The advantages of lengthening and lowering window sill levels
Updated: Feb 17
One way to add a different and stylish look to your home, as well as letting in more natural light, is to consider creating taller windows by lowering sill levels: ie. replacing standard height windows with tall ones, using the wall space below your current window sill levels to bring in more light and create the illusion of more space.
So if you’ve been thinking about renovations or replacing your old windows for more energy efficient ones, why not consider making them taller and lower at the same time?
Increased sense of light and space
The larger your window, the more natural light can enter your room. Which is always a good thing. And if you bring in the natural light at a lower level, the feel of space improves exponentially.
Bring the outside in
Low windows bring the outside in and let you enjoy your garden or exterior view to its full potential.
Relax or read in your favourite armchair, looking out at the full vista of your garden, ground to sky.
Enjoy a Sunday lie-in surrounded by your garden.
Feel cosy inside, wrapped up and warm while surrounded by the elements.
Luxuriate in a warm, scented bath, surrounded by your garden's nature and weather.
Borrow the landscape of your garden as a natural decor for your interiors.
When are longer, lower windows a particular advantage?
Tall windows that come down to near floor or floor level are always great, but particularly effective for the following:
Rooms that have low ceilings or small rooms - maximise the vertical dimension
Mezzanine or loft conversions
Flats that don’t have access to outside space of their own
Kitchens and Living rooms that look out over a garden - even if it’s not your garden!
Garden rooms / garden offices or orangeries
What about furniture?
Don’t be constrained by the contemporary view of a window at around a meter off the floor level with everything neatly tucked away underneath it.
Armchairs, side tables, sofas or even beds and baths, slightly pulled away from the window, still help to create an improved feeling of space.
It also means you’re forced to keep your room clutter-free - there’s no opportunity to hide things behind a sofa when there’s a low window behind it!
You can also get very low radiators that fit under lower windows if necessary.
You may need to check on planning if you are making any changes to fenestration (window and doors), particularly if you live in a listed building or your house is in a Conservation area.
As long as you are only lengthening (downwards) and not widening an existing window, there should not be any additional structural work required to your wall as the existing lintel (the support beam that goes above a window or door) will remain in place.
Privacy: lower windows can mean less privacy if you’re overlooked, but you can use privacy films or smart glass so you can see out but the world can’t see in!
Make sure you use a registered builder or window installer to comply with building regulations and ensure that your windows are properly fitted, use good quality, safe and energy-saving glazing.
If you are up high and want to be able to open your window fully, you can also install a steel, glass or metal Juliet balcony or balustrade which can also add a lovely design feature to a bedroom or living space.
Lowering your windows sills / installing tall windows that are low to the ground can completely transform your space. So if you’re looking for a change, but don’t want to move, this relatively easy and economical solution could be a complete game-changer.