In my latest blog post, I talked about how we raised the windows in our Valencia Kitchen Remodel so that we could continue the cabinets and counters across that area without totally getting rid of the natural light.
As I wrote that, I realized that I've done that so many times to maximize a kitchen's space and it is something that homeowners don't always realize is possible or affordable, but it is!
(I knew I had done it a number of times, but as I was searching photos and projects, I didn't realize it was this many times!)
I think in every single one of these instances, the existing window was in a little breakfast nook that the family either didn't use or could sacrifice for the sake of a larger kitchen.
Another similarity and something to consider is that there was always another window above the sink. That doesn't mean you have to have another window or even one over a sink, but you do want to consider shape and height when reworking second or third windows. For all of these, we raised the window(s) so that the bottom and top were at the same heights as the bottom and top of the other window(s) on the same wall.
Here you can see a progression (from right to left) from breakfast room to mid-construction to final product where we raised the window on the right to match the height of the window on the left and pulled the countertops all the way across. (More photos of our Dorrance Flip here.) Below is another example.
One more thing to think about, particularly as you consider the cost of doing this, is what the outside of your house is made of in that area. If it is siding, then you're in luck! That's the easiest, cheapest thing to change. If it is brick, you could try to color match your brick but that tends to be more difficult and costly. Another option is to just put siding on the area where you raised your window and have the existing brick surround it. It isn't necessarily beautiful, but for the majority of these, that window faced a back or side yard and the homeowners didn't really care what it looked like, as long as it was well done.
So, if you have a small kitchen or are re-doing the layout, don't forget to consider changing out the windows (especially if new windows are a part of your budget anyway!) This helps make your space look like it was always meant to be that way and usually gives you significantly more counter space!