Kitchen window- view not nice

lniaJune 5, 2012

So, I was so excited about our triple pane window but now that I see how huge it is (3- 2 foot by 4 foot 6 inch) panes, and the fact that our view is not the best, I am regretting this decision. I am thinking of changing to 2 panes of 2 feet or 2 1/2 feet by 4 foot 6 inches. Is one more ideal than the other?

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I was faced with a similar situation. My solution might not be to everybody's taste, but my priority was letting as much light as possible into the kitchen, even though I didn't really want the grand closeup view of the cars parked in the neighbor's driveway (when people get out of the cars in the student house next door they are only 3 feet outside the window. I did the panes in glue chip glass.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 11:38PM
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Great solution Greg. Do you ever get a blinding sun glint off the neighbor's car windows through the window?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 1:05AM
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We had a similar situation to Greg's and used seedy reemy glass (to match the glass in our cabinets). Benefits are letting light in while providing some privacy from the too-close neighbors.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 1:35AM
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Thats an idea. Thanks. If I were to make them smaller are there dimensions that are most acceptable?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:38AM
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What part of your view do you want not to see? What's out there? High, low, wide? There are various ways to potentially refine or improve a view. I notice you have sliders to a patio just down the wall a bit. Is it a problem there too?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 8:01AM
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Create a view. I was stuck with one smallish window in a brick side of an existing home . The view was my driveway, and neighbor's fence. If I turned to look away from the garage, I get more driveway and the neighbor's bathroom window beyond (leaded and obscured glass -- pretty, but awkward feeling). My solution was to landscape it.

I now have a birdbath, a weeping cherry tree, a pear tree and a bay laurel tree with roses, herbs and other plants below. I hung feeders inthe tree adn get to watch birds. Some of my plants attract butterflies and humming birds, so I get to watch butterfllies and hummingbirds too. And then the squirrels and their antics. Beets the raw side of a fence.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 9:06AM
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I will be the voice of dissent. We obscured our bathroom window and I hate it. I wish we hadn't. I would much prefer a window treatment to obscure the view, but that I could remove or open if I so desired. I think having that big window, always obscured, would drive me crazy!

I would really try to put the window where I would like the view, or look into changing the window size, raising it so the light came in but not the view, or use a cafe curtain or blinds, or use temporary, stick-on obscuring products, so I could remove it if I hated it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:05AM
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As others have asked, what exactly is the problem with the view? Perhaps some suggestions can be made to improve your view: planting vines against some lattice or bushes or trees. I have two bathrooms with frosted windows (for privacy) and I hate it. I'd be happier to have a window treatment down most of the time and be able to open it if I wanted. Now if I want to look out the window, I'm force to open the window (regardless of season).

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I'd still stick with the larger window only because I love light, especially in my kitchen, and there are so many options for keeping the light but losing the view.

Rather than make a permanent choice like a window glass, I would get plain window glass and then apply a window film to it. It comes in all kinds of patterns, levels of obscurity, even colors to look like stained glass. It is easy to apply and can be changed if the view improves through landscaping or if you choose to obscure it with window treatments.

I believe in one of Candice Olson's show, the view out the window was literally the brick siding of the next building which was only about 12" away. She used a patterned shade to add interest but keep the light.

Delia Shades is what I believe she used.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lots of window films here

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Create a view. Landscaping can work wonders, even just some basic plants and a focal point like a small fountain or statue.

Disguise the view. Plain latticework against a building's wall with a vine transforms even ugly cement block.

Use a removable window film. Maybe the slobby neighbors 2 feet away from you eventually move and the new ones keep up the yard better. You'd hate that you permanently obscured the nice new view.

Use a sheer window shade. Lets the light in, hides the view.

Use a shorter window, but keep it at the same top alignment height, accenting the linearity of the element. That will still let light in, but not let you see out very much at all. (There's a Pella window commercial illustrating this idea where the neighbor in his open bathrobe picking up his morning paper is now only visible from the head up rather than in his "full glory" with the former taller window.)

Just DO NOT make the window smaller in width than you originally planned. While you can screen out an ugly view and shade out too much light, you can never actually duplicate the spirit uplifting effect of natural light with artificial light.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 12:59PM
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Like some earlier posters suggested, I also like the idea of a less permanent solution than getting a patterned glass. You can buy windows with integrated shades now - what about keeping your large window but putting some sort of translucent shade in it so you can obscure the view while still letting light in, but also open it when you want to?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella's between-the-glass options

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I don't favor a smaller window, as your kitchen will unnecessarily turn your room into a cave. The feel of openness and light is important even if the view is bad. Like others, I'm wondering how bad it can be.

I'm afraid I'd feel the same (closed in) about obscure glass. The window treatments, I think, are a better idea, love the idea of creating a garden outside, or even maybe hanging a stained glass piece or glass beads or something just inside the window to bring the focus closer and make the view less noticeable.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 3:25PM
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I remember a talented designer saying she only needed either 11 or 13 feet to create a view. Don't remember which, and I never knew why that was a magic distance for her, but it's indicative. A home with a 15' side setback can have beautiful views, and privacy, out those windows.

I saw one in a magazine that topped that big time, tho. It was an expensive beachy-type white kitchen with a long expanse of large windows over the counter--the main feature you saw as you looked in. Outside the windows, up against the house, was planted a narrow fringe of bamboo that was kept carefully groomed. It was really beautiful with the light peeking through the leaves, very private, very worth copying, and I've never forgotten it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Fori is not pleased

Cafe curtains or something. It's nice to be able to get air and light through a window and still have privacy--with textured glass, you'll still need window treatments of some sort if you want to open the window and not see the view.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 5:40PM
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LilFlowers MJLN

I have a view of my neighbor's garage, bathroom window, and his Master Bedroom through my double window above my sink. I used cafe curtains. I also have the shades mounted inside the frame of the window. At night I roll down the shades behind the cafe curtains.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 6:32PM
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Thanks everyone. So my kitchen faces the backyard of a neighbor that does car repair. The long term plan is to build a berm and place pine trees so I think our view will improve over time but probably not for 5 years at least.

My other concern is the bigger the window the less cabinetry. Is this ever a consideration or does natural sunlight win? I think I have enough space for cabinets with the larger window but They could possibly look nicer If there was more space.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 8:55PM
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Hi lnia. I have a tiny kitchen and opted to move the window and make it a bit smaller so I could squeeze in a corner cab. I only had 3 cabs before so my goal was to increase storage. I love LIGHT, especially natural light, and I was going to go down from a 30 to a 24 window but the window guy said to stick with a 27 and go for smaller molding. Well, you wouldn't think that 3 inches less of glass would make a noticeable difference but it does. I am so glad he advised me not to go down to the 24. It's not the end of the world because I have a large patio door and this window is on the north side but I know now that like sinks, I want the largest window I can possible have. As for the view, well, it used to be directly into the neighbor's dining room . . our small houses are very close together. One day I had a bad day at work, came home, and DH heard me talking. He thought I lost it. What happened was I walked into the kitchen and as I bent down to get something from under the sink, a child's voice called out HI . . I looked up, didn't see anyone, looked down and hear it again HI. It was the neighbor's grandson sitting at the dining table talking to me . . . the daughter was like sorry, I'm like it's okay but thought to myself, I need a shade. Well I moved the window over a bit to be in line with the sink and thought this will clear the house but it didn't improve the view all that much! What is nice though is that if you look up and out and not just out, you always see a beautiful treed skyline so I guess it worked out.

So try to keep the window as big as possible but I guess compromise a bit to get the storage?

I long for the day I can have a house in the country with no window treatments and no neighbors although my husband reminds me I don't like bugs and like the scene from My Cousin Vinny, I probably wouldn't recognize what an owl sounds like!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 9:26PM
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Have you thought about making all or some of it a garden window? I've seen them as an extended area of the counter and also above the counter height with either a piece of counter material as the base or regular windowsill. You can grow herbs, or pretty flowers there. Or little bonsai trees. Or your own little landscaped yard. Or a fairy garden with greens, moss, and little doors and such.

I would keep the windows as big as you think looks right in the room. There are so many ways to let the light in and disguise the view.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Hi there. I'd vote for light and air over supernumerary cabinets any day.

Since you have the space to eventually improve your view, you might want to stay away from textured glass. You will eventually want to see your pines. [And speaking of pines, consider two or three staggered arborvitae to completely block your neighbor out; you can plant some lilac bushes or viburnum in front of them.]

In the meanwhile there are glass films available that are inexpensive, look fantastic, and are easily removed when the time comes to take them down. They let in light and obscure the view without introducing fabric, that can get dirty, or expensive window treatments. Amazon has lots of options including faux-stained glass, which reminds me, you can hang a piece of stained glass over your new windows as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon Window Films

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 9:33PM
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If you're doing the window size change mostly or partly to get more uppers, why not put all glass uppers right in front of the window. While I wasn't able to find a good example of this right now, I have seen it done nicely.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Thanks! I also have an 8foot by 8 patio door along the same kitchen wall (so total of 14 feet of glass out of 26 feet in kitchen/nook) and windows in the great room that will pour sunlight into the kitchen. Having said that, I think the room will have the sunlight if I were to reduce the width to 4 or 5 ft...

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 10:22PM
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What is the view? Looks like you have a patio or deck out there because of the gas hook up.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Yes we will have a Paver Patio in back where we access from patio door.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 11:48PM
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Well, you need to design storage and windows to suit yourself; however, if it comes down to eliminating a window because of a temporarily undesirable view, my recommendation is definitely to hang some curtains and get the landscaping started. Looking back once the plants have reached a pleasing size, like almost everyone in your position, you will be surprised at how fast the time passed.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:42AM
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Would I be correct to assume there is a fence beyond the patio? Will the patio go to the fence (wall or whatever)? If there is no planting room, use some potted plants or boxes to give you some color and relief. Even a bench with planters at either end that you can build yourselves in a weekend. Even with a smaller window (like mine) you will want to create a view. Once you do, you might wish the window was larger, but even 4 feet would be a big improvement over my 3.

Window treatments are good screening and color options too -- even with a view. Cafe curtains, lace panels (some with contemporary designs) and the various kinds of shades all work well at kitchen windows.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Due to all your wonderful advice I am keeping my triple pane window!
Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 7:10PM
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One more important decision down. X to go. :) I think you'll be very pleased with this one in the end. Looking forward to pix some day.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:36AM
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I'm glad you are keeping the larger window. My kitchen window started out at 3'-4', then went to 5', then to 7', then ended up at 8'. I'm very happy with it. I found I could spare the wall cabinets (I'm not a fan of them anyway) and windows cost less than cabinets. I just really craved the light after being in a window-less kitchen. My enormous window looks out on the side of the neighbor's house, but I do have 15' or so of space to add landscaping. I'll have some evergreen trees, magnolias, roses, hydrangeas, viburnum - all are pretty quick-growing and within 5 years it will be a fabulous view.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:57AM
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