Last Updated: 26 September, 2020
Adding an internal window can be a great way to ensure natural light reaches dark areas of a home.
Our original plan to lighten our dark hallway was to add a skylight when we removed the lift. We’d originally planned to lighten our dark hallway by adding a skylight when we remove the lift. But that does not work with our chosen layout. The next option is to put an internal window between the hall and the south facing dining room next door. The question is how to do it so it looks intentional and not out of place.
Internal window ideas
Thanks to significant internet browsing, I now know there are many choices. Although these will vary depending on the rooms either side of the window (look at my Pinterest board for inspiration). The most relevant for us are:
- plain window – these can vary in size and shape to fit around the staircase
- 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 window, or two, we want to rotate the staircase. The half turn landing will be on the wall between the hall and dining room (the wall on the left in the photo below). This is an added complication as it is hard to picture what it will look like when we don’t have the actual wall yet.
Our first idea was to put a window across the width of the half turn landing. However we decided 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 this wouldn’t change the fact that the window would be floor to hip height on the stairs and a high window in the dining room.
Our next thought was a row of windows. But decided no as they would probably be too high for the children comfortably to look through.
This left narrow windows. They would be great for the children to look though, but may not give enough light into the hall. So we added two taller windows on either side of the staircase, and hoped this would also make the windows look more ‘normal’ from the dining room.
We like how these windows look from both the hallway and dining room. But aren’t sure about the length of the tall windows. My initial thought was to have shorter windows so we could put furniture underneath them e.g. a sideboard in the dining room.
But as the point of having an internal window is to increase the light flow full length windows make more sense. I’m not sure they are practical, but there is certainly something special about them. What do you think?
Seeing our finished hall in 3D* has really helped us understand how it will look when we fit the internal windows. However it has also raised some questions. For example the staircase in the current plan overlaps the lounge doorway:
- Will this make it difficult to access the lounge?
- Does this mean the first step of the staircase should be further back by adding steps on the turn?
- How will impact on our window plan as the half landing floor height may not be level?
We don’t know when we’ll start the work as the lift removal needs careful planning, but the prospect is very exciting. In the meantime I’m looking forward to modelling our kitchen / dining room and see if we can resolve the issue of whether the kitchen should be at the front or back of the house.
*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).