For a single man, I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. I like to cook—for myself and for invited friends. Although my house is modest in size, I do have a sizeable kitchen. The space is big enough for me to work my magic on the stove and to hold court with visiting guests. I have recently discovered the advantages of having a kitchen window. The location and layout of my place is such that it receives a great deal of sunlight. I decided to make the most of that fact.
The window that came with the house was ugly and rather puny. I had it replaced with one that is larger and more elegantly designed. I am a happier man for it. I am a writer by profession, and so I make a point of mastering any subject I take an interest in. The following article is a summary of the nature, types, and history of kitchen windows.
What is a Kitchen Window?
Put simply, it is a large window that is usually above a kitchen sink. Kitchen windows allow warm light to fill the space while you are cooking or washing up. There are many different types of kitchen windows, and you should consider the ones that are big and have a full range of motion from side hinges. A kitchen window should provide a panoramic view of the exterior and generate a feeling of spaciousness in the kitchen itself.
Is it necessary to have a kitchen window?
On the whole, yes. The fact that kitchen windows fill a space with natural light and airflow cannot be easily dismissed. The effect of the latter includes better visibility, fresh air, and temperature control. If you, like me, purchased a home with a small kitchen window or no kitchen window at all, it is possible to remedy the situation.
Types of Kitchen Windows
These are the most popular kitchen windows. The list is not exhaustive, but it consists of the types of windows that are easily found on the market.
1. Sliding windows
These kitchen windows move side to side on a sliding track. Their design makes the windows easy to open and close. Sliding windows also give you more control over the circulation of air in your home. Their size makes them perfect for placement over the sink or counter.
2. Picture windows
These windows do not open. This will prevent you from taking in fresh air. However, they can take in natural light. Another upside to picture windows is that they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, which means you will be able to find one that is most suitable for your kitchen.
3. Bay windows
This type of kitchen window can add a little charm to your space. It extends outside your kitchen walls with three or more windows, two of which will be at a curve. These windows come in various styles. They also offer sunny spots for houseplants.
4. Pass-through windows
A pass-through window is a great option for outdoor gatherings. It works especially well with kitchens that are directly attached to your patio, deck, or outdoor kitchen spaces. It allows you to pass food, drinks, plates, and utensils to people outside without leaving your kitchen.
5. Awning windows
These windows come with a hinged top that opens outward. They are great if it rains a great deal where you live but you still want to enjoy natural sunlight. Their design allows you to open the window while it rains so that you can enjoy the fresh breeze without getting wet.
6. Clerestory windows
This type of window is installed above eye level. This will allow you to enjoy natural light that is not as harsh as what you receive with an eye level window. The window will brighten up the space; it will make your kitchen feel more open and welcoming. You can get a clerestory design that allows air to circulate throughout your kitchen.
7. Garden windows
If you keep plants in your house, this window will let in enough sunlight to keep them growing. They work as tiny greenhouses in your kitchen with solar energy coming in from the sides and top of the window glass, with fresh air from the side panels. These windows also help warm up your kitchen.
8. Double hung windows
This type of window facilitates the circulation of air and the flow of natural light throughout your kitchen. It is possible to open the top or bottom for more airflow.
9. Casement windows
These windows use a crank that allows you to control how much airflow circulates throughout your home. These windows tend to be expansive, which is great for letting in sunlight. This type of window is best placed over your kitchen sink.
10. Arched windows
These windows are great focal points that bring in extra sunlight. It is possible to hang curtains on the windows when you want a little privacy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose new household windows?
The task may seem hard if you have never had to make such a choice before and have no deep knowledge of interior decoration. However, you should choose a kitchen window the same as you would any other product.
You should first familiarize yourself with the options. There are numerous types of windows available on the market, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You may have better instincts than you think for interior design. If you have the time, you should find out all that you can about the windows that most interest you, and then choose the one that is most suitable for your kitchen.
The other option is to consult a professional interior decorator or home improvement expert. The latter will meet without you and discuss the most cost-effective, energy-saving, and stylish type of windows. They will also take into account your tastes and preferences when steering you toward a particular choice.
A professional will also take precise measurements of your windows and introduce you to various window designs and materials. They will also give you an overview of the financing options available.
Will replacing my windows help my home to be more energy efficient?
Yes. This can be said with certainty. Any kitchen window you buy will be made with environmental and energy-saving measures in mind. The kitchen window you purchase will help insulate your home. In summer, it will keep the hot air out and the cool air in. In winter, it will keep the cold air out and the hot air in.
Replacing your window can save between 10% to 25% a year on your heating and cooling bills.
Why do my windows fog up?
This is the result of condensation. When the seals between glass panes wear out, moisture seeps in. This condenses on the window and causes it to fog up. This kind of thing occurs in older windows. That is why you should make kitchen window replacement a top priority if you have purchased an older home.
Why do windows crack?
If you have noticed cracks in your windows, it may owe to the constant expansion and contraction of your windows. When it is hot, the windows expand. When it is cold, they contract. After some years, this will wear down the material structure of your windows. They will begin to crack. It will become impossible to control the flow of heat and air in your home, and you will see your energy bills shoot up as a result.
Why is my wooden window stuck?
This may be the result of swelling caused by wet weather. If you recently painted your window frames, some of the excess paint may have fallen off and stuck to the frame. If your window gets stuck because of rainy weather, running a dehumidifier can do the trick. If it is stuck because of your last painting job, you can use a utility knife to break the ad hoc paint seal that has formed on your window.
Alternatives to Kitchen Windows
I would be remiss if I did not mention a couple of alternatives to kitchen windows. If, for some reason, installing such a window does not work for you, then there are other ways to get light and air into your kitchen.
1. Install a skylight
Most artificial lighting is positioned overhead. But it is also possible to take in natural light from overhead. Having a skylight installed would allow a flood of sunlight into your kitchen. It will improve the entire atmosphere of the space.
2. Open up your kitchen
Another alternative is to simply open up your kitchen by removing a wall. If you have large windows in your dining or living room, knocking down a wall will allow your kitchen to get sunlight from that adjacent space. It will also make socializing with invited guests easier.
A Brief History of Kitchen Windows
The history of kitchen windows cannot be understood without the history of kitchens themselves. The modern kitchen—that is, the kitchen as we know it—began in 1802 with the invention of the range oven. Prior to this invention, cooking was done in a room with a hearth or over a wood fire.
The arrival of the range changed all that. It encouraged the construction of a dedicated space for the preparation of meals. Innovations such as rotating spice racks and steam powered spits soon followed. The first kitchens were located on the cooler side of the house and had high ceilings to keep the room cool.
In the 20th century, another innovation was made: the sink. These often stood on legs like a piece of furniture because it was considered more hygienic. After the First World War, new homes were built with cupboards, which were painted in gloss white oil paint to make them easy to clean.
The 1950s saw the arrival of the fitted kitchen. Kitchens became proper rooms—places where it was possible to both prepare meals and eat them. Kitchen windows were still a rarity in the first half of this decade, but many more homes had them by the end of the 50s.
The kitchen designs of the 60s reflected the Space Age. Kitchens became entertainment spaces. Pine was huge, as was the mixture of bold colors like orange, mustard, and aubergine. The biggest leap forward was the working triangle between the stove, sink, and fridge. This concept of the kitchen is still alive today and informs modern constructions.
In the 1980s, the kitchen became the heart of the home. The construction of large kitchens that could serve as meal preparation, dining areas, and entertainment centers all at once were all the rage. It was at this time that the kitchen window really came into its own.
Until the 1980s, the kitchen window was an after-thought. Kitchens were still seen as primarily work spaces. When they became to many families the most important room in the home, the amount of air and natural light they received started to matter. This cultural shift jump started an entire industry dedicated exclusively to the design of kitchen windows.
By the beginning of the 21st century, kitchens were, on average, nearly double the size of their 1920s counterparts. They incorporated cooking, dining, working, and relaxing areas. The kitchen is now the space in the home where most family members spend the most time—both together and individually. And the size, shape, and location of the kitchen window is more important than ever.