A bay window that has the right height for a window seat bench is the ultimate design score: It's a designated spot to enjoy the light that pours into the room and an outlet to amp up the comfort factor of a space. It's also an element that can create quite the design problem: How do you style this little alcove? Start by adding the perfect cushion, and incorporate lots of textiles and items you can use to get cozy.
Figure Out Color Palette and Usage
When you're thinking about how to style this spot, the cushion is going to be the metaphorical and literal starting point. You'll want a cushion that anchors the space's color palette and looks (and feels) nearly bed-like in comfort. If your bay window also doubles as an eating nook, you'll need to be mindful of both spillage (consider fabrics that are easily cleaned) and your knee room.
Explore Your DIY Options
Take some time to measure out the dimensions of your window seat — you may need to go the custom route if you need a special size or want a specific fabric. You'll find both sewing and no-sew DIYs to try. If you already have a cushion that just needs some extra love, you can add a layer of foam to give the cushion some heft, or recover it with a fade-resistant fabric to shield it from the sun.
Get Creative With Store-Bought Cushions
If you need to start from scratch, look for a long, rectangular cushion for the window seat's foundation. You'll want to make sure that the cushion isn't too high for the seat. If you have awkward triangular spots, fill them in with more pillows or other design accents.
This tufted cushion from Urban Outfitters is a nice, neutral base that would look pretty on blonde or dark wood in a living room.
Use Additional Textiles to Fill in Spots and Add Character
Now it's time for the really fun part — bringing in extras to heighten the coziness. Extra textiles can also help fill in gaps if you can't find cushions to fit your exact bay window dimensions.
A throw is the ultimate luxury and would be the perfect complement to a dark, neutral cushion. This throw from CB2 will feel so good on a crisp winter day, sitting in the warmth of the window. You could also use a number of throws like this as a temporary solution to covering your bay window seating if you're having trouble finding custom options.
Add extra comfort or depth with throw pillows. Go for this Moroccan-style wedding blanket pillow from World Market. Mix it in with pillows that have the same color or metallic edge.
Make Cushions Extra-Secure
If the surface of your bay window seat is smooth or bare, consider adding Velcro adhesive to the undersides of your cushions to prevent them from slipping or moving around too much. (Just make sure that you know how to properly remove Velcro from surfaces to avoid damage or stickiness should you decide to change your window's look.)