WINDOW SEAT

Window seats are inviting, add architectural invest and even provide extra storage.

Dreamy and romantic, window seats are the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of tea on a winter day, simply take in a pretty view or make a cozy spot in the sun for your cat to nap. Window seats are inviting, creating a comfy spot to read a book. It's also a great way to add some architectural interest to your home.

Bay window

When there's a bay window in a home, it beckons for a window seat. These windows have space that often goes unutilized, so a seat that has added storage is a terrific way to use the space, add charm and build in extra storage. However, because the bay window has a unique shape, it will require a built-in cabinet to pull off the look.

Your local cabinet maker or craftsman can build a seat, and by adding doors at the front or a hinged lid up top, you can squeeze in some extra space to store cushions, blankets or other items. If you're handy, adding a window seat isn't that hard if you can handle the angled cuts. Bay windows in a dining area are natural for a window seat, so adding one here will give you a unique seating option for your dining table and a view to boot.

Standard window

A window at the end of a bedroom also makes a terrific spot for a seat. If the window is centered on the wall, adding in bookshelves can create a window seat that looks like a custom build and gives you an extra display or storage area with surrounding bookshelves. The Aubrey window seat and bookshelf combo from Pottery Barn is an easy to install and readymade window seat just waiting for a book and a cup of tea. The Ryland banquette, also from Pottery Barn, is another window seat that's ready to install and, with a few cushions, can turn a simple window and dining table into a space-saving banquette.

Window bench

If you're renting or simply want to make a window seat in a pinch, adding a window seat bench below a window will encourage you to sit and linger. Add a bench under a foyer window to create a cozy spot for a guest to wait or for you to put on shoes before you leave the house.

Of course, not all built-in window seats need to be enclosed. A window seat bench can be built under a window that has room beneath. These make good spots to store books, shoes or backpacks. Better still, a window seat bench such as this can be made easily from some antique corbels, topped with a sturdy plank and then topped with a cushion. Love long naps? Create a window seat bench bed for a snuggly spot to linger or an impromptu bed for overnight guests.

(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.)