How to Design a Kitchen With Floor to Ceiling Windows

Written by judi light hopson
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How to Design a Kitchen With Floor to Ceiling Windows
French doors are a lovely way to add light in a kitchen. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Natural light coming into kitchen space via large windows will create a cheerful atmosphere. Windows reaching from floor to ceiling will add significant beauty if designed properly. Keep in mind that randomly placing the windows will not work well. Plan all cabinets and appliances to look harmonious with the windows. Make sure windows look appropriate on the home's exterior, too. Install the windows to make the kitchen look open and inviting, but design the windows to look appropriate from all angles in the kitchen space.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tools
  • Sketch pad
  • Graph paper
  • Kitchen design books
  • Window catalogues

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  1. 1

    Measure wall space to the left and right of the sink area. Plan to install glass blocks reaching from floor to ceiling for this option. Create the wall spaces simply to add natural light to the room. Make sure the exterior wall is not facing the front curb, however. Use a home's side or back exterior wall for glass blocks. Sketch all design work and transfer to graph paper, so the project looks professional when completed.

  2. 2

    Add floor to ceiling windows at a patio space. Do this by installing fixed French doors with two operable doors, or add a sliding door unit. Plan to build a divider of some type on the patio space, so that neighbours or passersby can't peek into the kitchen. Add a small dining table in the glassed-in wall space as a breakfast nook. Place greenery and hanging baskets of flowers inside the house to accent this space, too.

  3. 3

    Design several latch windows in a row. Place the windows in groups of three. Install them 12 inches from the floor level to reach 6 inches from the ceiling level. Add a seating space or table area to fit beside the windows. Never install tall windows too high off ground level outside, in case of an accident. Place a deck space of some type outside the windows if there is 5 feet or more to ground level.

  4. 4

    Use arch windows if ceilings are vaulted. Install arch windows over standard rectangular windows to open kitchen walls, if the ceiling height will accommodate this. Capture the views of tall backyard tees or distant scenery by adding this additional top window space. Install rectangular windows close to floor level, or use glass blocks at the bottom level near the floor. Sketch all details carefully to ensure the design will work in a given kitchen.

  5. 5

    Build floor to ceiling bay windows. Install benches or chairs to create a reading or lounging area. Be sure to create a sturdy metal or asphalt roof over the outside of each bay window. Keep in mind that wind and rain often penetrate large window spaces such as these, because they are not part of the typical roof system. Use double-pane windows or prehung, energy-efficient windows for this space.

Tips and warnings

  • Obtain kitchen design books and window catalogues. Make sure your choices are the best ones before beginning the construction process. Visit a close-out home improvement store to see if you can purchase excellent windows and other materials at a deep discount.
  • Ask a sales clerk to help you locate good choices that will work well for many years. Inquire about the energy efficiency of all windows, because taller windows can lose heating and cooling quite rapidly if not well insulated.

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