Window Dilemma – Our Kitchen Renovation Progress

At the moment, we are in midst of my kitchen/downstairs floor renovation and we’ve reached a window dilemma.

Yes, I ‘m already driving my contractor insane…

Okay, so maybe I take awhile to make decisions sometimes.  I just want to get things right!  Anyway, here is the dilemma of the day…(I am sure there will be many more to come!)

To replace this freakishly high window in my kitchen, we recently ordered a new window…

Here is the window that will be going away…

Far away.

Currently, the window is 3 feet high by 6 feet wide.  Since day one, it has been too high above the sink.  Plus I always wanted it larger.  So, I had my contractor order a 4 foot high by 6 foot wide one – basically with the same look.

Yesterday, my contractor arrives and tells me his window guy ordered one with a transom instead.  He said that even though the new window is more expensive, he would give it to me for the same price.

The question is, do I want the transom window?

Sure, I love the look of transoms and all the extra light they give but in order to put a transom in and still be at the right height for my sink area, we would have to cut into the header above the window and make the window higher.  I am struggling with this for a couple reasons…

1.  Will a higher window look strange from the back of the house?

2.  Since the transom will bring the top up higher, would the window look too high compared to the windows in the family room?  (I am not as concerned about the door because that is lower anyway.)  Oh yes, did I mention we just ripped out the kitchen and floors on Monday?

3.  If I didn’t want to go higher, should I just bring the window all the way down to the counter like in this picture…

photo via CWP Cabinets

By the way, the above cabinets are very similar to the ones I ordered.

So like I said, my contractor asked me to make the decision by the end of day yesterday since he reordered the correct window to be installed on Thursday.  I just wanted to have the decision out of the way so I said yes, I would take the transom.  He agreed it would look great so he cancelled the order for the original window and we decided to go with the transom.  He arranged for his window guys to show up at 7:00 am this morning to remove my window and cut the hole for the new one.

But it can’t be that easy when you are dealing with me…

I woke up several times during the night worrying so when the guys arrived this morning, I had a million questions.  Luckily, they were SO nice about it and agreed that I should make sure I knew what I wanted.  So we decided to wait to install, they left for their second job and my contractor texted me that he would talk to me when he gets here this afternoon.  Poor guy, I am driving him nuts already…

I posted a few pictures on Instagram this morning and I think everyone agreed that I should go for the transom.

**Update:  Here is the new window installed!

So what do you think?


No transom?


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  1. I would go with transom too, higher window would be my choice only because I've heard that having the windows close to the counter and sink area, may erode the window in the long run, faster, because of all the water it might get. Good luck Shelley!

  2. I so identify with your post–and dilemma. Every day at the ranch, it's a new crisis or a decision that must be made quickly. I love your inspiration photo and your cab choice! I have transoms in my present home, and I love the extra light. Sending you good luck!

  3. Oh, decisions decisions. Sometimes it can be so hard to decide what to do. Now I'm so excited for you about getting your new kitchen and I too think the transom window would look beautiful! Good luck and try to get some sleep.Be a sweetie,Shelia 😉

  4. I like the transom. Also put the window higher, you don't want the wood ledge close to the counter. Mine is about 6" above the counter and the edge is peeling paint from water splashing……..I don't always see the water……. Love your new cabinets!!!

  5. I think the transom will be beautiful, Shelley. I would probably have it positioned slightly above the countertop, but no more than a couple of inches.

  6. I agree 100% with Carol's comment above mine! Will your windows have the muntins like your other windows?I love them. :)For whatever that is worth, Shelley!!! 🙂

  7. I agree 100% with Carol's comment above mine! Will your windows have the muntins like your other windows?I love them. :)For whatever that is worth, Shelley!!! 🙂

  8. i love my transoms.I have them in several windows in the house. Oh my…your head must be spinning but I am sure you will make the right decisions and it will look fabulous. your inspiration pic is amazing.

  9. Hi, I just stumbled onto your blog today and I always love a design question. I've renovated many kitchens for myself and other people and this window issue comes up a lot. I think a transom would be good here and I think it would add interest to the back of your house without being too much. Just make sure and tell the contractor to bring it all the way up to the header and the window fairly low to the counter – depending on the measurements, you might have to re-order another window. I also tend to like buying a separate transom and window instead of the 'set' – it just looks more authentic and grander when molded out with trim properly. That's my 2 cents , thanks!

    1. Also, I agree with above comment – be careful that you have room for a nice window sill leaving a few inches 5 "or so under the sill. Its worth it to spend time decided on a window.

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