All excellent designers recognise the importance of “visual moments” in a kitchen—unique and striking visual components that serve as focal points to anchor the overall design. The direction and qualities of the place itself play a big role in how and where these moments appear. Few kitchens are alike, from the size of the space to the existing structural features. However, a window or two is a common feature in many kitchens, and how this feature is used can be vital to effective kitchen design.
Almost every interior designer relishes the opportunity to design a space around one or more kitchen windows. Given the amount of cabinetry covering the walls, a window provides both visual relief and the obvious benefit of allowing natural light into the room. Natural light gives a room a sense of realism that no artificial lighting can match, and kitchen designers are always looking for ways to highlight a window in some way.
Because virtually everyone enjoys gazing outside while washing dishes or preparing meals, the traditional way to use a window in a kitchen is to place the sink beneath it. However, there are a slew of additional techniques to liven up a kitchen window, the majority of which entail bringing the focal point closer to eye level. The visual moment afforded by a window is frequently as much about beauty as it is about function in the hands of a smart designer.
With windows, create a focal point in the kitchen.
If your kitchen has many windows, consider using them to frame a prominent item, such as the range hood. In kitchens with commercial-grade cooking ranges and designer range hoods, this technique can work wonders. This feature, which is framed by windows, can create an entire main wall that supports the kitchen design, especially if it is accented with a unique surface treatment, such as black subway tile.
Inspired industrial shelving built over the windows in this case adds to the aesthetic impact.
Kitchen sinks and range hoods are obvious aspects to highlight with windows, but any key feature, such as a butcher-block baking centre, a wine rack, or an eating nook, can be highlighted as well.
Integrate the range hood with the windows
Consider a custom-designed range hood that is made to blend with the windows, as shown in this kitchen, to take the idea of spotlighting the range hood (or other key feature) a step further. A window is positioned above the unique hood, and two other windows frame the sides.
Don’t be limited by what is typical in a kitchen; a complete redesign may offer you fresh possibilities for using windows.
Incorporate the look of a steel window
Steel or steel-look aluminium windows add drama to any area, but especially the kitchen. They work well with traditional cabinetry and accents and are a natural for modern decor. The black metal windows in this example contrast sharply with the lighter-colored cabinets. They could also be used with grey or another dark cabinet colour to create a complementing rather than contrasting look. If you don’t have the budget for new steel-framed windows, consider painting the mullions on your existing wood windows to obtain a similar look.
Construct a Cabinetry Bridge Over a Window
In the kitchen, cabinetry is quite important, and integrating cabinetry around a window may give it a flowing and personalised aspect. A cabinetry valance was used to connect two wall cabinets flanking a wide centre window in this example. This valance follows the curve of the window, providing symmetry and allowing the most natural light into the room.
Utilize Decorative Sashes
Allowing your kitchen window to take on a decorative purpose through the use of distinctive sashes or ornate glasswork is a fantastic option. This method is especially useful if you only have a single window, such as one above the sink, and your design possibilities are limited. Using decorative mullions and leaded or stained glass to make this single window stand out creates an instant focal point in the kitchen. Why not try it in your kitchen? This method has been used for years for windows positioned over bathtubs in bathrooms, so why not try it in your kitchen?