Hackers Help

Published on December 9th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Hacker help: Double Window Sills

Description: I need some help on what to do with this space in my kitchen. It is two window sills in a corner. One is 5 ft wide and the other is 6ft wide, both are 2 ft in depth. I can’t take the bench out, because the windows stick out of the house.

It is in the corner of my kitchen. Maybe someone can help me out with what to do here. Maybe a built in table? Shelves?

Any help is appreciated. Maybe give me a place someone can help me? Thank you!

~ Daniel Forsyth

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Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

15 Responses to Hacker help: Double Window Sills

  1. Katey Lady says:

    I think paint and moving the curtains will make a huge difference. Right now it looks like “Window with an alcove in it”, if the walls inside matched the walls in the rest of the room, and the curtains only covered the actual window part, it would look like “alcove with a window in it” instead.

    Is that linoleum on the ledges? If its easy to remove, replace it with some wood- I think laminate flooring would work fine.

    If you were more ambitous I’d suggest building out the sides to have shelves for cookbooks and plants. Perhaps you could build the shelves to fit Ikea bins and use them to store appliances and stuff too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have you seen The Killing, the Danish version? There are amazing windows in the kitchen of the family home. To recreate this you would take away the valances and use a pale grey/blue or white around the windows, but here is the lovely thing – there are glass shelves going straight across the windows, from one wall to the other, seeming to float. On these shelves are different colored glassware, lovely green plants and clean-looking ceramics. A simple blind would be drawn over the whole thing at night. A single pendant light would hang in the middle of each window. See if you can find a picture online – I think it would look amazing recreated in these windows.

  3. pyrops says:

    Remove the blinds and valance, put shelf inserts or do a floating “shelf” like this one (though you can go thicker since your niches are pretty deep). http://www.houseplantsguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Displaying-Plants-on-Shelves-2.jpg

    Fill with your pretty house plants, maybe some small potted herbs since you’re in the kitchen area. They key is to NOT overcome the shelves with plants, you’d want to still see outside through the plants and let some light in too.

    Hang curtains or rolling blinds at the lip of the window niche.

  4. Kelly says:

    I think I see a table right in front of those windows? If that’s the case – how about removing the existing table and creating a built-in table by (building/purchasing) a large piece of wood or other material and notching it out so it fits inside/up to the windows and rests on the ledges. So, it will sit inside in the window spaces and will have the corner notched to fit around the casing, etc. – and while you won’t have chairs backing up to the windows any more, you now have a very large work/eating space with plenty of room around the perimeter for people to sit. I think it might unclutter the space visually, as well.

    And, how about some roman shades? I think they look great over recessed windows.

  5. Maria, North Carolina says:

    just remember if you are making it a seating area the windows/glass have to be somekind of safety glass just incase you have a child or people that like to lean back against the window.
    Get rid of the vallance and the grey it makes it pop out to much including the blinds neutral is better in this case.
    Make some shelves for the corners of the window and display colored glass bottles/jars, spices, cookbooks, family pictures and or just some items that scream kitchen. Perfect place for cats to lay and avoid making it a dumping ground for little or big items.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Can you comment more on whether you are looking for function or fun? Do you have cats? This would make an awesome cat station area (see some of the pet hacks) and you could put a bird feeder outside one of the windows for entertainment. Of course if you do not have cats, then this is of no value to you.
    If you do not use the windows at all, you could do a built in shelf, standing desk area. Shelves on either side and then an elevated center for computer console. But this would cut off the window as an emergency exit, for fire safety purposes that might not be a good idea if there is no other exit in the room.
    It is an unusual space so will be interesting to see which way you go. Hope you come back and post the finished project.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree with many of the comments – but I think you could make the sills seating if you modified or replaced the table. I would consider a taller table – maybe a “pub height”. You may want to add a foot rail under the sill if it’s really high (like on a bar stool) to make it more comfortable. I hope that helps.

  8. Anthony says:

    You can remove the bench! I would build a frame below the windows and remove the wall below the bench and continue the floor out as the windows hang outside the frame you will not need a footing just depends what your floor is constructed of, if it’s timber you can canterlever the joists out from the existing floor if its concrete you can either build a timber floor or pour some new concrete the frame below the windows can be clad with boards, cement sheet, ect depends on what the rest of the house is clad with.

  9. First things first; I agree that the valances need to go. They look nice by themselves but don’t fit in the room that well.

    Looking at the first picture I’m estimating that the sills are about the height of a table? Assuming that, They wouldn’t make too good of a seating area. It has been suggested to raise the floor and create a stage-like area, but I always have my doubts with a project like that. For one, you’d need a room high enough to not make it seem as if the ceiling comes crashing down. Secondly, the room needs to be large enough to sustain the dividing line between the regular floor and the stage, which takes up more space than you’d imagine. And lastly, although cool, it is a massive build to make. It’ll leave your entire room useless for a while, all so that you can use the sills as seating areas.

    Instead, I would suggest the following:
    1. Get rid of the valices and the shades, replace the shades with a simple curtain to only cover the window, or even taint the glass. There are these special strips of fabric to stick on your window, but I have no idea what those are called in English :)
    2. leave the walls the colors they are, including the grey in the sills. I quite like it. Then take some plywood, and make a few shelves to hang in the corners, and paint them the same shade of white as the walls are. Do not cross the window, but put them in the corners, on even heights. Fill them with jars and spices etc, and simply use a plant in front of your window as a centerpiece.

    Its a corner with a lot of potential to really support the kitchen, so Happy DIYing, and let us now what the result was!

    With love,
    (the Netherlands)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. lyns r says:

    +Could you perhaps raise the floor in this area creating a small ‘stage’ like area with a small step up and use the windowsills as seating with some banquette cushions and place a table in front for an eating area? Valances go and clean lined blinds?

  12. Anonymous says:

    You could make showcase cabinets by adding racks, and frames that fit to glas doors. Often showcase cabinets have bulbs to light the things that you put there – you would have window light. On the back side, you could no longer use the windows easily.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful windows!

    It’s hard to say exactly what to put there because the pictures don’t show the context for what how else your kitchen could function spatially.

    From what I can see, here are the comments that I think would be most helpful:

    1. I agree, the valence must go!

    2. The paint inside the window sills breaks up the wall and looks weird. I’d repaint to another color, like the color of the rest of the wall, for example, or something brighter and less intense in hue. If you really love that color or the idea of color inside your window sill, you could make one wall + window the opposite of the combo you have now (light on the wall, dark green on the inside). I’d still probably go with a cheerier color though.

    3. You could make some of that space artsy. Extra seating is the obvious choice, with nice pillows or cushy seats, but if that won’t work, you could add some small shelves for books along one side of the sill vertically or hang some pictures in there.

    4. If you can move or replace the kitchen table, you could add a skinny cabinet to that space on one side, joining the cabinet and sill with a one-piece board/whatever and use that sill as expanded counter space.

    Anyway, that’s just what I can think of, I hope it’s helpful.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree that the valance has to go. I would put white sheer curtains going the whole width of the wall, not just over the window, to make them seem bigger. Right now with the color, valance and shade it’s too broken up visually. If they’re not at a good height for seating you should add in something taller, like a tall plant, plant stand or something sort of sculptural, or some Skurar hanging planters from IKEA :-)

  15. Liz says:

    It is too high to use it for seating? You can make a cushion, or just put some large IKEA pillows on each sill, to make seating out of it.

    I would update the valances with some modern fabric from IKEA, too. Or remove them all together, so that it opens up the space.

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