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Window Well Ideas: A Guide to Sprucing up Your Basement Windows

April 20, 2023


One of the most overlooked areas of a home is the basement windows. While they may serve as a source of ventilation and natural light, they are often left unadorned and unappealing. The good news is that with some creativity and a few simple ideas, you can turn those drab windows into a stunning focal point that adds value to your home.

Purpose of Window Wells

Before we jump into design ideas, it’s important to understand the purpose of window wells. Window wells provide necessary light and ventilation to a basement, and they also serve as emergency exits. They need to be deep enough to accommodate the window, but not so deep that they pose a safety hazard. Additionally, window wells can prevent water from entering the basement during heavy rain or snowfall.

Window Well Ideas

Now that we understand the purpose of window wells, let’s explore some ideas for sprucing them up.

Painting the Window Well

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to spruce up your window wells is by painting them. You can use a waterproof paint to prevent rust and water damage. Choose a color that complements your home’s exterior or your personal style.

Adding Gravel, Rocks or Plants

Another popular option is to add rocks or gravel to the bottom of the well. This can help prevent water from entering the basement, while also providing a more natural look. You can also add plants or flowers to the well for a touch of greenery. Choose plants that don’t need much sunlight and are easy to maintain.

Creating a Mini Patio

If your window well is large enough, you can turn it into a mini-patio. Add some outdoor furniture, strings of lights, and a few potted plants to create a cozy space that’s perfect for relaxing or entertaining. This is a great option if you have a walk-out basement.

Install a Window Well Cover

Window well covers not only add a finished look to the well, but they also help keep out debris, rain, and snow. There are many options available, including metal grates, clear polycarbonate covers, and reinforced plastic covers. Some covers can be custom-made to fit your specific window well size and shape.

Creating a Window Well Garden

If you’re a fan of gardening, why not create a window well garden? You can plant a variety of flowers, herbs, and even vegetables in the well. Make sure to choose plants that don’t require a lot of sunlight, and use a quality soil mixture to ensure proper drainage. You can also add decorative features like garden statues or trellises.


Can I paint my window wells any color?

You can paint your window wells any color you like, but it’s important to choose a waterproof paint that can withstand the elements.

Do I need a window well cover?

While a cover is not necessary, it can help keep out debris, rain, and snow, which can damage the well and pose a safety hazard.

What kind of plants can I grow in my window well?

You can grow a variety of plants in your window well, including ferns, hostas, and impatiens. Just make sure to choose plants that don’t require a lot of sunlight and are suited for the climate in your area.

Can I turn my window well into a mini-patio?

Yes, if your window well is large enough, you can turn it into a mini-patio by adding outdoor furniture, lights, and decorations.

Do I need a permit to install a window well?

Permits vary by location, so it’s best to check with your local building department to see if a permit is required for your window well installation.


I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality.
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