Window wells are cut out around a house's foundation to allow natural light to pour in through basement windows. While receiving natural light is a great benefit, the window wells can be an eyesore for the person looking out the window. There are several clever design ideas you can try to make a window well more appealing. Keep in mind that some basement windows are egress windows, so these window wells should be unobstructed.
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Terraced Window Well
A terraced window well provides a much larger opening than most window wells, so more light is able to pour in and residents can see out the window better. Use landscaping timbers or stone to create a tiered wall. The tiers form steps that can be used to plant flowers, vegetables or to display garden statuary. The more tiers you use, the larger the terrace will be and the better the view from the basement. An added bonus to this tiered terrace is that it is easy to escape in case of an emergency. If the well is placed at an egress window, the resident need only walk up the stairs after climbing out of the window.
Galvanized and concrete window wells are a major eyesore when you look out a basement window. If you prefer a more natural scene, purchase a custom window well covering with a faux finish. You can find them in stone or brick finishes. These coverings fit inside the window to create the illusion that you're looking out at a building or wall. If your window well is wide and gets enough light, add a few plants to the window well. Flowers accent the natural look of stone window well coverings and allow you to see a bit of green from within the basement.
Have a favorite scene printed on vinyl or purchase a stock vinyl scene to place inside the window well. When you look out the window, you could be looking out at the Egyptian pyramids, Caribbean Sea or Arctic tundra. Whatever you choose, it's sure to be a better view than galvanized metal and dead leaves. This is ideal for children's rooms, but may be considered tacky for formal adult rooms. Adults might prefer a piece of weather-resistant statuary instead. Cover the window well with a screen to prevent leaves and other debris from falling into the well and obstructing the view.
A simple and affordable solution to ridding yourself of the galvanized metal view is to cover the window with frosted window film. You can find it at any home improvement store. You simply measure a piece to fit the window, apply it to the window and then press out the air bubbles. Light can still come through the window, but you won't be able to see out. If you decide you don't like the effect, it peels off easily without damaging the window. Use an X-acto knife to cut designs into the film for a special effect on the window.