6 Ways to Make Your Window Wells Look Great From Inside or Outside

by Team HomeServe
Landscaping gravel sits at the base of a corrugated steel window well of a basement egress window

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Installing window wells is an excellent way to allow natural light into basement rooms, but they're not always the most attractive of outdoor features. A plain window well can also be a dreary sight when you look out of the window.

This May Also Interest You: Make Sure Your Window Wells Are Well Maintained With This Checklist

Fortunately, there are plenty of effective ways to beautify window wells and improve their appearance from inside and outside the house.

How to Make Your Window Wells More Attractive

1. Invest in Attractive Window Well Covers

A window well leading to the basement egress window of a house

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Window well covers are essential for stopping rainwater and snow from building up inside the window well. Although window well covers perform a crucial function, many are a real eyesore.

Don't be tempted to skip the covers to make your window wells look more attractive. A significant accumulation of water or ice could cause damage to your home's foundations, and the increased pressure could even crack your windows. Instead, consider investing in some decorative window well covers to keep your window wells clear and dry. You can find a wide variety online and at brick-and-mortar DIY stores.

2. Install a Window Well Scene

Window wells provide natural light to a basement room, but they often provide a drab and uninspiring view. Installing a window well scene inside your window well offers a more appealing backdrop when you look out of your basement window.

Window well scenes are like printed, waterproof murals that attach to the top of your window well with hooks and cover the wall you see when you look outside. They are easy to install and relatively affordable, making them a good option if you're short on money or time. You can purchase decorative window well liners depicting beautiful ornamental gardens or walls with climbing plants, and there are even fun themed options available for window wells outside kids' bedrooms.

3. Build a Rock Wall

If you want to create a more attractive view from your window but prefer something more organic than a printed scene, a rock wall could be a good alternative. Building a rock wall around the inside wall of your window well creates a stylish and rustic appearance and is the ideal backdrop for climbing plants.

Building a rock wall inside a window well is hard work, and you'll need to cut the rocks to size. Therefore, it may be more time-effective to hire a contractor to install your rock wall for you. Once it's built, your rock wall should last for decades with next to no maintenance.

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4. Add Plants

Landscaping gravel sits at the base of a corrugated steel window well of a basement egress window

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Adding plants inside your window well can improve the view from inside the basement room. Window boxes outside the window and mounted planters on the window well wall are excellent space-saving ways to incorporate plants into even the smallest areas.

However, it's essential to choose your plants wisely when you're planning a window well garden. Avoid creeping plants like ivy because they can grow rapidly to cover windows and walls, potentially blocking natural sunlight. If you have an egress window well, avoid blocking the exit with pots or using thorny plants that could cause injury if you need to evacuate. Keep any steps or escape ladders free from plant pots and other decorative items.

When you're choosing plants to place inside your window well, choose species that thrive in shady conditions. Succulents generally do well in the shade, and you could also add some annuals like fuschia or begonias.

5. Make a Mini Garden

A window well leading to the basement egress window of a house

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Window wells can become a decorative exterior feature of your home if you emphasize the area surrounding them. Creating a distinct zone around your window well with stones and then filling the area with turf or gravel can help draw attention to your window wells, and you can add potted plants, topiary and garden ornaments to create a mini garden.

However, ensure that you keep the areas around your window wells free from potential hazards if you have an egress window well. Avoid placing ornaments or pots in your exit path because you could trip over them if you exit your home in the dark. It's also safest to use smooth stones in the areas around egress window wells because rough or pointed rocks could cause a serious injury if you fall on them.

6. Build Tiers

If you have plenty of outdoor space available, adding stepped tiers to your window well can turn it into an attractive feature that looks great from inside and outside. Adding bricks or stones around the edge of each tier can emphasize the window well shape as a deliberate design feature.

Once you've built your tiers, consider turning each tier into a flowerbed to improve the view from the basement window. Alternatively, you could pave the tiers and use them as a display area for pot plants and ornaments. If you have an egress window well, add a staircase or leave an area clear to provide an exit route.