Using Transom Windows to Increase Natural Light at Home

by Jennifer Malise

Transom windows and clerestory windows are classic details that are always in style

Sunlight is an essential ingredient in home design. Before electricity, windows played a much bigger role in our lives than simply displaying a pretty view. To improve the flow of natural light, transom windows are built over a door while clerestory windows sit within a wall above eye level.

Nowadays, we can enter a dark, windowless room and flick on a light switch, but while artificial light makes things easier, it fails in comparison to the warmth of sunlight and the mood-boosting benefits of serotonin it gives us. Below, five Sweeten homeowners turn up the brightness in their own homes (and soak up more vitamin D) with transom windows and clerestory windows that make all the difference.

Adding natural light to an at-home office

transom windows

Converting a bathroom into an office gave Larry the space he’d always wanted, but closing the door sealed off a lot of natural light. To remedy the issue, transom windows were installed above the doorways leading into his office.

Filtering light into a downstairs powder room

transom windows

Meredith took space from the downstairs bath to create a pantry. The window that had once belonged to the bathroom was transferred along with the square footage. In order to make sure that the new powder room had enough light, a clerestory window was built into the wall to allow light to flow through from the original window.

A transom window lightens up a kitchen

transom window

In need of a second bedroom for their growing family, a dining nook off the kitchen presented Chris and Amber with the perfect solution. Building the new room resulted in the kitchen losing its only window. To make the small bedroom feel bigger, a transom window was placed along the top of the doorway. The placement of the window also meant that the kitchen would receive a steady stream of natural light.

Fresh white paint + transom windows = a bright duo

transom windows

Sarah and Michael’s kitchen had lots of charm, but heavy wood cabinets and trim made the space feel dark and cramped. Not wanting to diminish the room’s character, the cabinets got a splash of white paint while doors and trim were left intact. The white paint boosts the overall brightness of the space and allows the original transom windows to shine as statement pieces.

A transom window flows light from the kitchen into the nursery

transom windowstransom windows

With a looming deadline (a baby on the way!) to turn their one-bedroom into a two-bedroom, Idalee and Danny got to work on reconfiguring their living space. They carved out a second bedroom between the kitchen and the living room, sealing off a window in the process. Not wanting to lose any of the natural light coming through, clerestory windows were added to the new space, one on the wall shared with the kitchen, another on the wall next to the living room.

Deeksha and Joe made a wall out of windows to provide some privacy for their guest room and home office without sacrificing the light from a nearby window.

Refer your renovating friends to Sweeten and you’ll both receive a $250 Visa gift card when they sign a contract with a Sweeten general contractor.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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