movin' on up
March 9, 2011 10:55 AM   Subscribe

what should I do with this bay window? breakfast nook? reading nook? napping nook? Never had a bay window before. What did you do with yours?

Its a really nice bay window. I'll put curtains on it (ivory or sand, with a scarf to hide the hardware). I've stood in it a while and gazed out of it, which is nice to do, but feel like i should put the bay-space to some kind of use.

should I read/eat/or nap in there? or something else?

what did you do with your bay window space that you liked?

here's a pic of said bay window.

posted by jak68 to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Gorgeous! What direction does it face? If there's good light I'd do a mini-conservatory with lots of lovely plants, instead of curtains. (If you're short on plants try freecycle/craigslist.)
posted by cyndigo at 11:04 AM on March 9, 2011

I love these movable benches with shelves at Etsy. Yours would be angled instead of curved. So instead of having an actual custom made built in, you could do something like that. You can then have plants and herbs to take advantage of the light, and also a place to nap, with cushions and pillows you keep underneath on the shelves. You could upholster the tops to make them extra cushy, too. I just love stuff you can move around and make do double duty, which is why I like non-built ins in some cases. The benches also provide extra seating banquette-style if you have a lot of people over or if you pull a table up.
posted by iconomy at 11:04 AM on March 9, 2011

Low, open shelving and a bunch of plants (is what I would do).
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:05 AM on March 9, 2011

Do you paint? Do you write? It just screams "CREATE" to me. I made a little sewing and craft area out of my bay window, and really like that, but that is what I needed most out of the space.

I think you should look at the rest of your living space and decide what is missing.

If you do make it into an eating area, a nice chandelier will look gorgeous.

Congrats on the new place!
posted by Nickel Pickle at 11:09 AM on March 9, 2011

Put a desk in front of it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:10 AM on March 9, 2011

I'd put in a low comfortable loveseat and plants so you can curl up and read there. And it is additional social seating for guests.
posted by bearwife at 11:10 AM on March 9, 2011

It looks like you might have nice light, but not necessarily a great view out that window. I recommend a chaise--maybe the lovely Corbusier LC4, or the Eames recliner, if you're feeling the mid-century vibe. Great for reading, great for napping.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:11 AM on March 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, and we do have a bay window too. Very popular with our kitties! We have a black leather love seat in the nook.
posted by bearwife at 11:11 AM on March 9, 2011

Put a desk in front of it.

...but face it the other way. Every day on my way back from the train I pass an apartment with a bay window/desk setup like that. I can see everything on the dude's computer. Even that one time he was watching porn. With all the blinds open.
posted by phunniemee at 11:25 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ok first, I've wanted a bay window forever. So I am jealous!

Second, I would consider doing roller shades, like this, for the windows rather than a curtain.

Third, I would want to put in something a lot like what iconomy said up there. Custom would be extra awesome, but if it's not in the budget there are lots of benches out there.
posted by grapesaresour at 11:37 AM on March 9, 2011

put a cat in it

Or, if you DJ, set up your decks and speakers, throw open the windows and street party every weekend morning.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 11:45 AM on March 9, 2011

Personally, I would put a little table with two chairs right there where you could work or read in the sun, or eat breakfast, or have a private dinner for two, or whatever.

But I like all the other ideas too!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:46 AM on March 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

Padded bench with layers of curtains across the front that can be opended or closed for privacy/reading book. That's what we did. We used a length of copper pipe for the curtains, which were see through, colorful and beaded on the bottom.
posted by vitabellosi at 11:55 AM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you own or rent -- could you do something permanent?

I would go for something with storage underneath. You could do cabinets, shelves, whatever. Maybe you could do open shelving suitable for holding baskets as "drawers," but easy to remove and use as bookshelves. Check places like Ikea, Target, etc. to see the standard bin sizes and measure accordingly.

This absolutely sounds like a job for Ikea Hacker. I think the toughest part of anything like this is not having particular kinds of saws, etc. around, but with a drill and a reasonably inexpensive hand saw you could do it yourself quite easily.

Do you have kids, or plan to have them in the future? Being able to close off an area like this with curtains (as mentioned above) is awesome for hiding and/or snuggling, but even awesomer for hiding clutter and kid paraphernalia :) It'd be a great height for toy storage, too, and would easily transition from adult book storage (NOT THAT KIND) to kid storage back to adult storage.
posted by Madamina at 12:21 PM on March 9, 2011

Depending on your personal taste and design sense, that could be a good spot for a big beanbag chair or pillow. Works for reading and napping both!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:45 PM on March 9, 2011

I have something like that, and I have a reading chair and a foot stool in it. Actually, the chair is a rocking chair. Nooks are nice. Enjoy!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:01 PM on March 9, 2011

Response by poster: thanks for the compliments and ideas! Please keep em coming if you have more.
It faces north and gets lots of light for most of the whole day, which is really nice.
posted by jak68 at 1:02 PM on March 9, 2011

Nice nook. Whatever you do, don't forget plants!

(...nice floor too, by the way.)
posted by cool breeze at 2:46 PM on March 9, 2011

I think it would be a great place to put a desk.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:55 PM on March 9, 2011

I have a bay window like yours! Our cats love to sit on the windowsills and watch the birds and squirrels.

I like vitabellosi's idea, with the chair behind curtains for privacy, because that sounds like the best reading spot ever and I would adore it. We have floor-length curtains on ours already, though.

Anyway, I also found this DIY window bench with storage that would be lovely in your space.
posted by misha at 4:41 PM on March 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

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