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Let there be light! {Small Space Remodeling Tip}

by | Jun 8, 2015 | Decorating Inspiration, Kitchens

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Let there be light! {Small Space Remodeling Tip}
image via Crazy Mary 

A s we are considering what kind of house we can afford (and hope to find) if or when we end up in Seattle, we are fairly certain that it will be a small house, and possibly one we will need to remodel at least a little bit in some way, hopefully right away. (You can catch up here if you are wondering what’s going on!).

I can share more details on what we think we are looking for in some upcoming posts, but we’ve gone to quite a few open houses to get a feel for what might be available and what to expect. One thing we’ve noticed in the older, smaller houses in our price range is that quite often the kitchens are small, closed in and very dark. Not only do they sometimes have dark cabinets, but many times the exterior walls are lined with cabinetry so windows are small or non-existent.

Let there be light! {Small Space Remodeling Tip}image via Crazy Mary 

So in addition to imagining how we might open up a kitchen by removing walls, adding on with french doors or exterior windows, there are other interesting ways we’ve considered to accomplish the goal of more light and better flow through the house.

An interior window is a great way to create the illusion of more space and additional light without adding a single square foot to the kitchen. And, the interior window allows the kitchen to still feel like a separate (and quieter) space if you want it to, while removing the visual barrier of a full wall.

Light is so important in a kitchen, and in a small house more light will mean feeling less closed off or claustrophobic. After living in this house for the past six and a half years, I know a big thing I’m going to miss is my kitchen (AH!!! Sadness!) not just because I love how it looks but in great part because of all the light. Our kitchen gets beautiful light pouring in all day from all the big exterior windows.

Even if our next house doesn’t have as much light as I hope for, I enjoy a good challenge! I love finding ideas that are not only charming, but practical and problem solving, too. In some cases, an interior window just might be the perfect solution to a dark and cramped kitchen and dining area!

P.S. We actually had a similar interior kitchen window in one of our old houses (the picket fence house, if you read my book Love the Home You Have!) so I’ve always really liked that look. You can actually see a snapshot of that old kitchen window in this post (warning, it’s a really small image from a lifetime ago!).

Happy Monday, friends!


  1. Laura

    That kitchen and window are just about the cutest!

  2. Brenna@DomesticCharm

    Natural light (or at least the illusion of it) are a must in a kitchen. It’s the most used space in the house!!

  3. Terry Moore

    Isn’t it amazing how lighting can change a space? You lights are lovely in this space and the natural light is wonderful in the day!

  4. Seana Turner

    I think that interior window is brilliant. I wanted as much light as possible in my kitchen when we remodeled, so I kept upper cabinetry to a minimum (plus, I’m sort of short, so most high up space wasn’t that useful…) I put in windows where I could. It still isn’t bright, as the room is on the back of the house, but I haven’t regretted those choices.

  5. Maggie

    Love the interior wall open -pane space.. What a great idea.. In older homes they have small rooms and no open concept between the dining and kitchen…and they are usually bearing walls.. Great idea and super cute kitchen..Speaking of your book I live in Chicago and my hubby and I were at Oakbrook Mall and came across Barnes and Noble. I told him I wanted to run in and purchase your book but for some reason I could not remember the title,but I said to the customer service gal she was just on the New York Times best seller list.. Oh you must mean Love the Home you Have, I said yes that’s it. Low and behold it was the last copy and I snatched it…. Great book..

  6. Cheryl Ann

    Melissa, this is exciting…who knows where this new journey will take you! God has a plan and it sounds like you are listening. We had a similar experience two years ago while living near Seattle in Lake Stevens. We had built our “dream” home with gorgeous views and still felt something was missing. It was our family! After college our girls married & moved to Nashville and had our 4 grandchildren. Now here we are… sold the house in Lake Stevens (not at the height of the market)…moved 2500 miles & bought a smaller home (without the acreage that we had) in a planned community with a lot less quality & room…and guess what? We are much happier! I believe it was God’s plan for us. We are so happy being with our daughters and grands! We really like being together and are making great memories! You will too. Cheryl Ann

  7. susan maclean

    Good luck with the next house – there’s a whole book of it’s own there!! – and whether light or dark, you will make it your own and we will enjoy reading about it. And as I am sure you already know your home is “inside the box”, rather than the box you buy……

  8. Kay

    Oh, nobody loves the interior windows more than I do! I’m with you on having to have light, + lots of it. Its super large windows is one very major reason we bought our project Dutch colonial. We have installed solar tubes in both this house + our project. They produce such brightness that you’ll be reaching for the off light switch! True story! ;-)

  9. Irma

    Yes, I was just perusing the Seattle real estate listings and the cost of houses are like what we call here, Toronto prices. Retirees ,in Toronto,can sell their 3 bedroom bungalow,with a postage size backyard,almost no front yard, for 6-700,000 dollars and move to our town, 2 hrs.away on the U.S. Canadian border, and buy a good sized 10 yr. old home for $250,000 on a nice sized property or condo.That’s exactly what’s happening here. We see it in our church growth.
    But anyway, I hope that God leads you where you need to go.”Commit your way to Him, and He will direct your path “. And as I think about your son,God knows what will really matter in the whole scheme of his life. Our 2 daughters miss their brother, who is a 2 hr. flight away, like crazy. But that is Gods call on his life right now as he and his wife are on staff at a large church. Our whole family has sacrificed by only seeing him once a year. He met his one year old nephew for the first time this past Christmas. It’s really the nature of our culture today. Our married daughters live 2 hrs. from each other and us. We do what we can to skype, and visit every 4-6 weeks.

  10. Joy Cronauer

    I look forward to seeing what you do with your next space! I have always admired your decorating!!

  11. Andrea Kerry

    I love love love the kitchen floor! Can you please tell me what it is?!


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