Kitchen windows: A few favorite options

Searching for kitchen windows? We’ll show you how to get around the challenges and make the most of the opportunity to bring light and fresh air into the heart of your home.
A kitchen with white zellige tile, a large wood island, and a bank of three white windows above the sink.

With essentials like range hoods, cabinets, and microwaves taking up wall space, it can be tough to fit windows into a kitchen. And yet, they serve an important function by letting out smoke, steam, and cooking smells and letting in fresh air. Equally important, windows bring feel-good natural light into this oh-so-important room. Here’s how to get around the challenges and pick out kitchen windows that’ll make your kitchen a place everyone loves to be.

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The best types of windows for common kitchen spots

Here are a few common spots in the kitchen and the types of windows that work well there.

Above a kitchen sink

This is a great place for a crank-operated casement window. If you must lean over your sink to reach the window, you might struggle to get the leverage needed to push up a double- or single-hung window. That’s why the casement window is such a winner here. It’s also easier to maintain, no small consideration in such a hard-working space, because it can be cleaned (exterior, too) from inside your home. Keep this one in mind for anywhere in the kitchen you’ll be stretching to reach the window — above a countertop, banquette, etc.

Two rows of black-framed casement windows with grilles above a concrete kitchen sink surrounded by marble countertops and white cabinetry.

Casement windows, like these ones, are a favorite above kitchen sinks because their crank handles make them a breeze to open.

In a breakfast nook

For both functional and aesthetic reasons, double-hung windows work well in breakfast nooks. Create cross ventilation in these niche-like spaces by placing windows on opposing walls. If the space will only accommodate one window, a double-hung is especially impactful because it can vent warm air through the top sash while letting in cooler air through the bottom. Aesthetically, double-hung windows complement a variety of traditional architectural styles where breakfast nooks are more common. Psst … If the design of your breakfast nook will make this type of window hard to open, select a casement with grilles styled to mimic a double-hung.

A breakfast room with a table is surrounded by several walls of white windows.

White 400 Series Double-Hung Windows with modified colonial grilles work well in the breakfast room of this remodeled home where they allow for a cross breeze and bring in lots of natural light.

Above the cabinets

When you have the luxury of high ceilings, a picture or awning window can be a good option so long as you’re not depending on your window to bring in fresh air. Consider a row of windows along the roofline (called clerestory windows), or uniquely shaped windows that will fit the roofline, like triangle windows at a gable.

If you want a window that opens (or “operates”), an awning window is a great option for a high location, especially the 400 Series Awning Window. It has the option for a power operator, which allows you to open the window with the click of a button.

Windows for a kitchen remodel or new build

Building your dream home? These windows will take your kitchen to the next level.

Meet the ultimate kitchen window: The pass-through

If you love to entertain, this is one window you’ll want to know about. The pass-through window is popular in between kitchens and outdoor living spaces. It opens up completely, so you never miss a joke — even when you’re mixing drinks or refilling the chip bowl. And it comes in many forms. Find options that fold open accordion-style, slide open like a patio door, or disappear into the wall (pocket). There are even automated options that open and close on their own.

A woman stands inside a kitchen talking to two women standing outside on the other side of a pass-through window.

This automated MultiGlide™ Pass-Through Window pockets into the wall making entertaining easy in this lake house.

Create a contemporary look with windows as backsplashes

For a look that’s unique and contemporary, skip the tile and use windows as your backsplash. Awning and picture windows can fill this space well. Set flush with the countertop and below the upper cabinets, they’ll shed light on your every cooking project.

A kitchen with a contemporary look due to the handless walnut cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and windows used as a backsplash.

In this kitchen, the space normally reserved for a backsplash is instead filled with windows for a contemporary look that’s also highly functional.

Bring the outdoors in with a garden window

Plant an indoor herb garden or keep your plants happy until spring rolls around again — a garden window makes this possible. Garden windows act like miniature greenhouses and can be created with a box bay window. A box bay has a picture window at center and flanking windows at 90 degrees. Flanking windows can be casement or double-hung windows. Both options open (or vent) so you can cool your plants off on warm days.

A garden window with black frames and colonial grilles in a kitchen with marble countertops and subway tile.

A 90-degree box bay window creates a perfect garden window in this kitchen. Pairing black frames with colonial grilles and installing the window flush with the countertop creates a transitional look — that mixes traditional and contemporary architecture.

Cabinetry or windows?

One clever solution for bringing light into a smaller kitchen is removing a single upper cabinet and swapping in a window instead.

In a big kitchen, you can lean in even further and embrace the rising trend of forgoing upper cabinetry. Instead, add in a bank of windows, or take it a step further and stack two banks on top of each other.

No matter which scenario you find yourself in, we recommend the same window type: a casement for its ease of use and ventilating abilities. This window can be scaled to fit your kitchen — it can be up to 8 feet tall, dressed up with grilles for a more traditional look, and of course, it’s available in a variety of styles. So, if you remember one thing, make it this: Casements are king in the kitchen.

Up next: Shopping for windows? We’ve got ideas for every room in the house. You can also start creating your ideal kitchen window with our design tool.

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