If you are buying a condominium property completed in the early and up to the mid 2000s, there’s a good chance your home features a bay window. While bay windows can be a red flag, they do not have to be a deal breaker with a bit of thought and clever design.
It’s important to note Singapore bay windows are perceived negatively when compared to those you might have encountered in your online research.
In other countries, bay windows protrude outwards from the building. In Singapore, it’s an annoying solid architectural element that sits inwards from the window. You may see under seat storage ideas in your research but in a Singapore apartment, it is impossible to build storage within a solid bay window element.
Bay windows can sometimes be found throughout the apartment but they’re usually located in bedrooms. This can be frustrating as condominium bedrooms are small to begin with. Bedrooms we’ve encountered could have fitted a king size bed frame comfortably had this element not been there in the first place.
Singapore bay windows are also at an awkward 50cm height. This is too short to be a table (usually 75cm) and it’s too tall for a task sitting ergonomic of 45cm.
It is better to do something about this annoying structure rather than leaving it untouched simply because you’ve paid for it. Don’t forget that the bay window feature counts as part of your GFA calculations!
We’ve seen several ingenious ideas from Singapore interior designers turning bay window structures from cosy nooks to functional study tables but we unbiasedly like our Blafink versions (Eh-hem!) because they are cost effective and our versions do not need to be permanently fixed.
Our plain bay window seat cushion is the most popular as it has removable covers and can be custom made easily to fit in both regular and irregular corners. Choose a good upholstery and pair the seat with decorative cushions to create a comfortable length of seating area you can spend extensive time at.
Our other bay window seat cushion options have more detailing on the surface which is great if your aesthetic of choice is mid century modern. Note that these styles are pricier because of the labour involved for these surface treatments and the detailing also means that you will not be able to remove the covers for laundry.
Wall wraps are bay window seat cushions on steroids. As the name suggests, the bay window cushion extends outwards, then turns downwards to hug the concrete structure behind it.
The benefits of this design are twofold:
From the front, it reduces the visual bulkiness of the naked bay window structure. In a small space, this design trick can help a room look more spacious and less cramped.
The extension adds more depth to the sitting area. If you’re adding sofa sized back cushions to your bay window nook, this extension is helpful for a more ergonomic lounging experience.
Wall wraps have an internal structure to have it fit snugly across the length and over the height of the bay window. They look best when fitted and permanently stuck to the concrete structure. But it is also possible to have a slip cover design if you are stickler for hygiene.
Structural extensions like the example above overcome the 'unusable' depth of a bay window which is typically about 50cm. The narrow benches added additional depth so that the area can be converted into a sofa.
In this tufted bay window couch project, the wall wrap almost hides the fact that there is a bay window feature.
As bay window structures are often found in front of a window, and seeing as we’re in hot and sunny Singapore, the materials used on a bay window finish should address temperature and weather exposure issues.
Woven fabric is breathable, leather isn’t. This means that leather, regardless if it’s genuine or faux, will trap heat. Ever sat in the leather seats of a car baking under the sun? That’s what we need to avoid if you plan to use the bay window area as a nook.
Natural fibers such as cotton and linen are more permeable, and permeable fabric allows excess heat to pass through. Synthetic fibers such as polyester and acrylic have a more compact molecular structure and they cannot capture air and “breathe” the way natural fibers do. We recommend fabrics with both synthetic and natural fiber composition to get the best of both worlds.
If your window is east or west facing, it is important to select fabrics that boast higher grades of lightfastness. We’ve seen sun damage on a navy blue fabric transforming into a weak pink version of itself after just months of sun exposure. See this entry about the horrors of sun damage.
Our one hot tip on styling is that you shouldn’t look at the bay window seats in isolation because its next door bestie, curtains, can play an important role in both aesthetics and practicality.
Bay window seat cushion dimensions can be adjusted such that curtains can fall just behind the thickness of the cushion. This small detail is helpful because:
If you need complete darkness to stay asleep, this detail ensures that the bleed of light just under the curtain, falls behind the cushion. This is one of the crucial steps you need to make to achieve absolute darkness.
It looks thoughtful and it’s tidy - helpful with reducing visual triggers if you’re particular about orderliness.
If you prefer the seat cushion to cover the entire depth of the bay window, ensure that your curtains fall just above the bay window seat cushion.
In many of our projects, the curtains are installed before the cushions are ordered, this results in curtains that are too long and you get messy swathes of curtain fabric over the seat cushion.
Custom making bay window seat cushions ensures you get the best look and comfort out of annoying structural awkwardness in your condominium. Use our cushion selector to get a price gauge or make an appointment to speak to our expert product consultants.