.

(Image credit: Ollie & Sebs Haus)

Magazines are notoriously tricky (and overwhelming) to store, so stacking them on a windowsill a la Ollie & Sebs Haus keeps them corralled yet close at hand. Weighing them down with candles keeps pages from flapping when the window is open and adds to the feeling of luxury.

This deep kitchen windowsill from Freunde Von Freunden—extend narrow sills with a board painted to match—is the setting for a lush still-life of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and books, adding beauty to the room while saving precious counter space.

Much like a fireplace mantel, a windowsill can unify and elevate a random collection of art, trinkets, cards, and other ephemera as seen here, from Refinery29.

(Image credit: Teen Vogue)

Finally, give your best shoes the exposure they deserve—especially if you don't get to wear them as often as you'd like, like in this inspiration shot from Teen Vogue. As with the plant example above, you could install multiple shelves to increase both display space and privacy. Just be sure to rotate your collection regularly so your faves don't fade (or opt for a UV-blocking window film to be on the safe side).

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