Decorative Window Wells

What’s one of the most neglected, drab areas of a home?  Bingo- basement window wells.  But they don’t have to be.  I mean, nobody likes looking out their basement windows at ugly window wells.  So why not do something to liven them up?  I saw a home once that had a huge window well off a basement billiard room.  To the back of that window well was mounted a Harley Davidson motorcycle! Cool- I know, but for me a Harley wasn’t in the budget, so I opted instead for some potted plants.

Here’s what our basement family room window wells looked like BEFORE, (yeah- pretty typical, eh?):

Here’s what we did:

  1. cleaned out all the garbage, leaves and debris
  2. dug a shallow hole in the middle of each window well for a potted plant
  3. inserted a decorative potted plant into each hole
  4. filled around the planters and covered the rest of window wells with a fresh layer of gravel

It’s good to use gravel in window wells instead of dirt, so any rain water and melted snow can drain properly.  If the water doesn’t have a way to drain away and escape, it could build up, work its way through your window and cause water intrusion problems.

Here’s how the window wells looked AFTER:

Now our window wells look more like atriums than eyesores.  The plants we used are called bleeding heart.  They like shade and seem to do okay without much watering and we already had three in our yard we could transplant for our basement family room window wells.

And now I’m thinking of looking for some evergreen plants or shrubs at the nursery to use instead so they’re green and looking good year round.  Or what about  making some sort of floral planter arrangement with several different plants & shrubs?  How about hanging a planter from your window well cover with hanging plants cascading down?

Just be sure that whatever you do on basement bedroom window wells doesn’t obstruct the egress path needed to escape in case of a fire.  Do you have any other ideas for making basement window wells a little easier to look at?  If so, leave a comment.

4 Replies to Decorative Window Wells

  1. Mary Meyers says:

    We don’t have basements here in Florida :( but I still think that is a great idea!!! I LOVE your blog and all of your ideas, Kurt! It’s so fun to read them! Thanks so much for keeping me on your email list. Keep those ideas coming and tell Desiree and all of your family hello for me!

  2. Mark in PA says:

    I like the plant – looks pretty cool.

    As to other ideas, you could always paint the well – I’d probably do some fish on there and try and make it look like I was looking out from a submarine.

  3. Daciana W says:

    smart =)

  4. Sherry rich says:

    Hey Kurt, it’s Sherry… From across the street. I was just googling how to fix up window wells and there you were. I love what you’ve done. I think I am going to try the hanging plant. Thanks!!

Leave a Reply