Expert Advice: What to Put in Front of the Window in Your Living Room

What to Put in Front of the Window in Your Living Room

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Deciding what to put in front of the window in your living room can take time and effort. What you put in front of your window can transform your space, though, so it’s an important decision. And you won’t find a universal solution that works for every home.

“We want to preserve that natural light, as natural light is a gift in any room,” said interior designer Meggan Fadden Wynja. “For example, if you want a seating nook beneath the window, you’ll want chairs or sofas with low backs that don’t block the window. And maybe sheer curtains for some subtle privacy that still lets light trickle in.”

A bright and airy seating nook is just one of many options for filling that blank space under your window, though. This guide features 12 design ideas that’ll help you decide what to put in front of the window in your living room, with options that’ll work for every home and style.

Meet the Experts

For this article, we asked professional interior designers to share ideas about what to put in front of the window in your living room. You’ll hear from the following experts:

12 Ideas for What to Put in Front of the Window in Your Living Room

Not sure what to put in front of the window in your living room? That’s okay! These 12 ideas will help you find the right room design to make your space feel like an inviting escape.

1. A Sofa

Sofa in front of a window
Credit: State and Season Home Design & Supply

A low sofa offers a simple, functional solution that lets the light in if you have a large window with ample space underneath it. Look for an option that sits below the bottom of the window frame. And if that’s not happening, find one that covers as little of the window as possible.

Then, you can add a storage coffee table and extra seating options to create an infinitely versatile and functional living space! This layout works for large and small spaces alike, creating a perfect spot to read a book or watch TV. It can even work with a small sectional sofa if you’d like. And don’t forget the sheer window treatment to offer privacy and glare reduction without obstructing the light.

Tip: Hanging your curtains wider and higher than your window frame will make the window appear larger, which can make a small living room feel larger.

2. A Window Seat

Credit: State and Season Home Design & Supply

Deep-set bay windows create an excellent opportunity to make a practical window seat with an on-trend aesthetic. Just make sure you fill the space with furniture you love because it’ll be an instant focal point in the room. This floating bench and table set creates an elegant-yet-casual aesthetic with undeniable charm.

“Windows are a great source of natural light for the whole room, and a sitting area that benefits from the sunlight is a great addition,” commented Lucy Small.

The location of the bay window and your living room, in relation to the rest of your home, will help you decide what furniture is appropriate. For example, you might turn this seating area into a breakfast nook if it’s by the dining room or kitchen. Or, if it’s close to your home office or bedroom, it could make an excellent reading nook and study area.

3. A Storage Bench

A bench with hidden storage under your window will look like a window seat, but you can move it around since it isn’t built-in. This is a fantastic choice for keeping a modern, tidy home because it allows you to hide away kids’ toys, extra throw pillows, and other clutter.

And if you’d like something different than a bench, any piece of furniture with hidden storage could work. For example, if you have a studio apartment, you might use a day bed frame with hidden storage underneath to double as an extra (or primary) sleeping area.

4. A Low Bookcase

A bookcase under your window adds extra functionality and charm to your living room. And the higher the window, the more space for books! Plus, the bookcase can be custom-built to fit the height of your window frame for a perfect fit, which is useful when you don’t have much wall space to cover under the window.

For a fuller look, you could extend the bookcase up around the sides of the window. And it’s up to you whether you’d like to use the top of the bookcase as a bench (ensure it’s sturdy enough first) or extra decorating space. If you go with the bench option, extending the bookcase around the window can create a super-cozy reading nook.

5. Plant Tables

Credit: Color Cord Company

You know how tough it is to find extra space for all your plants if you have a green thumb, so why not add plant tables by your window? Of course, this works well with floor-to-ceiling windows, but plants that love light will love a spot by a window of any size.

It’s up to you how many furniture items you’d like to use for your plants — you might opt for a few smaller plant tables, a side table, or one long table. Or, you might choose a multipurpose storage unit to contain living room clutter.

6. A Large Potted Plant

Credit: Megan Pisano Design

Large plants in the living room create an on-trend aesthetic that instantly makes your space more interesting and inviting. Majesty palms, monstera plants, or large areca palms are excellent choices, as all three varieties can thrive in front of a sunny window.

This idea works well for tall, thin windows, as it can add a bit of privacy if you want to keep the curtains open. And if your plant isn’t tall enough to create the visual effect you’re looking for, you can raise it up on a plant stand until it grows more.

7. Cozy Armchairs

Armchair by window
Credit: Megan Pisano Design

Armchairs are an easy way to fill the space in front of the window in your living room. They’re inviting and create an instant conversation den, especially if you add side tables and an ottoman coffee table for versatility. Two armchairs angled towards each other with a table in the space between works particularly well for creating the effect.

“In this room, we used two swivel chairs and several ottomans,” explains Megan Pisano. “This is a more comfortable, cozy setting. It’s casual but still has a uniqueness with color and texture.”

8. A Console Table

A console table is a great decorating idea for under a window, and there are plenty of console tables out there to suit any interior design style. This is a fantastic idea for living rooms with plenty of seating, and some console tables will offer hidden storage to help contain clutter for a tidy home.

A console table under your window can be ideal for sentimental items like family photos and souvenirs. Alternately, you might use it as a spare bookshelf, an extra spot for your light-loving houseplants, or seasonal home decor arrangements.

9. A Desk

If you work in your living room or the kids need a nice homework spot, a desk in the window can make a great space filler and add functionality to your space. Facing the window while working can be great, especially if you have lovely views to stop and appreciate between tasks.

For practicality, you’ll want to make sure you have blinds or curtains to block out the light when needed. Sheer panels work well for this, but if the window is west-facing, you might want something thicker for more protection from bright sunlight in the afternoon.

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10. A Chaise Longue

Chaise by window

A chaise lounge or daybed offers a luxurious seating option that can help fill space in large living rooms or awkward corners where other pieces of furniture might not work. You can add a side table, a few plants, or even a bookcase for extra versatility.

Chaises work well in elegant room ideas, but they’re also perfect for creating a cozy seating area, especially if you add comfy throw pillows and blankets. And they make excellent spots to take a midday nap on lazy summer days.

11. Lighting

Light in front of a window
Credit: Color Cord Company

“Take advantage of the vertical space, as well — consider a hanging pendant or statement light fixture that draws the eye and creates functional task lighting for reading at night,” recommended Meggan Fadden Wynja.

Depending on your living room’s layout, you might consider placing wall sconces on either side of the window instead. This placement can help illuminate the walls and surrounding area with more dispersed lighting, perfect for cozy evenings or rooms with plenty of task lighting options.

12. Decorative Molding or Beadboard

If you can’t decide what to put in front of the window in your living room because you don’t like how things look in that space, then skip the furniture! Instead, you might consider adding decorative molding or beadboard to create texture and visual interest.

You can paint them to serve as an accent wall or make them match the rest of the room, depending on the look you want to create. And if you’re handy and looking for something you can make from home, this is an excellent DIY project.

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FAQs

What Do You Put in Front of Living Room Windows?

Anything low enough to let the light into the room is usually an excellent choice to use in front of your living room window. It all comes down to personal tastes and what you need in your living room to complete the space.

For example, seating options like a sofa, sectional, chaise lounge, storage bench, or pair of accent chairs will make your space more inviting while adding a well-lit spot to curl up. Large plants can add depth, visual appeal, and privacy. And pieces like a console table, bookshelf, plant table, desk, or light fixture can make your living room more functional and interesting.

Is It Okay to Put Furniture in Front of a Window?

Placing furniture in front of windows can create inviting seating areas that provide great light for reading, nice views when you’re working or enjoying a meal, and a cozy spot to lounge in at night. But if the furniture is too large, it can block out the light from the window and cause your living room to feel cramped.

Instead of furniture, you can always use large plants, light fixtures, decorative beadboard or molding, or a built-in bookcase lower than the window frame. Choose something that adds both functionality and style to your space, and remember that you can always change it later!

Should You Place a Sofa in Front of a Window?

Placing your sofa or sectional in front of a window in your living room has pros and cons. On the one hand, it’ll be well-lit, comfortable, and functional. After all, a sofa is often the easiest way to fill up the space underneath the window, and it can look beautiful when the furniture height is low enough (or the window is large enough).

But on the other hand, a sofa in front of the window can place you in the path of cold drafts, block out the light, and make your living room look darker, smaller, and less inviting. And according to feng shui principles, this placement can also cause you to feel vulnerable and ungrounded.

Should a TV Go in Front of a Window?

“The one thing you definitely don’t want to put in front of your living room is a television,” Lucy Small told Living Cozy.

Positioning your TV in front of a window — especially if it faces west — can create glare and make it difficult to see the screen. In addition to glare, the heat from direct sunlight isn’t great for most TVs while they’re in use, and there’s a higher risk of costly damage if your TV gets knocked backward.

A TV placed in front of the window will also block a lot of light, making the room seem smaller and darker. If you have limited options for your TV and seating in the living room, it’s best to position your sofa in front of the window and the TV across from it and then use light-blocking drapes when you need to reduce glare. You can layer light, sheer curtains underneath the drapes for when you want to let in the light.

Written by
Shelby Golding
Shelby Golding is a Colorado-based writer/editor with over a decade of experience. She has a college education in interior design and enjoys woodworking in her free time.

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