My first apartment in New York was my first peek into “interior windows.” As you can see in the photo below, my room was likely “invented” in the main common space so that the landlord could charge more for the space. Wanna guess how much this room was in 2010?? $740. The craziest part is that it was a STEAL given the prime East Village location. But I digress. So yes, I can’t say “entirely windowless” because up in that crawl space were two rows of chunky glass cubes that let in a tiiiiny bit of light from the front room where the actual light lived. Long story short, it was in that apartment I truly realized the importance of natural light. It not only makes a space beautiful but it helps your mood and prevents you from not sleeping until 1 pm because your body thinks it’s always nighttime.
Are interior windows a new idea? No, not at all. But I have been seeing them way more and honestly I can’t get enough. Let that light in! We need to feel joy again! (kidding…or am I?) They also invite the perfect balance between an open concept home and a traditional closed floorplan.
But Jess, where and/why is an interior window a good idea? Thanks for asking, Jess. One fun/solution-based way is to put one between a load-bearing post and a wall like Emily did in the mountain house dining nook. Since they couldn’t move that post and weren’t in love with the original pony wall, Em and the design team decided not to close up the wall and instead install a window that matched the windows in the nook. This kept things looking and feeling airy.
Emily is actually keeping the good interior window times rolling in the farmhouse. She’s repurposing some of the original exterior windows and using them for the pantry as shown above. It’s going to add just a sweet architectural moment that is also special to this house specifically. Actually adding a vintage interior window (depending on the style you are going for) is SUCH a great way to bring in some soul to a home without having to worry if it’s sealed perfectly like it would need to be if it were being used as an exterior window.
Now, let’s get into all of the examples I found (well, not all but some of my favorites:)). This one above by Michelle Mele is perfect. Had that wall been solid it still would have looked nice but now the whole space feels more open and larger. It feels modern yet classic while also being decorative but ultimately functional (because it lets in light).
I also wanted you to see it from a more pulled-back angle. It really adds so much to this whole space. Let an interior window be a functional piece of art!
Ok so technically this is more than “just a window” but it has the same function on a larger scale. This window wall gives the feeling of the living and dining rooms being two separate spaces while still letting the light bounce around in both rooms. It’s almost too pretty. Ok, it’s definitely too pretty.
P.S. This was also one of the rooms that inspired me to get my shag rug. I need mine to look like that!
What I also love about interior windows is the style variety. This isn’t something that’s exclusively modern, traditional, farmhouse chic, etc. It’s for everyone and every home.
Something else to note is that they don’t just have to be picture windows (ones that don’t open). As shown in this beautiful living room by Blanc Marine Intérieurs with those awesome functional vintage windows. Let that air circulate if it makes sense with the flow of the house and design.
I’m not sure if this entry and interior window were original to this house but regardless it’s so smart. This home is in Seattle so it’s wet and the need for an entry with storage is a must. This example design by The Residency Bureau shows us how to get that needed entry without losing all of that precious light in the living room.
Big, bold interior windows at their finest. When I saw these photos I gasped. They perfectly separate these spaces, add architectural interest, AND make the space feel simultaneously cozy and grand.
But if you just want cozy, feast your eyes on this home from HGTV’s Fixer Upper by the one and only Joanna and Chip Gaines. It’s the same idea as the space above but on a much smaller and vintage-inspired scale. This is what I mean by adding some soul.
I love that they doubled down (literally) by adding in these functional windows to this home office. It makes everything brighter and if you are a parent this is a great hack to be able to work and still be able to keep an eye on the kids (or animals for that matter).
Or maybe you have a dark laundry room and want to let in some light… how sweet is THIS WINDOW?!
As a simple gal like myself, this window has my whole heart. Molly of HeyFeatherstone installed this one herself and I can’t stop looking at this. Why have a wall when you could have a window?
Think how great this window wall is for a party? The host can be prepping while there are people around the island and then some can go into the dining room while still feeling like there are all together. But mostly I just think it’s beautiful.
Did y’all think there wouldn’t be an arch?? No way. And not just one, we’ve got a double arch. I feel like whoever lives here doesn’t walk but actually floats from room to room, it looks so airy.
We featured this space by Marianne Evennou in a Link Up a few weeks ago because we all LOVED IT. Not only is this whole space so well designed but that window enclosing the kitchen from the hallway is a knockout. I would assume it also helps with lowering the noise level from the kitchen to the bedroom at the end of the hall. It keeps the kitchen bright but the zones in this small apartment (shared by a brother and sister) clear.
Here are some more photos because I couldn’t not.
Do you have a room in a hallway (like an office or playroom) that doesn’t need all the privacy? Put in an interior hallway window. I can guarantee this helps to make this space feel bigger. Plus who doesn’t want to look at all that cool art as much as possible? Oh and remember that you can always add a curtain in situations like this one for a little bit of privacy when needed.
Modern, organic, and bright. See? Style versatility, people.
They are even perfect in a mid-century modern home. Again, I know this is an entire wall but you should know that it’s an option (and a very good one at that).
From mid-century modern to modern, modern. When you live in a loft and your bathroom is in the center, why not put in privacy glass windows to brighten things up? I’m really into this kind of glass right now (it’s also been trending) because it’s the same idea as those silly glass blocks but waaaay cooler.
Do you have very high ceilings spanning to your second floor and don’t know what to do with ALL of that wall space? Well, why not add a functional (or picture) window to the room on the other side of that tall wall? It can add airflow and light and a lot of beauty.
Here’s that window from inside the room:)
Ok so I know I’ve already had some favorites but LOOK AT THIS PERFECT WINDOW. Elizabeth Roberts and her team are one of my absolute favorite firms and this home only confirms that.
The way this window (and matching interior shutters) help to gently break up this wood wall is genius. Warm and modern and I want to go there so bad. This is an example of the many ways windows are simply not just for your exterior facing walls. Have some fun!
So what do you think? Do you also love this idea? Or do you want to keeps walls, walls and not have to involuntary look at anyone in your house? Have you already taken a sledgehammer to your nearest wall and are searching Etsy for vintage windows? Let’s talk about it!
Love you, mean it.
Opening Image Credits: Design by Lauren Liess and Beau Clowney | Styled by Kendra Surface | Photo by Robbie Caponetto | via Southern Living Magazine
Oooh, so, so beautiful, airy and space-inducing.
Fabulous ideas and such a well put together post!
I love how the eye can go so much further in the spaces and the outside views can be seen from far inside.
Where I live in Australia, almost all the houses are built of brick. Double brick exterior walls, with single brick interior walls. So as much as I, or we Aussies, might wish to employ this great design idea … whacking a hole through a wall to pop in a window is a whollllllllle lot harder than in a wooden framed house! 🤔
I love the idea of an interior window, and especially of repurposing those beautiful old original windows at the farm house, but having them frame the view into the pantry would never work for me. Imagine the visual clutter! Eek!
What a beautifully curated post!
Another simple way to get this effect is to replace interior solid doors with half or full lite doors. Instant window – no sledgehammer needed.
We did this in our old farm house to let in more light, but also to allow us to close off some spaces to make heating more efficient.
This is so helpful. I have glass blocks in my kitchen looking into my bedroom that I want to replace with something. I have no idea what to use when it’s a bedroom that does need privacy. My kitchen is in the middle of the house so there’s a lack of light that those blocks help with but they are so ugly. I’m definitely going to look into some vintage colored glass or reeder glass for this. Thanks for this insight and inspiration.
Am I the only person that think square glass blocks are cool!? Our post office is made of them
And I think it’s so cool because of the light that comes in. And with all the square tile trends I thought glass block would be trendy again too
I also like them!
I have definitely seen glass block look good and used (more recently) in a way that made it look fresh. However, how it’s used and the context of where is key for it looking current vs outdated. Mine is not right for my 1940s home and also poorly constructed with silicone that has yellowed. ☹️
I love the glass block wall in my walk in shower!
A friend of mine has a contemporary 80s house. Her second story main bedroom has giant windows overlooking the 2 story living room. Yes, it does let loads of light in and looks pretty, but she said its so loud. The windows let in way more sound than a wall wood. So plan accordingly.
wood= would. Apparently I was thinking much too hard about what goes in walls. 🙂
Acoustic glass can sometimes be the solution here.
This is a little off topic, but I’ve been obsessing over the bar stools in the first picture (the Lauren Liess kitchen) but they are so expensive and am afraid to buy them without hearing some feedback about comfort. Does anyone out there have them? Have sat in them? Are they comfortable? Thanks for the help, hivemind!
LOVE interior windows. I also like the idea of adding a layer of curtains. Light when you want it, with the option of privacy. Like this bathroom.
This is inspiring….
I adore transom windows, too – would love to fit one in somewhere in my home!
Yes! This round up could also include transom windows, which let it light and increase air flow. In Hawaii they do louvered glass or wood transoms above bedroom doors to allow trade winds to cool the bedrooms.
I LOVE this idea! also, these are my favorite kinds of posts. such eye candy! that steven ehrlich home in dwell is AMAZING.
This is great….I had pinned the Jean Stoffer Design pic a while ago and I keep going back to look at the window and the rooms. Genius!!
Great topic…would love to do that in my home somehow 🙂
Adore this trend! The black multi paned ones make my heart skip a beat!
This was a fab round up. My head is spinning with ideas. Love it all!
We live in a swanky 80s pad with lots of interior windows. Especially in the smaller interior bathroom, they are really smart. A band of windows lines the top of two walls, so there is ample daylight coming in from the kitchen and the hallway, while maintaining privacy as they are high up. Als, one entire kitchen wall is made up of interior windows, opposite the entire wall of exterior windows. Love the idea in general and specifically!
These are all so incredible! I have an interior wall that isn’t load-bearing between my very small kitchen and my dining room, but removing the wall would mean I’d have to give up my small kitchen table, which I really like because I eat all my meals there and it also provides extra work space. But my kitchen is fairly dark, while my dining room is super bright, so this has me thinking. Now to figure out what kind of interior window situation would seem at place in my 1920s craftsman-ish house!