My Kitchen Remodel: Windows Flush With Counter

Black Steel Windows Flush with Kitchen Countertop - Jill Sharp InteriorsJill Sharp Brinson seen in House Beautiful

Have you ever noticed kitchens with large windows that are nearly flush to the counters, often behind a sink? Well, I made an exciting discover about my own kitchen (and dining room) while I was on my Christmas break. More on that new development in just a minute!

As fun as it is for me, there are always dizzying amounts of options and decisions when it comes to remodeling a kitchen. Even when you need to work within the space you have and are on a budget (and maybe especially then), you still want your kitchen to turn out to be the best it can be so it is well worth the time to wrestle through the options.

So far I have shared my dream of a Dutch door, my intent to let my house evolve into a bit of a modern farmhouse style mixed with 1950s cottage leaning, and my desire to stay within the footprint of the original home, rather than to add on.

Kitchen Photo Before

Remember this corner with the little desk area? I had shared about the possibility of adding a built-in bench, since it would fit well under the window. The desk/lower counter area is always a clutter magnet so the bench seemed like a more useful and charming solution for our family. I love that idea.

All this time I’ve been thinking (simply because I didn’t measure it) that it wasn’t possible to have a regular height counter space below this window. But over Christmas break I asked myself (ok, so do you talk to yourself when you are decorating your house? I’m a bit weird, I suppose, my house talks to me AND I talk to myself!) if I was certain a regular height counter could not fit below it.

Of course, I was certain it wouldn’t fit because that is what I had been thinking all along. But just in case, I got out my measuring tape, googled the height counters should be and texted my mom to measure the height of her new countertops from the floor. Much to my surprise, there was actually plenty of space below the window to install regular (to even higher than regular) height counters without getting new windows. Hmmmm.

When we first saw the house we thought a sink under a new window with a view to the backyard would offer the most pleasing view. But even with the kitchen corner window accommodating a higher countertop, a sink in that location might feel a little scrunched.

Dining Room - Before

But here was my bigger epiphany, if the windows in the kitchen were high enough for a counter, it opened up an even more intriguing idea in the dining room where there is another window. Sure enough, it too was high enough for a countertop below it.

What if I actually moved my kitchen to the dining room and opened up the wall between the two rooms a bit more, and put the sink under the big window? My eyes got really big when that option popped into my head. Suddenly my heart was all a flutter!

The dining room window has the best wide open view, it would feel amazing to stand at a sink there and do dishes all the day long (well, not the dishes part, but you know what I mean)!

We had considered removing the wall before, but the placement of the basement stairs and the current stove location prevented that kitchen arrangement from feeling right. But by reorienting the kitchen with the sink towards the backyard, opening the wall a bit more makes sense. I will share more about how that kitchen configuration might work as well as dining space options in a future post.

Farmhouse Kitchen Sink - Counter Flush with Window - Jan Gleysteen Architects
Jan Gleysteen Architects

But can you do that, have a kitchen counter basically flush with a window? That’s what I was asking myself at that point. I started searching Pinterest and Houzz and the web for examples to confirm this and of course, after seeing it, I realized how much I love this look. SO MUCH LIGHT! Especially when you have a beautiful view out to the backyard!

So yes, yes you can. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is my favorite (and most practical idea) for behind a sink and with a view, especially if you have extra deep counters for breathing room behind the faucet (which would be possible in our dining room!). Big windows above a sink are always a dream!

The Inspired Room Kitchen Farmhouse Sink - Better Homes and GardensMy previous kitchen in BHG

My old house had a huge window above the sink, but it had a several inch high backsplash that was really a bit awkward to keep clean as it made the area behind the faucet a bit cramped. Deeper counters would offer plenty of space behind the faucet, limiting most of the splashing to the countertop which would be pretty easy to clean.

In my post today I’m sharing a few kitchens with flush (or nearly flush) windows and countertops to get the ideas flowing! The styles may be different than what I will have, but the idea of a big unobstructed window directly across from the sink is pretty appealing to me!

Counter Height Kitchen Sink Window - FlushTraditional Home

Kitchen Window - Flush With Counter - WesterbroekWesterbroek

Kitchen Windows at Counter Height - Liz Firebaugh of Signature KitchensLiz Firebaugh of Signature Kitchens

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on design and trends the other day, I’ve been enjoying your comments! I always love hearing from you!

Related posts:

10 Reasons I Removed My Upper Kitchen Cabinets (my previous kitchen)

7 Tips for Planning a Kitchen Remodel

My posts on eBay:

6 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Feel Bigger

10 Clever Kitchen Space Savers

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Comments

  1. I love this idea, I have a window over the kitchen sink overlooking the backyard and its one of my fav features in the house, although it’s not flush with the sink, that would make the view and the natural light even better! Can’t wait to see in the future how this turns out! Oh and b the way you are not crazy or the only one I talk to myself when I’m puttering around the house who else is going to give me great ideas and debate with me if it will work or not, Ha!

  2. When we built our retirement house we wanted to size down so our kitchen is fairly small but w a large island. We chose corner windows that go to the counter spaced between the range and sink. There is plenty of space for a few plants as well as work space for chopping veggies etc. Sadly, I do not have a fantastic view but have bird feeders and flowers& shrubs in summer. Everyone remarks on our long corner windows as it brings in light & enlarges the space.

  3. We remodeled our kitchen several years ago. The house had an amazing view from the kitchen, so we wanted to have a row of windows behind the sink and French doors opening to the porch. We’d also add a long island facing out the windows. Everyone told us it wouldn’t work. Thankfully we were undeterred and asked a cabinetmaker to measure and see if it could be done. Yes! He suggested a narrower island with a bend in it. We mapped it out on the floor and placed the order. Even then people thought we were crazy. Thankfully the dream turned out marvelously! People were amazed. Thank goodness for tape measures and thinking outside of the box!

  4. Ooh, that’s good! that is going to be very nice indeed, and why have a separate dining room when you don’t have to? I think you hit on the right thing for that house……The corner area of the existing kitchen would be fun with a little breakfast nook and the windows are already there. Can’t wait to see this project finished, Melissa! x

  5. Yes, I agree. You are definitely onto something. Be sure to give your counters extra depth if you can. Our kitchen sink area in our previous home felt so cramped. When we remodel that kitchen and again in our new/old house we were able to add three inches to the depth of the counter. It is hardly noticeable but what a difference it makes!
    Stephanie recently posted..{Inspired By} Wood Beam & Plank Ceiling DesignMy Profile

  6. One thing that really makes this idea work is if you can have the countertop and window sill in one piece. I had this arrangement a couple of houses back, and it was perfect. There was lots of room behind the faucet and no seam or raised area for the window sill.

  7. Melissa, I LOVE the idea of moving the kitchen sink to the big dining room window! I love those light bulb moments! Though sometimes I wish they would happen more often, and not at 4:00am!
    Jann from Newton Custom Interiors recently posted..Laundry Room Reveal!My Profile

  8. Hi Melissa, Windows flush with the countertops behind the sink are a beautiful option. Just one tiny word of caution – if you can raise the window an inch or two – or – add a few inches of depth between the faucet and the window, it might be more practical. Our last house had regular depth counters with the window flush behind the sink. It was impossible to do dishes and wash up without splashing onto the sill. Even though I always wipe down around the sink when I’m done, after awhile the sill paint started chipping and the wood underneath was softening. We had to repaint the sill (not a big deal) and then I had to remember to not only wipe down but actually dry the sill every time. Not a deal breaker – but it did require extra effort!

    • Agree with the note of caution! Our son and daughter-in-love have the window/counter combination and the view is fabulous however the window needs to be washed up about 18 inches constantly. Its not hard but it can be a nuisance.

  9. Ahhhh what a clever woman you are! That was one of my “must haves” when I was looking for my new home – a window over the kitchen sink. There’s nothing worse than scrubbing pots in a black hole!! I adore your inspiration photos and have pinned a few for my future kitchen remodel!
    Debbie from MountainMamaOnline recently posted..Through a Country WindowMy Profile

  10. Cristina Festa says:

    Love the flush windows in the kitchen. I need to do that when I redo my kitchen. I have one littel window over the sink and it’s non enough light. I want to add at least two hugh windows even though I’ll loose cabinets.

  11. One of the homes I lived in had a galley kitchen. There were windows between the upper and lower cabinets the length of the kitchen. They had shutters on them which were awful to keep clean. I got rid of them and loved the brightness. Plus it’s much easier to wash windows than shutters.

  12. Oh don’t our husbands just love when we get those kinds of ideas? Mine actually at one point asked me to stay off Pinterest for a while….LOL. Love the counter height window ideas though.
    http://itsapinterestingworld.blogspot.com
    Char recently posted..January, the month of OrganizingMy Profile

  13. Melinda Young says:

    I LOVE the idea!
    We switched our kitchen and dining spaces when we remodeled and it has been great! I at first was concerned about having a kitchen in plain view of our living space (our old kitchen was a 10X10 tiny 1950’s “gem” tucked behind the living room, also known as “the cave”), however our carpenter was instrumental with helping make the space more appealing when sitting in the living room. I didn’t want the sink on the island and wanted the island to be “furniture”. He did a great job with making that happen. Anyway, I am not here to go on about our project, but rejoice in the exciting news of yours!!! You will love it! I especially love your inspiration photos! As you know first hand, there are a lot of ideas out there. Pick what you love!

    • Hi Melinda, I love hearing about your remodel, I think we all have many of the same thoughts when it comes to trying something new (will we like seeing the kitchen open to the living room?) so it’s fun to hear your story! There are usually pros and cons to every change, but if a kitchen is pretty enough and well-designed, I agree I would much rather see it from the living room than have it tucked away in a cave. I felt that way about our old kitchen being open to the family room, I absolutely loved my kitchen so I enjoyed seeing it!
      Melissa recently posted..{Inspired By} Wood Beam & Plank Ceiling DesignMy Profile

  14. I renovated my kitchen a few years ago. The best solution was to switch the kitchen with the dining area. Now the kitchen has a bank of three windows – lovely and bright. We also had the counters run into the windows, as you’ve shown in your Pinterest examples. It’s a seamless transition to the garden view. Go for it!

    • Hooray, it is great to hear you’ve done that! Everyday now I walk through the dining room and look at that window, imagining it being the sink window. I do think it would be so wonderful to have that view!
      Melissa recently posted..{Inspired By} Wood Beam & Plank Ceiling DesignMy Profile

      • I put a raised bar on the island which is more like furniture and painted it the same color as the fireplace, but in a gloss. That way you don’t see what’s on the island from the living room, except the gorgeous lilies in a crystal vase. You just want to make sure your kitchen fits your living room style. The dining room is now where the kitchen was, a room of low light. I’m fine with that.

  15. Freak! I think you are really on to something! And it will certainly give you the space to need to do it needed. My own window and sink a pretty close to each other .. and I love the look. My sink had to be off center from the window (like your Traditional Home pic) and I was freaking about that … but we centered the faucet best we could and it’s been no issue or eye sore at all.
    It so true that living with your house a bit before jumping in (like you have done) let’s you make the little discoveries! It’s gold baby!

  16. Love the sink/ window idea… But then your dining room would disappear correct.. Where would your seating area be?? Just trying to follow this… Love your pics you posted. These black Windows and entryways are amazing. Maggie

  17. While I love all your inspiration photos, my only suggestion would be to make sure there is a good distance behind the faucet to the window. My faucet is too close to the window which is also at the counter level. And while I do have a great view out to the garden, I am constantly wiping the window for water spots, which drives me crazy!! We are going to be building a new home soon and I will definitely be having the window at counter level but at least 2 feet back. Good luck.

  18. Cynthia Allen says:

    You don’t have to wait for a complete kitchen remodel to get a counter height window. When we installed new windows I had the kitchen one put in counter height. The view to the back yard and the increased light were amazing.

  19. Stacey Trap says:

    Love the window to the sink option, really who wouldn’t. Great idea to make the space bigger by bumping into the dining space. I don’t think you would regret the decision. I would love to see a little diagram of your intended floor plan though.

  20. Gorgeous. We just did a kitchen remodel, which I love but I do wish we had more windows like this. We have a big window, a small window and a door.
    Wendi recently posted..What’s in My Bag??My Profile

  21. How wonderful you found out you CAN have the window/ sink scenario you’ve been dreaming of! I really like your idea of opening up the dining room to include kitchen space. I know it will be beautiful! So, am I correct then that you are not going to have a formal ding room? We are building a new home ( just retired) and we have an open concept kitchen with some seating at our island and then a large dining table all in the kitchen space which will also have a low hutch under some windows and then thru a cased opening there is the living room. We love this! No formal spaces in this house. Just nice open living spaces where we can be one with family and friends. Have fun figuring out the logistics of your new kitchen dining space! ❤️

  22. I use to watch a lot of British real estate shows. And it didn’t matter if it was old or a new build,they ve had the windows flush with the counters for years. It’s just finally caught on over here!

  23. Lovely ideas! Also love the faucet from your old kitchen and looked back and couldn’t source it from your blog-.please share?
    Thanks!!

  24. Andrea M. Schnapp says:

    I love the look as well. My new kitchen has big windows above the sink with a deeper space between the sink and the windows. My only hesitancy to what you are thinking about is the splash factor! Won’t the windows always need cleaning?

  25. Ho my my, I’m saving all the images of your fabulous posts: every single one of them makes me want to remodel my own kitchen… I would probably never leave it either :-)

    Thanks for this article, much appreciated!

  26. I love the idea you have for switching your kitchen and dining room. If I had a view from a window that could be over my kitchen sink I would do it, too. I wanted to switch my small kitchen window for one that came to the counter level but we decided it wasn’t the top priority so it may never happen. Now we dream of downsizing to a smaller home someday in a different community. And I’d LOVE to have a view from my kitchen window! I’m curious – I love the sink in your former home. It’s not too deep but beautiful. What sink is it? We are looking at replacing my sink in the near future.
    ~Adrienne~

  27. Brilliant! I also love the look of a window being flush with the counter, or just above it as Beth suggested. I’m hoping to do that in our next home.
    Cathy recently posted..We traveled 5000 km (3000 mi) to visit our kids!My Profile

  28. Right now my kitchen window is about four inches above the counter and the sink. The window is always getting spattered – especially when I have “help” doing the dishes. I hate washing windows!! So for me a window all the way to the counter would be very impractical.

  29. Melissa,
    We lived in our home for like two years before tackling our remodel. Not a weekend went by that we sat in our kitchen and tried moving walls and spaces in our conversation! Your idea to move your kitchen to your dining room sounds perfect. I’m sure your creative juices are running a mile a minute! We had some walls taken down and was going to have a bigger door opening. But, overnight we decided we liked how the kitchen flowed straight into our dining room. So, the walls were never put back in! It was one of those moments of thinking outside the exisiting plans and walls. I’m excited to see your progress!
    Janine, Happy Happy Nester recently posted..TipsMy Profile

  30. If you go deeper, clean-up would be much easier. My current windows are located just behind the faucet and they are constantly getting back-splashed with water from the sink (the fly screens too)! In fact the wood has started to warp in places, making it harder to close the windows when we need to. Here’s my other thought: the deeper the benchtop, the harder it will be for you to reach your windows to open them. We run our air-con a lot in summer, but during our mild winters up north here in Australia I need, and want, to smell the fresh air and let more light into the kitchen. Just a personal choice. Do you plan on opening your windows, especially in your milder Seattle summers?

  31. Window flush to the counter yes! The first picture you shared is in my pinterest “creating home” board! and yes, my kitchen with have a kitchen window flush to the counter! The window is almost 8 feet long.
    We planned cranked windows….as to open easier…just turn the handle and they open!
    Can’t wait to see your kitchen!
    teresa recently posted..Be Inspired by the space you’re in!My Profile

  32. Linda Grubbs says:

    Excellent idea Melissa!! Can’t wait for the finished product. :)
    My mom had a dutch door when I was a little girl….I loved it so much.
    I would love, love to have windows flush with the counter top, and a dutch door!!!
    (further examples of my passion for following your blog!)
    I love your ideas…..and so happy you get to actually implement them.
    Can’t wait!!

  33. I love the windows like that with the sink! Can you tell me what brand/model the faucet from your previous kitchen that was in BHG is from?

  34. I was going to suggest a deep counter and I was glad to see you were ahead of me on that one! My current and previous kitchen have/had 30″ deep counters on the sink side which gave lots of breathing room behind the faucet. My last kitchen had a beautiful box bay window almost flush with the countertop. The current one is an interior kitchen and has a high bar beyond the sink (and the family room beyond that).
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  35. What inspiring photos. I absolutely love there fresh bright windows!

  36. I love that your waiting and living with the house for awhile is paying off with new ideas!

  37. I love this idea!! Your post came at such a perfect time because we literally had a company come out to quote a new window for our kitchen remodel because we have switched the dinning room and the kitchen! However, we now have two windows–the window that was over the sink and the dining room window (that seemed too low, but is actually flush with the counter)! My dilemma is that the Windows are on the same wall of the kitchen, but one is much smaller and shorter then the other one. They are even on the top, but on the bottom they will not be in alignment. What do you think? We are trying to avoid brick work on the exterior and ordering a new window, but I am afraid I will not like the Windows being different heights.

  38. I love this! I can’t wait to see what you do! Can you start right away please?!

  39. Seeing all your photos makes me want to change my kitchen again! I remodeled 7 years ago, my place had new light brown cabinets so I went with warm earth tones throughout…I love the freshness of the white and gray cabinets… but I am going to “love the home I’m in” and not remodeling the kitchen again. I am always working on some project or other…renewing and refreshing my home with paint and or redoing furniture finds and changing window treatments. Enjoy your blog, thanks for sharing!

  40. Liz VanKirk says:

    We have 5 windows over our sink and slide in range. I don’t even have to have a range hood because if anything gets smokey while I cook I just open the casement window a little and ta da out the smell goes. No problems for the past 5 years! Everyone comments on how beautiful it is having windows going the length of the room. I store all my plates, bowls and coffee cups in slide out drawers in my island. I will always do this again if we ever rebuild another home!

  41. Sorry to be late to the conversation, but I was researching an issue we are facing currently and this string is directly on topic for my dilemma. We are currently building a new house and the kitchen window is a large metal window that is 9 feet wide and 6 feet high. It will sit on the counter behind the sink and look into our backyard. Our dilemma is that we have been told there must be a gfci outlet within 24″ of the sink. With the window sitting on the counter, we have no place for the outlet, and I don’t want to drill one of those pop up outlets into the marble countertop. The cabinets to the left and right of the sink are nearly 5 feet away. Has anyone faced this issue before? Many thanks for any advice you might offer.

  42. I have the windows with the flush counter behind but with white tiles ( and with a fantastic view)…Unfortunately, the first thing that i had planned on doing was raising the window height. I can understand having the space behind the sink but if there is an water that spills over, it goes right into the vinyl window. My other issue is the window is big and moves side to side. I am 5’2″; therefore I have a hard leaning over the counter and opening the window. The counters are high for me (37 1/2″). It’s a real pain… we bought this house in 1999 with 9′ ceilings but that is the one thing that I find doesn’t work well for me… grass is always greener, i guess.

  43. Carol Brame says:

    I love the black windows over the kitchen sink and I would like to know where to get them. Are they steel windows? I’ve been on the hunt for something like this for awhile, so I was so excited to see these in you Kitchen Remodel: Window Flush with Counter post.
    Thank you.

  44. My kitchen had the counters flush with the window. It was a huge mistake. Same issues as mentioned by others. There were times that there were spills and water that splashed and went into the window and leaked into the cabinet. In my opinion there is a reason to have a backsplash — avoiding water damage and mold problems.

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