“Are you sure you want a window there?” a cabinet provider asked me recently. I used to get irritated when cabinet makers tried to coax clients into replacing windows with cabinets. Thinking “how dare they even go there” I would ponder. They haven’t even been to the house yet. They haven’t even seen the view. They haven’t spent hours in meetings, weeks even months designing every square foot of a new house or renovation. One quick comment after a few minutes of review and suddenly we need more cabinets? It is doesn’t bother me now. Ask away as I expect it. After twenty years of practice of designing remodels and new homes, I have yet for a client to say “can my kitchen be darker perhaps with less natural light and smaller view?” A kitchen is a careful balance of function and beauty. Enough space to prepare and cook with storage too. Big windows in a kitchen create a powerful connection to the land the house sits on or even a neighborhood or yard. I like windows in a dining room but with the central focus of a dining table the view become secondary. In a kitchen, one is likely to be standing which allows the potential for a vast horizon big sky view that sitting on a couch in a family room sometimes doesn’t allow.
I am Midwestern. I grew up in a suburb of Kansas City. I never tire of the vast Midwest horizon. That big sky feels like home to me. The wide open spaces are comforting. I am always curious how far am I actually seeing? Is it twenty miles? Maybe a hundred miles of sky? Is that storm lingering on the horizon hours away or waiting for tomorrow? I like to celebrate the land and its view with carefully placed and sized windows.
Big sky & kitchen windows? It requires framing a view. Sounds simple enough? I am fortunate to have amazing clients with land. Acres of land. Farmhouse design is my niche. Designing for a home on a farm is different than a suburban or urban home. The views are different with many options for where the house is located let alone many more options where exact rooms are located with the home. (another blog for another day!)
I verified with the cabinet supplier that the window was needed. I completely understand that a window takes precious storage space that a cabinet can provide. I also smiled thinking about the fresh memories from just days before of being in a new farmhouse kitchen almost finished. The clients have beautiful land. I knew their big triple kitchen window would be powerful when I designed it. I was thrilled when they marveled at their friends and neighbors comments about their stunning view. It big open central Kansas. The view changes slightly one location to another but almost every farm has an amazing view. I wasn’t sure if the land and its view would be a powerful or if that was a take for granted everyday experience. Amazingly enough it is even more powerful when framed. The windows create a way to re-experience the land. It crops the view allowing your eyes to focus on it and understand it easier. The windows become a lens to see the view.