How to Decorate Window Wells

Mary Abella

Window wells are better than no windows in the basement, but they can be ugly. Looking out at corrugated steel semi-circles is definitely uninspiring. Decorating these eyesores can create something positive out of an albatross.

  1. Attach silk ivy in a decorative way to a piece of vinyl lattice and install it in the window well by digging in little holes for the lattice feet and supporting it with stone. Or mix a little concrete to hold it in place. Tilt the indoor louvered blinds so that they are not opened directly, and this outside treatment looks quite charming.

  2. Install landscape wall-stone inside the well. Depending on the style of stone you choose, the look can be contemporary or traditional. Having a stone extend out farther every now and then creates textural interest.

  3. Replace the corrugated steel with landscape timbers. If the well is deep enough and extends out far enough, they can be staggered toward the house, creating a sort of terrace, for interest. Live or artificial plants could be placed in the tiers.

  4. Paint the metal green to mimic a dense planting, and place outdoor statuary or natural pieces like driftwood or large rocks in an interesting pattern in the well. Finish off by placing river rock in the bottom.

  5. Paint the metal black to fade away. Place a durable, modern 3-D artwork in the well, preferably a shiny metal or brightly colored one. Finish off with river rock or mulch on the bottom if desired.

  6. Place a window well scene up against the metal. Go to Window Well Expressions (see Resources) to check out the options. Looking out the window can be like looking out of a regular window, with a lovely outdoor scene. If you are artistically talented, you could even paint a mural--or fun floating flowers--directly onto the metal.

  7. Tip

    The more natural and high-quality the installation, the more pleasing it will be. Cheap fake ivy or dime store-statues will simply look cheap.