Bay and bow windows: they’re my homeowner’s dream, but they can be a novice decorator’s nightmare. They look gorgeous from the outside — and they let sunlight flood into your home —however, they often create a corner of space that’s a bit difficult to fill without some creative inspiration.

It turns out that there are ample ways to spruce up the alcove created by your attention-grabbing windows, and they’ll look just as great inside as the panes do from the outside. Read on to see four ideas. You might just find the one design that jumps out at you just like the bay window did in the first place.

Take a Seat

Your bay window is a picture frame through which you can see the outdoors. How much time do you spend enjoying the view? The wide-openness might just be the reason why so many designers and homeowners decide to turn the bay-window alcove into a bench.

There are seemingly endless examples of how to do this, but most models follow the same form: you build a shaped bench to fit in flush with the dimensions of your alcove. Most send to build it out of wood but I’ve seen a few classy benches built from colored concrete that looked awesome! You then create a plush cushion, throw on a few pillows and have a seat.



Take Advantage

Your alcove doesn’t just have to be a nice place to sit. Unlike armchairs or sofas, your bench has the advantage of having a hollow interior. This means you can turn it into valuable storage.

The simplest forms of storage are probably shelves. They would suit a bookworm swimmingly, and it transforms the base of your bench into a focal point. Furthermore, if you happen to have shelves in the room — especially shelves that surround your bay window — a shelf in the bench could tie the whole space together.

Of course, you might not want to put your items on display. Children’s toys, for example, would be well hidden in a bench with cabinet doors, drawers or even wicker baskets placed into cubbyholes. In fact, you could store anything — office supplies, printers and scanners, linens, secret Christmas presents — inside of these compartments to maintain the clean facade of the bench.

Take a Bite

It appears as though most architects place bay windows in spaces that just so happen to become offices, libraries and playrooms. Some, however, end up in the kitchen.

Now, this might put you in quite the pickle, because you probably don’t make a point to lay down and read a book in your kitchen. Fear not: the bay-window bench has its place in your eating space, too.

You probably can’t fit your kitchen table inside of the alcove unless it’s rather large and your table is on the small side. If that’s the case, use the bench as seating on one of the table’s sides and voila. You’ve got ample seating for family, friends and everyone else who pops by for dinner. No foldout chairs required.

Take a Message

There are plenty of options when it comes to turning your bay window into a bench. However, there are many other ways to accentuate this architectural asset.

In a multifunctional room, an alcove can be a great place to tuck away a home office or study space. Your bay window provides the perfect shape for a custom desk. You can sit with your back to all of the activity happening behind you so you can concentrate, and the outdoor views won’t hurt your creative process, either.

But not everyone wants or needs office space. In that case, a flat surface can serve as a place on which to display antiques, family photos, memorabilia and more. You might even find that your bay-window shelf is the perfect home for a flat-screen television, cable box, DVD player and speakers, so long as you hang some light-blocking drapes behind it.

What design suits your space best?