Per Courtney McLeod, a window seat should be no less than 32 inches wide. This will not only give you enough room to sit, but also to stretch out comfortably if you want to enjoy a relaxing reading session with a view. For a window bench with storage, you'll want a seat that measures at least 35-40 inches. The wider the bench, the more storage space. Of course, if your window bench is for a studio apartment or a small space, you may not be able to buy one that fits these measurements. If this is the case, try to go for a window bench that has multiple drawers so you can organize your items.
The majority of window benches are made of manufactured wood to make them more affordable. Some have veneers or are mixed with solid wood for both appearance purposes and for added durability. Look out for the different types of manufactured wood, such as particleboard, as particleboard can warp over time due to heat. The hardware of a storage window bench is important too, as you don't want the hinges on your drawers to rust and creak open in the future. Whilst metals used like steel and iron do rust, maintaining your hardware with warm water and a cloth will help prevent rusting in general.
Features like paneling, wood grain, and distressing can add charm and character to a window bench. They are also usually indicators of the style of your bench - for example, dovetail joinery indicates a bench with an antique style, whereas tapered legs are a mid-century modern staple. Paneled window benches often have a sophisticated and contemporary look, whereas a cushioned window bench will look cozier in general due to the addition of fabric. If your window bench doesn't come with a cushion, Virginia Tupker states you should get one specially made if possible so it fits perfectly. Small details like this can make your purchase appear more expensive than it actually was.
Many window benches with storage will have a particular look and style to them, some of which will fit better in your home than others. Though this sounds obvious, Frances Merrill recommends thinking about the future, too. A sage green window bench may look stunning now in your coastal-inspired kitchen, but can you paint over it in the future if you change styles? Though you should always pick the color and look you like best, keep in mind that a white or gray bench is more versatile and can be accessorized with cushions or a throw to make it fit different décor styles like farmhouse or coastal.
Each storage window bench will come with a different amount of storage, but knowing exactly how much storage you need can feel like an overwhelming task. To make things easier, Nick Olsen recommends laying out exactly what you need to store and how much storage space you'll need specifically based on this estimation. Then, add a little more space so you're covered for future purchases. This way, you won't be caught short not being able to fit your tablecloths or shoes in your window bench. Additionally, consider where your storage will fit best. Front drawers are fine if you're working with a wider space, whereas a lift top is best if you have a narrow corridor.