Shelves That Attach to Windowsills


When looking for creative ways to add storage in your home, consider the possibilities that your windowsills offer. Often, the space above and below a window is essentially wasted in terms of storage space. If available storage space or display space is lacking in your home, adding a shelf onto a windowsill can help you make use of a portion of the wall that was previously going unused.

Natural Light

  • One of the primary advantages of these types of shelves is that they put whatever is on them directly in natural light. Sometimes it is hard to find enough of this in a home with smaller windows. This makes these types of shelves an ideal location for houseplants that thrive in direct natural light. If you're more interested in simply using the shelf as a display space, the natural light can help make any display on the shelf a focal design point in the room.


  • A homemade shelf that attaches to a windowsill needs to be firmly anchored. A shelf only attached to the sill itself won't have the strength to support anything other than very light items. Triangular brackets must be installed into the bottom of the shelf and anchored into the wall studs underneath the window frame. This provides enough additional strength to safely place plant pots or artwork on the shelf without worrying about damaging the shelf or pulling screws or nails out of the window frame.

Purchased Shelves

  • Several types of shelves are available to attach onto windowsills. One variety is a folding type that can be collapsed if you need to save space temporarily. Some sit on top of the sill, while others extend out at the same horizontal level. There are also specialized shelves available for specific applications, such as cushioned shelves designed to provide pets with a place to lounge in the window.

Other Options

  • Other than a flat shelf that sticks out from a windowsill, also consider other options that allow you to make use of the window's space for storage. For instance, you could build a cornice that fits over the top of the window frame. The top of a cornice can work as a display shelf, especially if the window is not too high in the room. If considering shelving projects for the exterior of your windows, you could add window boxes instead of flat shelves to provide you with a different way of adding greenery around the base of your windows.

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