10 Ways to Fake a Window Seat Even as a Renter

published Apr 13, 2018
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(Image credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion)

Nothing speaks to my bookworm heart as much as window seat, but, as a renter, I thought my dreams of a window seat would have to wait. Apparently other renters felt the same. These clever folks DIY-ed their cozy nooks and now we can all have a reading haven!

Note that most of the window seat DIYs out there aren’t “from scratch” but start with IKEA products as a base. I chalk this up to IKEA hacks not requiring a full workshop (that renters probably don’t have) and the flatpack pieces make it a breeze to haul up to an apartment.

This DIY bench from Wit & Delight is a storage dream that also integrates so beautifully into their existing living room decor. She used SEKTION cabinets as a start, and worked up from there.

And here’s a classic! By now the flipped cube bookshelf into a bench has been a staple hack. It’s not only easy to make, but has storage- a renter’s dream. atelier de curiosite doesn’t just stop there though. They used an IKEA LACK bookshelf as a front base and build out a back that opens for even more storage and lounging! This particular unit is no longer available but the KALLAX should do the trick just as well.

Marie Mersier uses a mix of BESTA cabinets for a sleek seat that doubles as a display and looks positively cheerful with the bright cushions.

Molly uses two NORDLI dressers to take advantage of her corner window. These dressers are shorter than your average dresser, making it just right for a storage seat. She also says the dressers comfortably support her and her husband’s weight. (Also lead image above.)

Vivian pulls together several IKEA pieces (2 ALEX Drawer Units, 1 Double, and 1 Single BESTA shelf unit) for a window seat that looks built-in.

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Shannon put her standard cabinets on casters for flexible seating & storage. This one is a bit more work than the IKEA hacks as you’ll need to build a frame to support the casters. Full directions are available over on Home Depot.

Fake the look of built-ins by matching your window seat top to your window frame like this one Inbetween Architecture. It will make your window seat look like it was always meant to be there.

Flank your window seat with taller side tables in the same color for the perfect place for your tea and books, as seen in Vanessa Alexander’s home on My Domaine. Bonus points for matching the wall paint for a seamless look.

Or really carve out a reading nook with bookshelf end caps! I’ve seen people turn the bookshelf out, but I really love how theses shelves from Habitat Collective face the window seat.

Once your window seat is made, outfit it with a tufted cushion! Erin found that custom cushions were expensive and sewing a box cushion was easier than expected. Urban Outfitters sells 27″x74″ cushions that are similar and I can vouch they make great guest beds.