Large Kitchen Window Design Ideas
Dramatic windows to elevate your next kitchen
I have to admit...I've been sort of obsessed with large kitchen window design ideas lately. While the "kitchen window" was rarely something to gawk at a decade ago, nowadays, there are tons of show-stopping kitchen images with dramatic window designs. As a profound believer of incorporating great architecture into the kitchen, I am an enthusiastic advocate of this development.
If you are building a new home or planning an extensive kitchen remodel, I suggest that you begin with the kitchen window. While you can do a lot with cabinetry design to imbue a lackluster kitchen with character, if you've got the time, budget, and inclination, I think giving your space good bones from the very beginning is the way to go. So, in that spirit, I thought I would share some of these images with you and hopefully give you a little inspirational push to not accept the reverse of this scenario. In other words, don't let someone work out all of the other details of your kitchen first and then just plug in a ho-hum window at the end because they've designed you into a corner. There are so many great options that will take your kitchen from nice to exquisite, that with a little creative juice and fore-thought, there is no excuse for settling.
There are lots of articles out there on selecting the right type of kitchen window, such as selecting a casement window vs. a picture window, etc. This post is not about any of that. Instead...
I want to specifically address the style considerations involved when perusing
large kitchen window design ideas for your new build or remodel.
Source: Dixon Kirby
consider how Wall Texture can play a supporting role
When planning your new kitchen window, I encourage you to think about texture as a companion to a great large kitchen window. Think about how differently the space above would have looked without the brick. Not only would it have felt empty without the added texture of the brick, but it would have felt a lot less amazing. With the shape of the window being tall and narrow, it leaves a lot of negative, or empty space on either side of it. While cabinetry left and right of the window would have worked too, it would not have been as stunning as the brick wall with the open shelving.
I also love that they set the window a bit higher above the counter and did a great marble detail behind the faucet. If you have a really stunning faucet, this would be a great way to make sure it doesn't get lost in the detail of the window.
consider that not all windows should have casing
I just love the eccentric arch on the above window. I also love that they nixed the window casing and just used a solid slab of marble on the wall that perfectly fits the shape of the window. That particular detail really elevates the style of this window, in my opinion. This looks so much crisper than if they had just used a wood casing around the window. I also love that the designer kept the wall cabinetry feeling open and airy by using glass on the side panels as well. That's one of my favorite tricks with glass wall cabinets around windows.
I think this is a perfect sized window for most kitchens. If you've got tons of space to go bigger, go for it, but for most folks, this would be a lovely style of window to install for a remodel or a new home.
Source: Jeffrey Dungan Architects
Consider the height of the cabinetry
Here's another really stunning vaulted ceiling kitchen with high impact, tall windows. I love the scale of the window wall...so much light. While I would typically suggest going a little taller with the wall cabinets when the ceiling is this high - in this particular scenario the standard height cabinetry works fine. The vertical wood planks add warmth and weight to the voluminous amount of wall space. If this homeowner had been my client and he/she didn't want to panel the walls, I would have added another "top box" row of cabinetry to extend the height of the uppers so that the cabinetry cornice hit somewhere between the upper and lower windows. You also want to keep in mind how much your cabinetry moldings will project so that you don't end up crowding your beautiful window.
I also love that they planned just enough space between the windows for placement of sconces. That's a good thing to think about before the windows are framed out so you can leave enough space for your wiring.
Source: DeVol Kitchens
consider that A fabulous kitchen window could be a door instead
Here's a great kitchen to remind us that the kitchen window does not need to be an actual window! Here, a glass door and arched surround set into a brick wall steals the spotlight and provide lots of options to lay out the rest of the kitchen. By eliminating the need for cabinetry on the far wall, the island can now become longer, which may be beneficial if you need to incorporate a lot of island seating. This type of layout is very on point regarding current trends in kitchen design. It can provide a more organic feel to the room as opposed to one that is meticulously designed and planned out. In this particular scenario, that is actually true. This space by DeVol Kitchens is in a renovated barn in the Cotswolds, but you could easily create a similar feel in your own renovation or new-build.
Source: Ben Pentreath
Consider a window above the cabinetry
This kitchen is fabulous. I don't know what to comment on first...the window, the ceiling, the blue cabinetry...it's all just perfect. Although this is from an Arts & Crafts historical home in England, I can imagine interpreting a similar concept for a new-build. Obviously, some sort of vaulted ceiling would be necessary to get the needed height here. But this would be a great option if your space was laid out in such a way as to not leave you with enough wall space for cabinetry. By keeping the window above the cabinetry, it allows all of your wall space below to be usable.
Source: Heather Hungeling Design
consider using two windows instead of one
I included this image from my own portfolio just to illustrate the idea of using two symmetrical windows with two matching sinks. It is such a luxury to have two sinks - especially full-size ones (and two dishwashers)! You definitely need to plan this one out in the early design stage. On this particular project, I was brought in early enough that I could work out the exact placement of the windows so that we could have the farmhouse sinks and the dishwashers spaced perfectly...and symmetrically placed glass wall cabinets. If you'd like to know just how early you should be looking to get a kitchen designer involved in your project, be sure to check out this post.
Source: Lauren DeLoach and Matthew Quinn
Consider your need for window treatments
You'll notice that the majority of these kitchen windows do not have any kind of window treatments. I would encourage you to consider the type of window coverings that your space and privacy inclinations will require and factor that into the selection of your window style. For instance, while there are some options out there for covering an arched window - they usually don't look that great. At worst, they look extremely dated and at best, they are just "ok" because they detract from the architecture of the window itself. So don't go for a beautiful arched window if you're just going to need to cover it with a window treatment because you need the privacy.
Source: Heather Hungeling Design
consider adhering to the character of the house
If you have an early 1900's home, like my client in the above image, keeping the look of the original windows is worth the effort. The vintage charm of the windows adds character to this kitchen, which is otherwise all sourced with new products.
Source: Anthony Catalfano Interiors
consider how a window can elongate your room
A bay window behind a sink can be so alluring, especially if you have a green thumb. With lots of place for plants behind the sink, you'll never forget to water! This type of window really extends your view as you walk into the kitchen, making it feel larger and drawing your eye to the yard outside. Consider how you can use that to your advantage when laying out your kitchen. Bay windows are also a rare treat, as you just don't see them very often anymore.
Source: Minnie Peters
Consider the direction of your sunlight
One stunning final example of using a tall window or door at the long end of the room rather than above the kitchen sink. It leaves you with a nice long wall to make your range the other focal point. Here, they've incorporated skylights as well. Just keep in mind that skylights cast a rather cool hue to the room at certain times of the day, so it's best to use them when you can off-set that with a source of warm light. In this kitchen, they seem to have that covered! They've got windows/glass doors on two different walls, allowing for a nice variety of sunlight throughout the day.
North facing window - cool light
East facing window - warm, yellow light
West facing window - warm, orange-red light. Will receive hot sun and will probably need a solar shade or some sort of light filtering window treatments
South facing window - same as above
Source: Eleanor Cummings Design
Consider positioning your window flush with the countertops
Another gentle arched window mounted into a brick wall gives all the character you need in your kitchen on one wall. Sitting the window flush to the countertop is a great way to modernize the look and maintain great visibility out the window. It works best when you don't case the window, but I've seen them done both ways. The arched, traditional window in one of the images above (#7), sits low to the counter as well but is shown with window casing.
Source: Nate Berkus via Architectural Digest
Consider more of a 3 dimensional approach to your windows
If you're building from scratch or extending the footprint of your home with the kitchen, this is a really stylish option. There are a number of pretty kitchens I've seen lately with almost a conservatory feel. Just make sure you consider the direction of the sun - if you do this on a South facing window, you'll have to wear sunscreen while you cook your lunch!