I think it was an improvement:I've added a shelf over the window seat. It helps define the space and it will serve as a place to store some of my typewriter collection. (Tools used are on the seat, along with a pile of books. Still working on the bookshelves).Brackets are a Victorian repro from Lee Valley, sprayed with black lacquer and a quick swipe of cream enamel (I had to paint them: they are re-used and had rusted a little). Edge detail on the wood (a bit difficult to see in the photos) was done using a very simple tool: a flathead, slotted woodscrew in a bit of scrap 1-by-2. You screw it in to the desired width of the edge bead, then file the head of the screw flatter, creating a sharp edge at the slot. Worked along the edge of the wood, it cuts a groove while smoothing and slightly rounding the corner. I picked the most interesting side of the glued-up board for the bottom. It's just pine, planed flat and smoothed with a scraper. I think this shows the depth of the grain better than sanding.
The finish is just boiled linseed oil and wax. I like the scent, once it's crosslinked enough to not be overpowering.
Will it hold typewriters? It should. The upper screws found a good, solid bite into the window frame. I'll find out gradually.