The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Go Large - Designing Kitchen Windows

large kitchen windowsI just got finished fertilizing about 170 roses in my garden. When I do something, I do it big! It's an extremely exciting time if you are a gardener in the northeast. Hour by hour, all the plants are popping. I'm doubly excited because the  fertilizer I ordered arrived today at my front door, hours before the start of several days of a good, soaking rain. Perfect timing. Coming into the kitchen in the morning shows progress and beauty in the garden every day.

When I remodeled my kitchen a few years back, one of my wishes was to have expansive views of the garden from the kitchen.  We installed 20' of windows. I wanted as many windows as I could get for natural lighting in the kitchen and wonderful garden views. I WAS a bit concerned with not so great views over the winter, but I was willing to pay that very small price. Of course, there is beauty in many winter views as well, with or without snow.

This is a little insight into why I designed large windows in my kitchen (these images are not of my kitchen!)


When you consider remodeling your kitchen, window size and placement should play an important role. It's funny, but even today, when windows are getting larger in many homes, there is often still hesitation to "go large" with the kitchen window. And, in many cases, and this is a key point, if the kitchen is in the back of the house, the house may have been purchased, partially, for the beauty of the yard, and the existing kitchen windows do not often allow one to fully appreciate the views! It is a paradox that is amusing to me.

kitchen window.jpg 











My recommendation, when planning new windows for the kitchen is to consider:

  • the views of your yard and the role that a lovely view can play in your life in the kitchen
  • the pleasant feeling you get when you are near natural lighting
  • the energy saving costs you could incur, depending on the kitchen's exposure for heating and lighting purposes
  • taking care not to worry that expanding a window relates to an "unacceptable" amount of lost cabinet storage. This part is tricky. Of course, in small kitchens, it is a more critical issue. In medium and large kitchens, carefully evaluate the pros and cons of a larger window before saying a quick "no...I'll lose too much storage."
  • always taking into consideration the architectural view from outside looking in
  • operable vs. non operable windows - operable for needed ventilation, non operable for unobstructed viewing
  • the other windows of your home and select a window style that is the same or very similar
  • if the window or windows should be situated for a specific view of a pool, a play area, garden, wide vista, etc.
  • one's overall psychological well being with a connection to nature
  • what role will privacy play in your window location?

small kitchen windowWhat if your view is not park like, but looks toward a brick wall, a driveway or other nondescript area? Think beyond what you see outside at this moment. Is it possible to add some landscaping to enhance the existing view? Often, it is, but is something the homeowner did not consider.

Is there a spot for a long window? Long windows have a place in a kitchen as well. Short windows are not the only size that must be in a kitchen! I once spoke with a wheelchair bound homeowner and suggested a tall window just beyond the cabinetry, so that he could enjoy the view outdoors. This was a welcome suggestion! 

In a future post, I will discuss how to select the size and shape of the window. 

I'm now energized for the next 6 months of garden viewing out my kitchen window! (see below) And, no, we do not have a gardener! My husband and I designed the garden ourselves, dug every hole (2'x2'), prune every bush, hand water in between rains, do garden clean up multiple times a year, we do not have a "service", it is all our work, which we like to look at and enjoy. A "garden walk" with a glass of wine is a good reward too. Roses were purchased one by one over a several year period. Five more just arrived last week! What can I say? It's a obsession hobby. You'll find me in the garden most days now from 5-8 pm!

UPDATE: While I was thinking roses, see a follow up to this post with good information by Peggy at kitchen-exchange

kitchen window view copy.jpg 

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  • Response
    I thought about commenting there, but decided to do it here instead. Susan has great observations about how important windows are and how they should match those in other parts of the home and be as big as possible to let in lots of natural light and views (170 rose bushes, and three more on the way, IS over the top Susan!).

Reader Comments (15)

I love large windows in the kitchen and because I spend so much time in there, natural day light plays such a big role in making my day shine that much brighter! Love that 1st photo, wow.

April 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJLee

yowsa! That's not from this year is it? My tiny, untended, garden is just showing signs of life...

There is a spiritual connection of inviting light and nature into a kitchen. Our current kitchen has a 6 foot pocket slider, where the expanse of the window disappears into the wall. Unfortunately the window looks out onto a wall and corner of our swimming pool. Duh, what were the architect's thinking! Leaving the kitchen in our late 60's home stuck in the middle with very little natural light, and I miss it soo! Well be adding solartubes if and when a new roof is installed.

Next house I am designing now has floor to ceiling bay windows with deep overhangs that offer up a spectacular view of the lake. Lot's of southern light. I can stand at my sink, see and connect. Thanks for posting, and sharing.

April 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMichele Lessirard

Jlee,yes, the power of natural light is amazing for our well being, that's what I think. It's true, a LOT of time is spent in the kitchen. For me, the best time of the day is preparing dinner...the day is OVER, and I love to transition into evening.

Linda, no, that was from June 2005. I didn't take that angle last year, although I thought I did, just can't find the pictures from 2006. The big show lasts about 2-3 weeks! You need a rose bush in your garden. My rose buddies call that "enabling". What color would you like?

Michele, thanks for stopping by. You are so right. I feel the connection very strongly, that why I put in as many windows as I could.The house by the lake sounds fantastic. I think you will surely be content in that space. :-)

April 27, 2007 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

that garden of yours is incredible. I am impressed by its beauty. What a joy to have in your life!

Who needs cabinet space when you can have a window that looks over that amazing garden. I would have opted for large windows too.


April 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAbbeyK


April 30, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersusan

I am impressed by the size and beauty of the large kitchen window, (second from top) if possible please give me more information on this window, manufacturer, size etc.

Roy, Lakeland, Florida

July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoy Fisher

Roy, I'm trying to find out, check back.

July 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Wonderful, I appreciate your help.

July 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoy Fisher

Roy, just as I thought, the windows are by Kolbe Kolbe, which is a relatively high end window company. http://www.kolbe-kolbe.com/

The number I came up with for the size is 105 1/8 and I believe that included window casing of probably 4" on each side. Unfortunately, I do not know the height of the window. Hope that helps.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Susan, thank you very much that helps a lot, I will call them and get the details.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoy Fisher

Glad I could help a bit!

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Hello....Looking for the dimensions for 2nd window from top and think read it is 105" 1/8. Do you know if there any window out there that would be similar to that for a 5ft space??

Thanks for any help!

June 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjane

I'm sorry, I don't know the answer to that. It would probably have to be a custom window.

June 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

I love large windows! Especially the first picture.
I Love it!!

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