Using Transom Windows to Increase Natural Light at Home

Transom windows: classic accents that pump up natural light indoors

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, interior 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.

Transom windows provide a private peek of nature

White tile walk-in shower with transom window

Transoms windows topped the must-have list for this Southampton homeowner’s renovation. “I happen to love transom windows for some reason,” she said, “but I placed them particularly in the bathrooms for maximum light with maximum privacy.” Thanks to their unique design and placement, the homeowner and her guests can enjoy private nature-gazing while bathing.

Clerestory windows filter 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.

Interior transom windows drench a bedroom in light

master bedroom

Lexi approached her Greenwich Village loft renovation with the goal of creating a gallery-like space with bright white walls, offset with black steel accents. Her Sweeten general contractor strategically placed interior transom windows along the bedroom walls, bringing airiness into the newly created room.

A clerestory window flows light from the kitchen into the nursery

transom windowsinterior transom 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.

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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