By Meg Escott
I've collected together a series of window sill ideas. You might think that there's not much you can do with your window sills but read on to see how your sills could do double duty as:
We'll go on to see some window sill designs in relation to the kitchen sink which can sometimes be tricky and then talk about window sill height, window sill materials and window sill profiles and aprons.
I hope you agree that window sills form an important part of your window design.
I'm a big fan of a window seat. It's a great way of adding comfortable seating to a room. In particular, bay windows provide great space for a window seat.
The area under the window seat can be used for storage, or can house a radiator or HVAC vent.
Of course you could put a desk in front of a window. Could you squeeze in a desk as part of your window sill?
The important thing about a desk is that the area underneath needs to be free for the chair. This will need to be specified in your plans. It may mean that you'll need a n insulated panel below the window, or build a slight bay to create the space for underneath the desk.
The window sill can be extended into the room to provide the depth of desk you want.
Desk height is about 30 inches or 76cm.
Similar to the desk window sill idea above, in the kitchen the same idea (only a little higher up) could apply to a breakfast bar.
Again, the area under the window sill would need to be free for stools.
Bar height is about 42 inches or 107cm.
If you need more storage space (either open shelves or closed cupboards / drawers) under the window can be the perfect spot.
In the example below the window sill has been extended to provide the depth required for the shelves which creates a nice wide sill on top for display.
Heating systems whether they are radiators or vents are often place under windows. They're often not all that pretty to look at so combining a cover with the window sill is a good window sill idea!
You can decide whether or not to include vents on the top of the window sill.
A fully tiled window sill (and reveal) does nicely as a shower niche.
Many kitchen layouts call for the kitchen sink to be in front of a window.
I really like this kitchen window sill idea where the window sill is flush with the countertop. It creates extra space behind the sink.
This arrangement needs careful planning as the height of the window sill will need to account for floor thickness, kitchen cabinet height and countertop thickness.
Here the window sill is below countertop level.
The sink is suspended across the window from the surrounding kitchen units. The more the sink is set back from the window, the more it will look like a piece of furniture just in front of the window rather than a kitchen sink shoved right up to the window. The back of the sink unit would need to be nicely finished.
The void underneath gives a feeling of space. I love the way the sunlight peeps through onto the floor.
This window sill idea would also work for a powder room washbasin so long as there's a mirror somewhere else.
Just before we start on window sill height, this section on window height will be useful to you as well.
We'll start from the bottom to the top....
Let's look at the pros and cons of window sills at ground level.
Moving up a little now to knee height...
Once the sill reaches waist / hip height this introduces some interesting functional window sill ideas.
Windows are usually placed at shoulder height for two reasons:
A high-up window sill has little functionality apart from a display space. In fact if the window is above eye level it might be better to do away with a flat sill and angle the reveal to improve the light and view from the window.
Window sills can be covered in different materials. Wood is popular in living spaces and tile and stone are most often found in kitchens or bathrooms.
Let's start with window sill profiles.
My strong preference is for the window sill to wrap around the wall and for the profile shape to be mitered at the corner.
You may have noticed that below the window sill there's a part of a window called the apron.
This is the decoration that's sometimes included below the sill. Design choices range from having no apron to having quite an elaborate apron.
The design of the apron should compliment the design of the architrave, but need not be identical.
The vertical emphasis of the apron should be in line with the edge of the architrave.
This article on installing stool (sill) and apron is a good read for more detail that will help you discuss your sills, architraves and aprons with your architect or carpenter.