My DIY Window Seat Makeover: A Cosy Nook For Creative Contemplation

Aug 17

Hello lovelies! I hope you’re all enjoying what’s left of the weekend. I had a relatively busy one here but it’s all for the best.

So, remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I was giving my living room window seat a makeover? Well, today’s post is all about my DIY Window Seat Makeover! Stick with me and I’ll show you how I transformed a plain boring window seat into a cosy little nook for creative contemplation.

DIY window seat -

Before I get into all the details, I’d just like to say that the reason that spot in my apartment remained in such an unattractive state for so long, is mainly to do with my indecisiveness on whether to use it as a place to display beautiful things or an actual place to sit.

When I first moved in, I was sure I wanted to use it as a seat but was instantly put off the idea when I accepted the offer of a free quote from a local shop specialising in the most beautiful made-to-measure drapery and cushions. I knew beforehand that the quote for the curtains would have been too high for my liking but I was in complete shock when the little man told me some silly figure north of £500 for an upholstered window seat cushion! Needless to say, I politely ushered him out the door with absolutely no intention of calling to make an order from them ever! That’s when the idea of using it as a display area entered my mind.

Quite some time after the shocker of a quote, I thought of how much I had wished for a home with a window seat in the past, and now I have one just gathering dust because of one silly quote. Now annoyed with myself, I began to think of different ideas of how to execute  a DIY window seat makeover that worked with everything else in my living room, as it was pretty clear that the only way I would get what I wanted, to look how I wanted it to (without paying a pound and a crown for ‘bespoke service’), was to do it all myself.

DIY window seat before and after -

Here’s how I did it!


  • Foam Mattress – I used this junior bed mattress from IKEA – £25
  • Electric Carving Knife – I used this Russell Hobbs one from Robert Dyas – £14.99
  • Measuring Tape – this will come in handy if your window seat is a regular shape
  • Sheet of Paper – enough to make a template for the seat
  • Sharpie Marker – to draw the outline of your template onto the mattress
  • Ruler – to ensure your lines are straight when drawing on the mattress
  • A Pair of Scissors – for cutting your template
  • A Piece of String – to thread through the zipper so you can unzip and remove the mattress cover (I had no idea how zippers really worked until this project)
  • Fabric of Choice – enough to cover your the foam seat you’ve cut out. I used a tablecloth I purchased from Zara Home in their 50% off sale for £29.99. I was delighted it matched the cushions I purchased there several months prior
  • Cushions of Choice – mine are all from Zara Home, I can’t remember the prices but they were all reduced; less than £12.99 each
  • Designer Duct Tape (optional) – you’ll only need this if, like me, you like to switch things up pretty often and therefore cannot commit to fixing your fabric permanently to the foam seat. I used this pretty pink polka dot one from Platypus


1. Measure the space for your window seat, then carefully draw the corresponding shape onto your paper template. My window seat has an irregular shape so I ditched the measuring tape and just went right in by laying my template in the space and traced loose lines along the corner crease. I then used my ruler to clean up the lines making them straight before cutting.

2. Cut along the lines you’ve made to complete your template. You should now have the exact shape of the seat of your window. Lay your template flat in the space to ensure you have the correct size and shape.

window seat instructions - 18 chelseamews.com3. Remove the mattress cover by threading a piece of string through the zipper, using the  string as a handle to unzip. (The zippers on IKEA mattress covers do not have the little handles to pull them open. I had no idea there was a lever mechanism inside that makes it possible to pull them open!) Without this string, you will never open that zipper.

4. Lay the mattress on a flat surface with template on top, then trace the outline of the template with your marker. IMPORTANT NOTE: If your seat has an irregular shape, please ensure you are laying the temple the correct way down. Otherwise you could end up cutting the wrong shape from the mattress. Double check that your lines are correctly drawn onto the mattress before you go on to the next step

window seat instructions - 18chelseamews.com5. Use your electric carving knife to score along the lines you’ve drawn on the mattress before going in for the big chop. If you’re an experienced ‘foam cutter’, you may be able to just go straight in and cut with confidence but as this was my first time cutting foam and using an electric carving knife, I found it much easier making a score on top first before digging straight in.

6. You may replace the mattress cover after you’ve cut out your seat but this is not essential. I replaced mine as a measure of added protection for the foam against spills. I simply folded and tucked the excess bits towards the underside of the seat.

DIY window seat makeover - 18chelseamews.com7. Now it’s time to cover your foam seat. As mentioned above, I used a stripe and floral tablecloth I picked up in the sale at Zara Home. The fabric is so soft and beautiful, I couldn’t bring myself to cut it into bits, especially knowing fully well that I’ll probably want to change it a couple months later when some other gorgeous fabric catches my eye. I resolved that problem by using a pretty pink polka dot designer duct tape to secure the  fabric onto my foam window seat…it’s called temporary upholstering! No sewing or glueing involved. This way, I have the freedom to change the appearance of my window seat in a minute’s notice and I’ll also be able to wash and reuse this beautiful fabric elsewhere in my home.

8. Place your foam seat in the window, and accessorise to your heart’s content, with cushions, throws, books magazines or whatever else you like.

As you can see in the last picture above, I have left a little triangle uncovered in the corner. The reason for that is to have a hard surface to place a drink or a bite to eat in the corner or maybe even stack a few books or place a vase with some beautiful blooms. When there’s no such thing over there, the cushions will do a good job masking the gap.

That’s it for today my lovelies! What do you think of my DIY makeover? I hope you like my new window seat. I absolutely love it; it’s now my favourite at home hangout spot!

I’ve added a few more pictures below. Pinterest? Anyone?

DIY window seat makeover.1 -


cosy window seat diy

window seat morning light -

sunny window seat DIY

18CHELSEAMEWS.COM diy window seat

DIY window seat 2 -

All images in this post are property of Nova Williams at

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comments +

  1. Keisha Morgan

    August 17th, 2014 at 20:04

    so pretty AND inviting!

  2. Nova Williams

    August 17th, 2014 at 20:29

    Thanks Keisha! It’s my favourite place to sit in the entire apartment now! 🙂

  3. Debby

    August 17th, 2014 at 20:38

    Fabulous…….wanna do my office space? It’s bare and begging for some creativity…….:))

  4. Nova Williams

    August 17th, 2014 at 20:49

    Thank you Debby! Oh how I would love to do your office space! The distance might pose a bit of a problem though. 😉

  5. seema

    August 20th, 2014 at 09:55

    Superb!!! i love to make it in my home.

  6. Nova Williams

    August 20th, 2014 at 18:33

    Thank you Seema! Yes do it…and I’d love to see your pics if you do! 🙂

  7. Chiara Pannozzo (@wine_and_olives)

    August 20th, 2014 at 13:52

    What an amazing job you’ve done! And it’s so colourful. It’s a super inspiring space … if only my office looked like that!

  8. Nova Williams

    August 20th, 2014 at 18:44

    Thanks for your lovely comment Chiara! I do love a combination of bright colours on a white backdrop; I really enjoyed this project from start to finish. 🙂

  9. Claudete Davy

    August 21st, 2014 at 01:34

    Great job! You need to start working on publishing a magazine on home decor.

  10. Nova Williams

    August 21st, 2014 at 13:27

    Thanks Mommy! That’s a pretty good idea! I hope I’ll get there eventually.

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