Kitchens with ample natural light provide beautiful, welcoming spaces for cooking, dining, and simply spending time. Windows infuse kitchens with sunlight, fresh air, and lovely views, creating an open, airy environment. From cozy breakfast nooks to sprawling great rooms, windows are a wonderful way to brighten kitchens of all sizes and styles.

Benefits of Window-Filled Kitchens

Bright, Cheerful Atmosphere

Abundant natural light creates a warm, inviting mood in the kitchen. Sunlight streaming in makes the space feel more uplifting and energizing. It’s much more pleasant to cook, dine and linger in a bright, sun-filled kitchen.

Expansive Views

Kitchen windows provide views of the outdoors, whether of the backyard, a city skyline, or natural scenery. Gazing out while prepping meals or washing dishes makes everyday chores feel less mundane. Windows can also provide surveillance of kids playing outside.

Improved Ventilation

Operable windows allow fresh air to circulate through the kitchen, preventing stuffiness and cooking odors from becoming trapped. This airflow creates a healthier, more comfortable environment.

Sunlight Enhances Tasks

The best lighting for kitchen tasks is natural daylight. Sunlight makes it easier to chop, cook, read recipes, and more. No electrical lighting can compare to the bright, full-spectrum light of the sun streaming in.

Psychological Benefits

Natural light has proven effects on mood, focus, and energy levels. Time in sunlight can boost vitamin D, improve sleep, and relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A sun-filled kitchen promotes this overall sense of wellbeing.

Added Visual Interest

Windows provide beautiful architectural details, allowing light to enter the space in interesting ways. Skylights, clerestory windows, and shaped windows add visual flair. Window frames and sills offer opportunities for trim details.

Energy Efficiency

Properly placed windows reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. This cuts electricity usage, saving money on the utility bill. Energy efficient windows also prevent heat or cooling loss.

Design Considerations for Window-Filled Kitchens

Window Placement

Strategic window placement maximizes light distribution, ventilation, and views from key areas like the sink, stove, and dining space. South-facing windows get the most sun exposure. Plenty of headroom allows light to penetrate deep into the kitchen.

Window Types

Many styles suit kitchens:

  • Double hung windows offer classic charm with movable sashes.
  • Casements crank open to let in fresh air.
  • Awning windows are top-hinged for ventilation without compromising privacy.
  • Picture windows provide expansive views.
  • Bay windows create space for seating areas.
  • Glass block filters light while obscuring views.

Countertop Layout

Position countertops so major appliances and sinks are near windows without direct sunlight shining on the workspaces. Avoid glare that makes food prep difficult. Place window over sinks to enjoy views while washing up.

Window Treatments

Options like curtains, shades, and blinds help control light and privacy. Consider sun protection for south or west facing windows. Opt for fan lights to keep sunlight entering from above when window coverings are drawn.


In addition to windows, include ventilation features like over-the-range hoods and ceiling fans to remove cooking odors, steam, and excess heat. Proper ventilation prevents moisture damage.

Energy Efficiency

Choose double or triple pane glass and low-E coatings to reduce heat/cooling loss. Close windows and blinds at night and when AC is on. Strategic landscaping provides shade and cooling effects.

Wonderful Window-Filled Kitchen Examples

Cozy Breakfast Nook

Tucked into a bay window outcropping, an intimate two-person breakfast nook enjoys lovely garden views and morning sun. Flowerbox supports beneath the windows bring the outdoors in. The bright and airy nook makes an appealing spot for morning coffee.

Built-In Banquette Seating

Floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall wash the space with sunshine. Beneath them, built-in L-shaped banquette seating and storage creates the perfect perch for dining while admiring the view. Abundant light keeps the banquette area feeling open and inviting.

Sunroom Kitchen Dining Area

Converted into kitchen and dining space, this enclosed Garden Room sunroom addition features tall windows on three sides. The light interior finishes and simple decor allow the natural beauty outside to take center stage. The sunroom design blurs the line between indoors and outdoors.

Grand Picture Window

The gorgeous woodland view steals the show in this kitchen punctuated by an enormous picture window over the double sink. Topped with a graceful arch, the tall window fills the room with natural light and lush green vistas. It’s a dramatic focal point altering the look and feel of the entire kitchen.

Skylights and Perimeter Windows

Skylights maximize sunny sky views, while windows along the outer walls provide an inner courtyard outlook. The abundant natural light makes the all-white kitchen feel ethereal. For parties, the windows allow guests to flow easily between indoor and outdoor areas.

Rows of Windows

This kitchen channels an indoor greenhouse vibe with rows of windows facing the backyard garden on two adjacent walls. The generous sunlight helps tomatoes, herbs and other plants thrive indoors. The windows amplify the connection to nature just outside by blurring the barriers.

Clerestory Window Panels

A row of clerestory windows runs along the very top of the wall between the kitchen and dining room, allowing light to wash both spaces. The tall vertical windows inset into the high sloped ceiling mimic the shape of the ceiling beams. They pull ample sunlight into the center of the room.

Creating a Window-Filled Kitchen

Remodel Existing Kitchen

To add more windows to a kitchen, consider expanding, removing walls, or converting a window into a larger bay window. Skylights or clerestory panels along interior walls also increase sunlight. Just be sure structural elements aren’t compromised.

Knock Down Walls

An open concept kitchen, dining, and living area maximizes windows and natural light throughout the space. Knocking down walls between rooms allows for much greater window coverage. Just be sure to address ventilation for the kitchen.

Kitchen Addition

Building a window-wrapped kitchen addition onto a home is a great way to get the light-filled kitchen of your dreams while preserving the existing floorplan and windows. The addition footprint, placement and roofing design can all maximize your kitchen’s sunshine.

Sunroom Kitchen

Converting a sunroom into kitchen and dining space is an easy way to achieve a room filled with windows and natural light. Enclosing and insulating the sunroom makes it comfortable for year-round use. Just be sure to include ample kitchen ventilation.

New Construction

When building a new home, custom designing the kitchen for abundant windows is easy with flexibility in floorplan, placement, roof pitch, and more. Large window walls, skylights, an open floorplan, and strategic orientation maximize sunshine.

Wonderful Window-Filled Kitchens FAQ

How many windows should a kitchen have?

Experts generally recommend having window space equal to 10-12% of overall kitchen square footage. This provides sufficient natural light while leaving plenty of wall space.

Where should the kitchen sink window be?

The sink window should face the backyard or an attractive view, not the street or driveway. Avoid placing it in front of the stove where the cook may block sunlight. Put it off to the side of the sink instead.

Should a kitchen have windows on opposite walls?

Yes, having windows on two walls allows for cross-ventilation and better airflow. Light also penetrates deeper into the room. Avoid placing windows where counters or appliances will block the sunlight.

How can I add windows to my kitchen cheaply?

Some budget-friendly ways to add windows include replacing a rear wall with French doors, expanding a window opening into a bay window, adding glass block panels, and installing glass garage doors as a back wall.

What is the best way to cover kitchen windows?

For kitchens, easy-to-clean roman shades or cellular shades provide privacy and light filtering while allowing some sunlight through. For windows needing blackout shades, opt for roller shades mounted under decorative curtains.


Windows can utterly transform a kitchen, flooding it with natural light, fresh air, and lovely views. Strategically placed windows make kitchen tasks easier and provide psychological benefits. When designing window-filled kitchens, consider optimal placement, energy efficiency, and styles to control light and privacy. With thoughtful planning, windows can create a kitchen that truly nourishes the body and spirit.

Related Resources:

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen

11 Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Feel Bigger

20 Brilliant Small Kitchen Storage Solutions

8 Kitchen Layouts That Work

10 Gorgeous Window Styles for Kitchens