Deciding what to place in front of a living room window can be a fun yet challenging design dilemma. Do you fill it with seating, storage, greenery, or something else entirely?
This comprehensive guide features no less than 12 unique ideas – ranging from sofas and bookcases to window boxes and floor cushions – that will inspire you to make the most of this valuable space.
Discover clever tips for selecting the optimal furniture dimensions and materials to avoid blocking views and natural light. Get creative with zone-defining layouts like a cozy reading nook or plant corner.
Plus, glean useful decorating advice for making your window the focal point with mirrors, artwork, and more.
With this wealth of innovative ideas and expert guidance, you’ll be motivated to transform your window area into a functional yet eye-catching design feature.
Make the Most of Your Living Room Window With These 5 Design Tips
- Use sheer or lightweight window treatments – Curtains or shades made from light, breezy fabrics allow sunlight to filter through while still providing privacy and softening strong light.
- Incorporate versatile seating – Chairs and sofas on casters or with lightweight frames are easy to move so you can adjust seating to follow the sunlight.
- Add flexible lighting – Try portable lamps so you can illuminate seating areas or workspaces as needed at different times of the day.
- Define spaces creatively – Use area rugs, room dividers, or clever furniture arrangements to delineate reading nooks, work zones, and conversation areas.
- Maximize vertical storage – Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, wall-mounted cabinets, floating shelves, and narrow plant stands utilize wall space without blocking light.
1. Sofa or Couch
One of the most popular and functional options in front of a living room window is a sofa or couch. Positioning your sofa in front of a window allows you to take advantage of the natural light. It creates an inviting spot to lounge and relax.
Just be sure to choose a sofa with a low profile or back that won’t obstruct too much of your view or sunlight. Floating sofas or couches can work beautifully. You can then add accessories like throw pillows and blankets to make it extra cozy. This setup works well in small and large living rooms alike.
2. Accent Chairs
For a more intimate seating arrangement, consider placing a pair of accent chairs in front of your living room window instead of a full sofa. The chairs can be positioned facing each other with a small table in between to create a conversation nook.
This also works well with just one accent chair or armchair. Add an ottoman or pouf to put your feet up as you read by the window. Accent chairs come in endless styles, so you can easily find options to match your living room’s aesthetic.
3. Window Bench
Custom built-in window benches maximize both seating and storage. But you can also create a similar look with a storage bench or ottoman bench placed in front of your window. Choose one that fits perfectly within the window frame. Then use decorative pillows or cushions to make it extra comfortable.
Window benches are great for giving kids a safe place to read or play. You can also use the space for displaying potted plants or other cherished items. Just be sure to measure carefully so it does not end up blocking too much sunlight.
For a relaxed and ultra-cozy vibe, opt for a daybed in front of your living room window. The lightweight profile makes it easy to move and rearrange as needed. Make sure to load it up with plush pillows and blankets to create an irresistible napping spot.
Position a daybed horizontally in front of a large window or place it longitudinally against a narrow window. The natural light will make it feel bright and airy. A daybed can also function as extra seating when company is over. Just add a bolster or more pillows to create a backrest.
In small living rooms, space comes at a premium. That’s where a dresser comes in handy for filling the empty area under your window. Opt for a dresser with a clean-lined design that coordinates well with your décor.
Use the top to showcase framed photos, potted plants, candles, or other decorative accents. The drawers provide out-of-sight storage to help keep clutter contained. This is an especially practical solution if your living room also functions as a guest room or office.
Bookworms will adore the opportunity to install a built-in window seat and bookshelf combination. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on either side of a wide window can hold your entire library. Add a cozy cushion atop for lounging with the latest bestseller.
You can create a similar effect with a low console bookshelf under the window. Style it with greenery, framed art, and your favorite titles. Extend the bookshelf upward if you have a tall window. This will draw the eye up and make your space appear larger.
Creating a dedicated work zone in your living room? Position a small desk or table in front of the window. This gives you a pleasant view while tackling your to-do list. Plus, the natural sunlight provides an instant energy boost!
If the window faces west, add lightweight curtains or a roller shade to prevent afternoon glare on your computer screen. When it’s time to relax, simply pivot your chair toward the living room and enjoy the fresh air.
8. Console Table
A narrow console table is one of the most versatile pieces to put under a living room window. Use it to display decorative objects like candles, vases, baskets, and trays. Or keep it simple with just a table lamp or small potted plant.
The low profile won’t obstruct sunlight or views. Console tables also come with or without storage shelves and drawers underneath to stash clutter out of sight. An easy way to make this zone multi-functional for both decorating and organization needs.
9. Floor Seating
If you want to keep the window area open, consider placing a padded rug or floor cushions in front of the window instead of furniture. Add sheer curtains just above to filter the sunlight streaming in.
This creates a comfortable spot to unwind that won’t block any of the exterior views. It’s also easy to rearrange or remove floor seating when you want to completely clear the space. Use it to soak up some rays on sunny days or gaze at the moon and stars at night.
10. Window Boxes
One of the prettiest ways to decorate the window itself is by mounting window boxes on the exterior sill and filling them with colorful blooms. Opt for compact plant varieties like pansies, petunias, and geraniums that will thrive.
This adds lovely pops of color and life that you can enjoy from indoors. It creates instant curb appeal and brings nature right up to the glass. If the window boxes are visible, make sure they coordinate nicely with your exterior paint colors.
Here’s a clever tip for making your living room feel brighter and more spacious: hang a large mirror on the wall opposite your window. This will reflect even more natural light throughout the entire room. The mirror also creates the illusion of a larger area.
Ensure the mirror is high enough to not block your actual view and sunlight. Consider flanking the mirror with sconces or pendant lights to create a beautiful vignette on the wall. This opens up and illuminates the space beautifully.
12. Plants and Trees
Nothing beats the infusion of fresh greenery from large houseplants or potted trees placed in front of windows. Choose varieties well-suited for bright sunlight. The plants will thrive in this location while purifying your indoor air.
Go for tall, columnar trees like fiddle leaf figs, areca palms, or snake plants that can reach impressive heights in slender pots. Their vertical shape won’t spread out too far to block sunlight. Let their fronds and leaves filter the light streaming in for a tropical oasis vibe.
Tips for Decorating in Front of Living Room Windows
- Focus on selecting furniture and décor options that enhance the natural light rather than obstructing it. Sheer curtains, lower bookcases, floating sofas or benches, and floor seating are all great light-maximizing choices.
- Make sure furnishings are low or narrow enough to not entirely block views and sunlight from other parts of the room. Measure window and furniture heights carefully.
- Incorporate multiple textures, layers, heights, and materials to create an appealing vignette. For example, pair a bench with a rug, pouf, and floor lamp.
- Use the window area to create defined spaces and zones within your open-concept living room, like a reading nook or plant corner.
- Take advantage of vertical storage and wall space with bookshelves, wall-mounted cabinets, art, mirrors, and floating shelves on either side of the windows.
- Opt for slip-covered furniture, rugs, and curtains in light colors and materials that won’t fade from sun exposure over time.
- Make the window a focal point by decorating the surrounding walls and adding lighting above or on either side to create ambiance during the day and evening.
The possibilities are truly endless when determining what to put in front of a living room window. Just be creative and choose items that speak to your personal style, storage needs, and activity preferences.
With these versatile ideas, you can easily design a window area that is both functional and picturesque.