How to Create a Coffee Shop Vibe with a Window Shelf

Sometimes the best ideas come from a coffee shop or the taco place in Lower Greenville in Dallas. While eating tacos with this son and looking around the garage-turned-open-air dining, my focus turned to the bank of windows with a counter height shelf for text messages and binging TikTok videos of Gus and Walter.

Years ago I pinned a single image of a window shelf from one lonely Pinterest pin. Except I cannot find it on my Pinterest boards.

So to see the window shelf concept in action was a next-level DIY goal.


It was a simple idea- a shelf or ledge in front of a window at counter height for a barstool. The window seat was simple and perfect for a 600-square-foot apartment in the city.

Except I live in the suburbs which usually means dedicated square footage in a kitchen or dining room.

I am obsessed with finding the niche or tiny opportunities in spaces. This year I wanted a coffee shop vibe without waiting in line at a Starbucks for 24 minutes on a Monday morning.

I love the challenge of a small space. As real estate agents, we (or AI) use words like cozy to describe a room with an awkward layout or a fix and flip that did not think that future homeowners or tenants may want a kitchen table.

But I love to imagine how to use a space more efficiently. Recently I showed buyers a home that had a dining space that was big enough for just a highchair.

So I decided to see if I could create a coffee shop vibe with a shelf and a window ledge.


This DIY is perfect if you just want to try out this idea and not commit to long-term brackets or bolts. I did a similar trial run when I rearranged our dining room.


I love to use select pine at Home Depot. It’s little pricier so maybe start with a board in the culled wood bin at the back of most Home Depots.

I used it to make farmhouse shelves in our kitchen and used metal brackets to hold the shelves. What I love about this coffee shop vibe is it does not require brackets and anchors.

  • Select pine from Home Depot. Check out the lumber section for other options.
  • Stain (this is my go-to stain).
  • I also used a horizontal tray to try this idea in my home office.

This is one of those DIY projects where your kids, friend, spouse or electrician may tilt their head when you describe you want to create a coffee shop vibe with a window shelf. But just know I get it! It is fun to mix up a space! Scroll below for popular posts on mixing it up!

I would love it if you pinned this shelf project for others to find. Someone out there is living in a tiny space with a tiny window and pretending they are …

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