Internal windows are a great way of ensuring natural light reaches dark areas of a building. We’d originally planned to lighten our dark hallway by adding a skylight when we removed the lift, but that does not work with our chosen layout, so the next best solution is to put an internal window between the hall and the south facing dining room next door. The question is how to do it without it looking silly or out of place.
I’ve included a video of our current hall and how we expect it to look at the end of the post or you can go straight to it on YouTube.
Ideas for internal windows
I’ve concluded there are a number of options, although they vary depending on the rooms being considered (look at my Pinterest board for inspiration). The ideas relevant to us are:
- plain window – these can vary in shape to follow the shape of the stairs
- patterned window – either stained glass or a frosted pattern
- row of shallow windows
- tall windows
Internal windows for our house
As well as wanting to add an internal windows we have the added complication of rotating the staircase so the turn will be located on the wall between the hall and dining room. This means we physically don’t have the wall we intend to add the windows to so have to imagehow they’ll look.
Our first idea was to put a window across the width of the turn, but thought it would look like an after thought rather than a planned addition. Our second thought was to add detailing to the window such as stained glass and match it with detailing in the front door when it is replaced. However we can’t change the fact that the window would be floor to hip height on the stairs and would be a high window in the dining room. We considered a row of windows but discounted it partly because the windows would probably be too high for the children comfortably to look through. This left narrow windows which would be great for the children to look though, but may not give enough light so we added two taller windows on either side of the staircase and hoped this would look more ‘normal’ from the dining room.
Sorry about the change in the height of the tall windows. I didn’t notice I’d saved the pictures at different times during my playing, trying to work out whether full length or three quarter length windows look better. My initial thought was to have the shorter windows so we could put furniture underneath them such as a sideboard in the dining room. I don’t think the full length windows are practical, but there is something special about them. What do you think?
To help you appreciate the scale of transformation we are planning to our hallway, I’ve made a video showing our hall now and how we expect it to look when it is completed. We don’t know when we’ll start the work as the lift removal needs careful planning, but the prospect is very exciting.
Seeing our finished hall in 3D has really helped us understand how it will look with internal windows, however it has also raised some questions. For example the staircase in the current plan overlaps the lounge doorway (see the third image) and it may be easier to access the room if the staircase started further back by having steps on the turn; of course this could impact on our windows plan. I’m looking forward to modelling our kitchen / dining room and see if we can resolve the issue of where the kitchen should be located.
Disclaimer: I’ve created the 3D images in RoomSketcher and was given a free VIP account to try. They also offer a free access level which will enable you to create floor plans, see them in 3D and take 3D snapshots (but you won’t be able to take premium photos as I’ve used here).
Edit: Since publishing this post I’ve been told RoomSketcher can produce 360° views of of floor plans, so here is our hallway (note the central point is not the same as the video because there would be a a very boring section of just wall).