The best kitchen window ideas that will convince you to factor a clever design into your budget

Interior architects and designers are making bold, interesting choices for kitchen windows that enhance how these spaces can be used

a bi fold kitchen window
(Image credit: Karyn Millet. Design: Raili CA Design)

Choosing a kitchen window for your remodel might sound like the most exciting part of the project, but there are more options than you might think. Do your research, and you might just come across a new and interesting idea that gives your space an architectural edge. 

Kitchen windows do have an important role to play in the modern kitchen, after all. They're not just for staring out of while washing the dishes, they provide light, temperature control, ventilation and even establish a connection to your outdoor space in some instances. 

With the help of some top designers, we got to grips with some of the most on-trend and architecturally interesting styles of kitchen windows around right now. 

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari
Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi is a homes writer and editor with several years of experience. Her articles, backed by expert insights, offer suggestions aimed at helping readers make the best home design choices. For this article, she reached out to top architects and experts to gather new ideas for kitchen windows. 

8 kitchen window ideas to consider

Cooking and clearing up can often feel like a mundane activity, but with the right kitchen window, you can open up your space to the great outdoors and bring an innate joyfulness to your home. 

'Everyone is spending more time at home cooking, so this space is getting more attention and money,' says Brooklyn Brownstone designer, Jarret Yoshida.  'One often-forgotten detail that we are focusing on more and more is kitchen window treatments. Sure, cabinetry and appliances, and counters are key. But window treatments and designs are becoming an interior design "must-have", the metaphorical jewelry to the outfit that is the kitchen.'

1. Consider this serving hatch to the window

A hatch style window

(Image credit: Raili CA Design)

If you love outdoor entertaining (and who doesn’t when you have the space?), having an easy transition from kitchen to the patio or deck is a dream. If you have a window looking over your outdoor entertaining area, this incredible lift up design as imagined by California-based design studio Raili CA Design turns a standard kitchen window into a clever serving hatch or bar. 

This window can be the ideal transitional spot between the indoors and outdoors, for passing drinks and snacks; with a tall bar stool, you can even add a breakfast counter here, to be used while seated in your garden or porch. 

2. Consider clerestory windows

A kitchen clerestory window

(Image credit: Adam Kane Architects)

Usually, any windows that are above head height are loosely called clerestory, but if you were to look at these more architecturally, true clerestory windows are closer to the roof, and what they offer is light that reaches deep into the home with absolute privacy of the dwellers and the activity inside the house. 

In this minimalist kitchen, the windows act as a wonderful buffer and a breaking point in this kitchen built with heavy materials. The clerestory window adds a new dimension to the room and provides breathing space for the gargantuan walls of this double-height room.

3. Open up with bi-fold windows

a bi fold kitchen window

(Image credit: Karyn Millet. Design: Raili CA Design)

Bifold windows are a great addition to a kitchen that opens up to a wonderful exterior – perhaps a garden, a terrace, or a porch. Consider these while remodeling your kitchen, if you're looking to bring in more air and light. These can completely open up and stack to one (or both) sides, and look stylish, yet be extremely useful in creating that outdoor-in feel. 

4. Match the architecture of the room 

An architectural kitchen window

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

If you have a modern farmhouse-style kitchen with a pitched roof or a wonderful architectural detail, opting for large-scale glazing that mirrors this form is the most impactful choice for a kitchen. Take this project for instance. The glass windows with the wooden frames run along the lines of the roof, and add a decorative touch to the room while also perfectly contouring it. 

Consider adding a  long pendant in a double-height room as well, to accentuate the dimensions of the room and allow the eyes to travel along the length and breadth of the space.

5. Convert it into a window seat

Spanish style farmhouse kitchen with vintage tiled floors and dark kitchen table with bobbin legs

(Image credit: Jessica Helgerson Interiors. Image by Lincoln Barbour)

Another way to draw the eyes to the kitchen window is to turn one into a window sear, so dwellers and guests are enticed to enjoy this specific corner in the room. This is a great addition to an open-plan kitchen as well, as the window seat offers more space for people to perch on, during parties and get-togethers.  

The kitchen window also becomes an informal breakfast spot, a place to enjoy a quick snack or a drink in the evenings. ‘Usually, it is best to position your window seat at a similar height to a standard chair – not too low, neither too high,’ says Amos Goldreich, director of Amos Goldreich Architecture.

6. Opt for an awning window

An awning style window

(Image credit: Sturtevant Co. Photo credit Douglas Friedman)

If you have an apartment kitchen and want to make it feel like a larger, more spacious, and well-ventilated room, consider awning windows. These are hinged on the top and open outward from the bottom, allowing for protection from rain or snow. Usually installed higher on walls for privacy, these offer flexibility and a touch of architectural charm.

7. Invite more light in with a skylight  

A home with a vestibule extension

(Image credit: Dominic McKenzie Architects. Photo credit Will Pryce)

Skylights come in all shapes and sizes, and their location in a room can influence the quality of the space, the amount and intensity of light that connects inside to outside, and even add character to a room. 

While planning a kitchen, consider the addition of skylights as they lend drama to a space and accentuate the material of the wall itself, highlighting objects, vignettes, or spaces just below them. With larger and larger kitchens today, and the importance of them in daily life and entertaining, they make for the ideal candidates for skylights.

8. Make a window a functional space

a rustic kitchen with shelving over a window

(Image credit: Aaron Leitz. Design: Lisa Staton)

When you're dealing with an existing kitchen layout, a window can affect the functionality of the space. However, if the kitchen window isn't your main connection to the great outdoors, don't be afraid to reimagine its purpose. 

In this rustic kitchen by designer Lisa Staton, shelving has been built over the window - a compromise to the light versus wall storage debate. 'The window shelf combo allows for sunlight and still having storage,' Lisa tells us. 'For an avid cook, grains and nuts, herbs and dried garlic and peppers are right at your fingertips. It's a practical, no fuss approach to an active but stylish kitchen.'

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast).  Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.