Window seats are the best bet for blissful relaxation

WORDS: Joanna Mathers

Commonly found in older homes, window seats are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners looking to pair a clever storage solution with luxuriant lounging. Creating a window seat (also known as a “day bed”) isn’t a massive task for a builder, and a simple creation can be knocked up in a day, but the budget and time frame can be pushed upwards if you chose to make your window seat a work of art. We’ve done the research and come up with some useful facts and figures that will help you decide whether a window seat is the right option for your home.

Spectacular view from a window seat in NZ

Window seats: what to consider

Simple window seats can be created by Refresh builders next to any suitable window. Bay windows are the classic locale for window seats, but even windows that are situated against flat walls can be suitable.

One option for creating a window seat against a flat wall to get two custom-made kitchen cabinets installed on each side of the window, with a window seat erected between them. This will be a more expensive option, however, so not ideal for those on a budget.

Window seats are basically just a bench with a low wall structure at the front. To create the top, plywood is affixed and this can be hinged to provide very simple storage. Sliding or hinged doors can be also attached to the front of the seat to provide easier access, but the more complex the build, the more expensive it will be. Pull-out drawers are the most complex and expensive storage option.

If this is what you require, it’s likely that you will have to engage the services of a professional cabinetry maker. Refresh franchisees are able to find the right people for the job and oversee the entire project.

How much does a window seat cost on a basic budget?

Window seat on a budget

Jim Gleeson from Refresh (KKG Ltd) in Auckland has created a range of window seats for different budgets. He says that for a basic window seat installation, including the hinges and lids, you should expect to pay between $800 and $1200.

“This doesn’t include the cushions, however. So, you need to budget extra for those.”

He has recently undertaken a basic window seat build in a bay window, which only took a day to build, and has met the brief perfectly.

“When you are quoting on a window seat you need to understand the requirements exactly. The intent of use is very important.”

The final touch is the cushioning. There are companies that specialise in making window seat cushions and there are different levels of softness or hardness for the foam that is used. Cushion seat covers cost in the region of $300-$500 according to which fabric you choose.  

Cost of window seats on a basic budget

$800-$1200, plus $300-$500 for cushions

How much does a window seat cost on mid-range budget?

mid range window seat

Window seats with additional storage or larger seats will usually cost between $1200 and $3000. More complex seats can take a few days to install; again it’s all dependent on what you are wanting to achieve. Larger cushions or those with more expensive fabrics will also cost more, so it pays to be on the safe side and budget at the higher end of this range to ensure you have everything covered.

Cost of window seats on a mid-range budget

$1200-$3000, plus $300-$500 for cushions

How much does a window seat cost on a high-end budget?

High end window Seat in New Zealand

Gleeson has also recently completed a window seat with pull out drawers and cabinetry made by a specialist kitchen cabinetry maker. It was finished in white lacquer and Gleeson says that effect is “very lovely”.

“This window seat was incorporated into a conservatory in a lovely home in Epsom,” says Gleeson.

The spray paint lacquer finish can’t be touched up if there are any bumps or scratches, so the entire set of cabinetry needed to be precisely cut and installed like puzzle pieces to maintain the integrity of the finish.

For top-end window seats like this the prices can end up being $3,000+. The cabinetry needs to be created off-site, then installed by the builder, with the cushion being an additional expense.  

Cost of window seats on a top-end budget

$3000 plus, plus $300-$500 for cushions

Looking for inspiration?

You might like the window seat featured in this restored Edwardian villa 

 

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*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

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