Are 'Kitchen Garden Windows' Still in Style? Why We Still Love This Genius Design Feature

Creating a garden in a kitchen window is a brilliant way to bring nature to your cooking space — here's how designers are still embracing this retro design trend

modern black kitchen with inbuilt kitchen window planter
(Image credit: Jocelyn Low. Design: Uncommon,)

The traditional kitchen garden window speaks to each of our culinary and horticultural sensibilities. Designed to bring the greenhouse inside and offer a designated space for your library of herbs to grow with ease, this unique feature may seem small but it makes an impactful statement in your kitchen.

The immediate benefits include all of your favorite home-grown herbs or flowers at your fingertips, all easily maintained while bringing a biophilic touch to your kitchen window. Originally designed as a bespoke architectural feature, many designers are getting creative with this concept to bring their clients closer to nature. From custom planters integrated into kitchen units to glass shelving that makes the most of each ray of sunshine, the kitchen garden window is steadily becoming the moniker of a kitchen that is not just well designed but is well used.


kitchen garden window with cactus plants

(Image credit: Thomas Kuoh, Design Studio Munroe)

Often, we make the mistake of confining our indoor gardens to coffee tables and forgotten corners, forgetting that they are alive and can offer us so much more than just fragrance or color. This earthy and inviting kitchen design from California-based designer, Studio Munroe demonstrates how kitchen garden windows can bring so much joy to spaces. The clever shelving not only allows the client to showcase more but also creates the illusion of a larger window.

'Plants are living sculptures, and the right collection brings whimsical personality to a room.  This collection in a San Francisco Kitchen window is especially impactful given the varied shapes, textures, and sizes of each varietal as they contrast the urban landscape outside,' reveals Emilie Munroe of Studio Munroe. Recreate the look at home by adding standalone shelving to your existing kitchen window, and decorate with your own curated library of plants that speak to your culinary needs and personal style.


Parisian apartment with white kitchen and kitchen garden window

(Image credit: Camille Hermand Architectures)

When designing your kitchen garden window, there can be many challenges, whether it’s adapting a small apartment window or the cost of remodeling an entire window fitting. The key here is to make the most of the architectural landscape and enrich your window with flora and fauna that thrive in natural lighting conditions. French interior designer and architect, Camille Hermand demonstrates this in her simply elegant kitchen design that features all of her client's favorite plants just outside the small apartment kitchen window. The designer shares her insight into what makes these vignettes so special. '

Kitchen garden windows are particularly attractive for several reasons: These windows allow a large amount of natural light to enter the kitchen, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere,' says Paris-based interior designer, Camille Hermand. 'They offer an ideal space for growing herbs, flowers, and small plants to have fresh herbs at their fingertips. Kitchen garden windows offer a panoramic view of the outside. Moreover, they allow better air circulation in the kitchen and add an interesting architectural element to the home. In summary, kitchen garden windows are appreciated for their ability to bring in lighter, their utility for growing plants, their improvement of ventilation, and their aesthetic value.'


grey contemporary kitchen with garden window and planters

(Image credit: Louise Bradley Interiors)

Utilizing your kitchen garden window as the springboard for the green thread that runs through your kitchen is another great way to ensure your window feels connected to the rest of your interior. This contemporary kitchen from Louise Bradley Interiors is beautifully softened by the introduction of small green planters. By utilizing smaller planters, the client can arrange all of them in the window as an extension of the verdant green space that sits just outside or bring them closer to the hob for ease of use. A

An example that showcases the importance of adaptability when designing your kitchen garden window. 'Creating a kitchen garden windowsill is a functional and decorative way to bring greenery into your home,' Louise says. 'No matter what the size of the space, you could introduce herbs such as basil, mint, parsley, or thyme, planting them in a window box for easy access. Opting to combine these herbs in one container means you can play with the planting, incorporating varying heights drawing your eye through the window, and creating visual interest. To make the sill feel bigger still, you can also bring some of the planting inside by using smaller decorative pots, to sit around the window. With a little care and creativity, your windowsill can become a lush, productive garden that enhances not just your menu, but your well-being and your living space,' Louise adds.


modern black kitchen with inbuilt kitchen window planter

(Image credit: Jocelyn Low, Design: Uncommon,)

Original ideas of the kitchen garden window play on the idea of deepening the windowsill but this minimal kitchen designed by Uncommon Projects challenges tradition with its bespoke planter. 'Instead of putting a deep worktop in front of the window (which would make it hard to reach and open), we instead opted to incorporate this herb planter to help visually link the two sides of the kitchen,' share Alan Drumm and James Hoy, founders of the London-based kitchen specialists. 'Our client is a fantastic cook, so she was delighted with the idea and kept it well-planted. Having the herbs also helps blur the line between the interior and the leafy view beyond. The oak veneered plywood planter is lined with a stainless-steel trough that can be lifted out for maintenance.'

The result is an indoor herb garden that feels light and airy but also presents a dialogue with nature itself. As the seasons change, so too will the contents and produce of this bespoke planter. It serves as a fragrant reminder of the ever-changing nature of our world.

Writer and design expert Faaizah Shah is the founder of The Interiors Consultancy. She has worked with designers such as Staffan Tollgard and design houses such as Sanderson to help them understand and communicate their narratives. She is known for crafting engaging stories and imaginative content, and understanding great decor from her years alongside some of the best creatives in the industry. She is also a contributor to Livingetc.