Windows and their ledges are often overlooked as spaces where interior decoration can shine. However, even though they don't set the tone in a room, they can still emphasize your style. They can even be used to tie a room together.
Of course, it can be hard to decide what to do with such a tiny space as a windowsill, and you might feel like your options are limited. The good news is that it's often affordable and easy to add some decoration to your window. Still, if you're feeling uninspired, perhaps we can help get the creative juices flowing and send you on your way to designing a picture-perfect window ledge.
1. Green with Envy
No matter what room your window is in or what style of home you're decorating, plants will make the perfect accent pieces. Get a bunch of little pots to adorn your ledge, as pictured here, or go with one larger plant. In any case, the greenery will automatically brighten up the room. Of course, there's an ingrained logic to putting plants on windowsills since they need the sunlight to live. Greenery and windows simply go hand-in-hand.
Add some lacy curtains to achieve an elegant and classic look, or go with bamboo shades and instantly have a rustic window.
2. Storage Chic
In addition to being overlooked as spaces to decorate, windowsills are dismissed as storage. This method of decoration works exceptionally well in kitchens.
Getting a spice rack that highlights your personal aesthetic and pairing it with bottles of oil, vinegar, and other cooking staples instantly creates a homey, inviting, and picturesque windowsill.
To get this look in your own home, consider this revolving storage rack:
It pairs perfectly with these oil dispensers.
3. Simplicity Wins the Day
Have a big, sprawling, three-panel window? You could certainly cover the entire sill with knickknacks and doodads that make you happy, or you could take a page out of this person's decorating book and go for something simple. Notice how the three sunflowers help center your eye and enhance the window's nature-heavy view without drawing too much attention away from it.
The valance also helps sell the picture of homey simplicity by adding a splash of warm color without blocking the view.
4. Blessed Baubles
Of course, if knickknacks are your thing, don't let us stop you from filling your windowsill with all kinds of trinkets. The trick to pulling off this aesthetic is to link your decorations together with some kind of pattern. Each item on the ledge has a delicate and graceful aesthetic to keep the space looking put-together in the picture above.
Your theme can be as specific as baubles you got as a comic book fan to as broad as items collected on your travels. This approach to window decor is all about the personal touch, so be sure to highlight whatever makes you happiest.
5. Color Coordinated
Another way to create visual cohesion in your windowsill design is to make it monochromatic. The owner of this ledge obviously chose blue, but you can make this work with just about any color, including black or white.
To achieve this look in your own home, consider getting this set of vases.
You can even pair them with this lovely decorative bowl.
6. Country-Cottage Warmth
If you're a fan of the cozy and unassuming country-cottage aesthetic, pay attention to what this window ledge is up to. The fresh-cut flowers help evoke the countryside, while the gingham accessory in the form of the teacup adds the extra bit of charm needed to tie this sill in with the rest of the house.
Frilly or lacy curtains could add that extra bit of texture and visual depth.
7. Contemporary Coolness
Speaking of specific styles, take note of this fresh, modern windowsill. The reliance on white and the eye-catching shapes of the decorative bottles gives this space contemporary charm. Play around with trinkets with strange silhouettes or crowd one end of the sill with items to get this look in your home.
8. Decorative Functionality
There's something striking about taking items that usually have a particular purpose or function and using them as decoration. Look no further than the lamp and the books on this window ledge for example. Both of them can be used for things other than aesthetic purposes but pairing them here as window dressing subverts expectation in a way that's pleasing to the eye.
9. Creative Comforts
Want your window ledge to reflect the welcoming warmth of your home? Adding pillows automatically creates a reading nook vibe. Stylize the whole look, as pictured here, by matching the color of a pillow to a vase's color.
Get a complementary color for the curtains to add visual intrigue, as well as an extra dash of warmth.
10. Reading Nook Redux
Of course, you can always use your window ledge to create an actual reading nook. Adding a cozy throw blanket alongside the pillows is a great way to start. Using one end of the sill as a mini bookshelf also helps.
Keep a reading lamp nearby when it's dark outside, and you can't rely on natural light, or take this window decor to the next level and frame the space with fairy lights.
11. Let There Be Light
A great way to achieve a minimalist and austere look for your windowsill is through the use of lanterns. The wooden frames of those pictured here give this space a rustic vibe. However, you can also use iron frames to get a more classic and elegant look.
Easily bring the aesthetic into your own home with these.
12. Candle Love
Similar to the use of lanterns, the use of candles on windowsills is a tried and true pairing. Go big and bold with a votive, tiny and cute with tea lights, or strike a balance somewhere in the middle, as this window ledge does. Pairing the candle with a seasonal plant adds depth to the look, offsetting the white candles with a bit of greenery.
13. Bottle of Light
Are candles too basic for you? You can get really playful with your windowsill design and tackle a DIY project at the same time! Getting a string of fairy lights and adding them to a decorative glass bottle creates an eye-catching centerpiece for your window ledge. Look no further than the above picture for proof.
All you need are some lights such as these.
And, if you don't have old wine bottles or something with more sentimental value hanging around, use these to complete the project.
14. Curtain Tie-In
A great way to create cohesive top-to-bottom window design is to add an accessory to the ledge that matches your curtains' color. Here, you can see how the mug is a similar shade of blue to the drapery.
15. Season's Greetings
If you're someone who loves to decorate for the holidays, you can absolutely take advantage of the windowsill as a place to highlight your seasonal decor.
Obviously, this picture offers the perfect set-up for autumn, Halloween, or Thanksgiving. However, you can make this work for any holiday. Try hearts and rose petals for February or cinnamon-scented candles and pine garlands for December. Finally, a fresh sprig of lavender and some bunny-themed accessory makes the perfect springtime aesthetic.
16. Balance is Key
Another way to approach window design is to make sure the whole ledge is well balanced. Having one or two accessories on either side of a large window, as pictured above, is the perfect way to achieve this. You can even use a theme to tie the whole look together. The fruit bowl sitting on the opposite side of the window as the bottle of wine speaks of decadence and indulgence.
17. Imbalance Works, Too
Of course, you can also achieve a cohesive aesthetic for your windowsill by crowding one side. The best way to execute this look is to keep the design simple not to overwhelm the eye. These two vases are thin and undemanding, making them the perfect counterweight to the emptiness on the other side.
Taking Inspiration Home
Whether you choose to adorn your windowsills with one large accessory or a bunch of tiny baubles, we hope you feel more confident taking advantage of the space. Just remember, the most important part is that you like how your window looks. If you're satisfied, the ledge will naturally reflect your style and heighten the whole room's aesthetic.
Looking for further window decor inspiration? Check out our exploration of the best curtain fabrics. And if curtains are not your thing, you can turn to our advice on how to dress a window without them.