Decorating your home is a lot of fun, but there are often a few pesky nooks and crannies that feel impossible to style the right way. Whether you have an awkward area in front of your windows, an inconvenient corner in the kitchen, or even an area with a low ceiling in the bedroom, you need to find a way to fill that space.
One thing that people struggle with is figuring out what to put in front of a window in the living room.
It's hard. You don't want to block the light or a good view, but you also don't want to leave that space barren and useless. Most people only have so much usable living space as-is, so you can't afford to waste it.
I'm here to offer a few tips for what you can add to your living room to make that area pop. Keep reading to learn more.
First: Consider Your Space
Before you go off buying all of the furniture in sight, make sure that you know what kind of space you have available to you.
Not all window areas are alike, so I'm going to paint with a wide brush here and try to talk about the basic problems that living room windows can present.
First: Too Many Large Windows
A room with large windows and a ton of natural light is often a selling point, but it comes with its challenges. Windows allow less flexibility and design options than walls, and you might not know how to make them work for you.
Too much natural light can be a burden.
In this case, measuring your space isn't as important assuming that you've already measured it for the size of your furniture and decorations. You'll be re-arranging, but you won't add too many new things.
Second: One Large, Central Window
So let's say that you have a lot of wall space, but there's one large and pesky window getting in the way of your design ideas.
You want to avoid having anything covering that light. It's the only window, so you can't afford to block it. You also want to avoid having direct eye contact with the light.
With these windows, you also want to think about what's on the opposing wall. The light will shine right on it, so you want to make it pop.
Third: A Windowed Nook
This is often the cutest but most difficult area to decorate. Nooks are great for adding visual interest to a home, but because of their awkward shape, it's hard to know what to put there without getting cluttered.
Windows make it even harder because you have less usable wall space.
Make sure that you measure your nook before you start planning your decorations. This is a small space and you need to use it wisely.
Determine Your Needs
Living rooms are functional. What do you need?
If you need a lot of seating, keep that in mind when you're determining what to put in front of the window. It's okay to put couches and chairs in front of the window as long as you do it strategically.
If you prefer having more open space, as many people with children do, the space in front of the window is perfect for that. There's enough natural light for children to play in or for you to place a table or decoration.
Some people in smaller spaces prefer to have a small eating area in the living room. If this is the case, consider bringing in a small dining table to add variety and function to the living room.
Consider Sectioning the Room
Have you ever considered sectioning off your living room into different smaller spaces? Many people never consider this option, but it helps when you're working with a difficult space.
There are several ways that you can section off a living room into smaller sitting areas. The first is with physical dividers. The benefit of a divider is that it will block the natural light when you don't want to see it while it still gets to shine in the other "section."
You can also use sheer curtains to section off spaces. Because they're so easy to move to the side, you don't have to worry about moving anything heavy when you want to rearrange your space.
You can also section with color blocking if you have a nook.
Many people use rugs for this if they have hardwood flooring. Having a large rug for the "central" area and a smaller rug for a window nook will help.
You can also color block with paint. The central area will have one paint color while the nook will have a different one to set it apart.
Don't Block the Light
While a small amount of blockage is okay, you don't want to block the light completely. Natural light is a gift, so it's better to take advantage of it.
If you decide to put seating options in front of your window, make sure that they don't have high backs. This way, the window still shines even if someone is sitting in front of it.
You can use objects that don't take up as much visual space in front of windows, like tables. You don't, however, want to put a TV in front of the window, even if it doesn't take up much space.
Looking at the TV in front of the window will be more straining on your eyes and you won't be able to see it as well.
While seats in front of the window are okay, try not to put the "central" seat that everything else faces there. It's better to put seats at an angle facing the window so you get a good view.
If you have a nook, consider putting a low window seat and a small bookcase there for a petite reading nook.
Use Vertical Space
Vertical space is everything when you're decorating difficult rooms. In this case, you have options, but they'll vary depending on the window that you're trying to work around.
If you have space between large windows, try adding something to the walls. You can use narrow bookshelves, family photos, or even narrow paintings to add some visual interest to your space.
With less wall space, consider hanging things from the ceiling.
Hanging plants are perfect for this, as are unique lamps. While the natural light will take care of your lighting needs during the day, you'll still need something extra at night.
Consider a chandelier or a unique hanging light. These work well in window nooks or over windowed living room dining spaces.
The Opposing Wall: What to Do?
The opposing wall from the window is just as important as the window itself. This is where you're going to get the most light, so you have an opportunity to make it shine.
If you really want to enhance your living room window design, don't forget the wall that faces it. After all, even curious passers-by may see what you have on display.
Painting and Wallpaper
One thing that you have to consider when you're decorating the opposing wall is your paint color. When you're choosing colors for your living room, keep in mind that they'll look different in different lighting conditions. What looks perfect in the store, or even on another wall, won't look the same on the wall that's lit up.
For this reason, you always want to test swatches before you commit to a color.
Put a small amount of paint on the wall and observe it throughout the day to make sure that it still works for you. You may even find that you want the same color in slightly different shades to make up for the lighting difference.
If your normal color doesn't work with the light, consider making this a statement wall. Statement walls allow you to specify your wall color for your specific lighting conditions and they add great visual interest to your living room!
You can use a plain color for the wall, or you can add some pizzaz by making it pop with fun designs. Large geometric designs make fun DIY projects, or you can use fun wallpaper. Just keep in mind that you may experience fading on this wall due to the light.
You should also take advantage of the natural light on this wall to add decorations.
This is the perfect place for a gallery wall. Gallery walls put together a collection of hanging paintings, photos, important documents, and even mirrors that can all fit together to create a cohesive "project."
If you're doing this, try to find frames that fit together. They can come in a variety of sizes, but you want to match colors as well as you can.
If you're not sure how to make this work for you, consider buying some interesting frames from thrift stores and painting them to fit together.
Use a variety of paintings and photos on the wall. You can get professional art pieces, use DIY art, and even hang some 3D art.
Big windows mean big opportunities for unique window accents and decorations.
First: curtains. There will be times when you don't feel the need to let all of the natural light into your space. You also need to remember that when your living room is brighter than outside (at night), everyone can see into it.
This is where curtains come in.
I suggest having two sets of curtains, or a set of curtains and a set of blinds.
Sheer curtains are great for large windows. They can let a soft glow into your living room without the full-power brightness that comes alongside an uncovered window.
Keeping blinds underneath the curtain, or a more full-coverage set of curtains over the window, is a great way to give yourself versatility. You can block out light when you want to and let it in when you feel the need for brightness.
You can also take this opportunity to hang stained glass above or on your window. The light coming through the glass will add an extra flair to your opposing wall and even the floor in front of it.
One of the best things about having a lot of natural light in your home is the ability to keep plants alive indoors. Many people have taken to indoor gardening over the past year or so, but it's difficult in homes without much light.
Take this opportunity to bring some greenery into your home. Having an indoor garden has plenty of research-supported benefits!
Make sure that you research your plants before you get them. Some grow so large that they may not fit in window nooks, and others benefit from less direct light, making them less ideal for this situation.
Many people like putting a decorative "indoor jungle" in front of their window in place of window accents or furniture. It's a fun and fresh look that adds something different to your home.
That's What to Put in Front of a Window in the Living Room
Try not to think of your window as a restriction, but rather, as an opportunity. You have a bright space to take advantage of, and many people would envy the amount of natural light that you have!
When you're trying to figure out what to put in front of a window in a living room, get creative. You have plenty of options!
Are you interested in professional design services to make your life easier? I love creating people's perfect spaces so they can truly feel at home. Contact me so we can work together!