These large window ideas will enhance your home inside and out

large picture window in bedroom with bath looking out to sea
(Image credit: Mark Anthony Fox and Ben Knight)

Perhaps you are self building and are after large window ideas for your new home, or maybe you are extending and are keen that your new addition will draw lots of extra natural light into your existing spaces with huge glazed openings. 

Maybe you have inherited beautiful big original windows that need restoring or have some large types of windows that need dealing with in terms of the levels of privacy they can offer. 

Whatever your plans for your window designs our round up of the most beautiful and inspiring large windows around is here to help, offering everything from contemporary openings crafted from aluminium to ways of pulling light into dark stairwells.

Large window ideas for every style of house

The addition of large windows to a house comes with so many wonderful benefits. Firstly there is the fact that us humans love lots of natural light. In fact, the positive effects of being surrounding by plenty of natural light can have on our overall health and wellbeing have been well documented — and this is where window sizes matter. Incorporating large glazed openings into house design is a surefire way to draw in copious amounts of daylight.

Then there is the fact that the larger the window, the better the view. Whether you are lucky enough to be overlooking the ocean or rolling countryside or just want to make the most of a well-tended garden — the bigger the window, the better.

And, finally, what better way to create instant character and wow than with the 'eyes of the house'? An otherwise bland façade can be instantly transformed by the inclusion of an oversized window or two.

Here, we have drawn together not just some of our favourite large window ideas, but have also suggested ways of ensuring your home won't overheat or feel lacking in privacy due to your expanses of glass.

1. Add interest with an asymmetrical large window design

bedroom with large picture windows

Using large windows of different sizes and shapes adds interest to this bedroom.  (Image credit: Jeremy Phillips)

While symmetry can certainly work well when it comes to the positioning of windows for some house styles – Georgian-style homes, for example – using an asymmetrical arrangement can create a real talking point and inject tonnes of character into contemporary-style properties. 

When it came to the conversion of this barn, the owners were really keen to bring in as much natural light as possible. They chose a selection of oversized windows and doors throughout the house to create design talking points, frame the views and flood the interiors with light throughout the day. 

2. Create a spot to settle and enjoy the view

huge picture window seat with sea views

The glorious sea views enjoyed by this home have been fully maximised.  (Image credit: Mark Anthony Fox and Ben Knight)

Got a great view? Then flaunt it. Enormous picture windows act as frames to the outside, turning a fantastic vista into a work of art and creating an instant focal point in the room they grace. It makes sense when installing a picture window to go extra deep on the window reveal and turn it into a window seat from which to while away the hours gazing outside. 

This property has been renovated by its owners to take full advantage of its enviable position on the Cornish coast. It already had picture windows but these were enlarged to really make the most of the views and bring in more light. Interestingly, the windows have also been set back into the house externally in order to create a frameless effect. 

3. Light up a dark stairwell

large picture window over staircase

Use large windows and light from above to light a dark stairwell.  (Image credit: Laurence Liddy)

Stairways and hallways can be gloomy places without the right window design. Using large windows, roof lanterns and rooflights within your hallway design are all great ways of pulling in lots of natural light, sending it streaming down your stairs. 

The owners of this self build were keen that the size and positioning of all the windows made the very most of the hilltop setting the house enjoys and used fixed aluminium glazing all around the staircase to ensure the centre of the the house is full of natural light. 

4. Add privacy to a glazed gable with external shuttering

Contemporary extension with glazed gable

The glazed section of this contemporary extension features striking wooden shutters externally. (Image credit: Matthew Smith)

Glazed gables deliver maximum wow factor but they can, if not carefully considered, leave the occupants of the house feeling a little exposed at certain times of the day. For this reason it is important to think about the kind of window treatments that will work for an entire glazed wall. 

The two-storey extension that was added to this stone barn conversion, designed by Tim Offer Architects, features a striking glazed gable that has been fitted with external red cedar shutters on the upper storeys — they keep the bedrooms private but still allow light through. 

5. Enjoy the views while taking a bath

Bathroom with large windows and freestanding bath

Bathe with a view by including large windows in your bathroom — just be sure to consider how you will maintain privacy levels.  (Image credit: Martin Gardner)

Looking for bathroom window ideas? What could be lovelier that reclining in your bath tub while enjoying views of the great outdoors? Positioning a bath directly in front of a large window has become a really popular idea lately and it is understandable why.

However, for this to work you do need to carefully consider how you will ensure your bathroom still feels like a private space. That bath might not feel so relaxing if you feel that your neighbours might be getting a view of you from their own windows. Whether this means locating your bathroom to the rear of the house, ensuring windows are set at level that lets you see out but no-one else see in or using shutters or window film, do take privacy into consideration. 

infill extension with floor to ceiling glazing

The full-height window used in this infill extension brings light pouring in.  (Image credit: David Barbour)

You don't need a huge contemporary house in order to include large windows. In fact, it is often when it comes to overcoming small house design challenges that the benefits of oversized and full-height glazing really come to the fore. 

As part of the renovation of this semi-detached Victorian house, a small section of a previously altered external wall was removed and a 1.85m-wide infill extension, designed by Ann Nisbet Studio, added. Although the new section has a footprint of just 2.95m2, the full-height window that has been fitted into it brings in some much needed light as well as creating a greater connection with the garden.  

7. Combine an oak frame with modern windows

oak frame self build with glazed gable

Aluminium windows were chosen for this oak frame self build (Image credit: Pete Helme Photography)

Oak frame homes, such as this one, designed by Border Oak, are full of character and charm and are perfect for those wanting to incorporate large amounts of glazing into their house design too. 

Although timber windows might seem like the most obvious choice for timber framed homes, using modern aluminium designs can actually provide a really nice contrast. Here, aluminium windows from Origin Global were used and look fantastic against the rustic exposed A-frame. 

8. Don't miss a thing with a contemporary bay window

huge contemporary window with sea views

This 'glazed box' was designed to ensure the amazing views can be enjoyed from every angle.  (Image credit: Simon Burt)

Traditional bay windows were designed to allow in more light than a window that sits flush with the wall — and this is an idea that translates really well into contemporary window design.

The owners of this extended and renovated coastal property in Cornwall were keen that they didn't want to 'over-do' it with the glass but wanted to selectively frame the views in different directions. They used some ingenious modern bay window ideas to achieve this. The 'glazed box' shown here was designed by the architect owner to withstand gales.

9. Shade full-height windows with an awning

belgian style patio door with awning

Full-height glazing looks stunning but be sure to think how you will shade it in full sun.  (Image credit: Hillarys)

Great swathes of glazing are all well and good but do think about how you will prevent the spaces they are used in from overheating in the full glare of the sun.

Patio cover ideas really come in useful here. These gorgeous Belgian windows have been shaded using an awning from Hillarys. As they are retractable, controlled with a remote control, they can be taken back in when not required. They can also be fitted with heating and lighting options. 

10. Turn a picture window into a contemplation spot

picture window with window seat

Window seats provide the perfect quiet spots within a home.  (Image credit: Pete Helme)

Using extra deep reveals around a picture window is a good idea for a number of reasons. Not only do deep reveals allow for the possibility of incorporating window seat ideas from which to enjoy views of your garden, but they can also provide extra storage opportunities. 

Here, a large window sits within a wall of shelving as well as doubling up as a peaceful spot to take a moment to enjoy the lakeside views enjoyed by the oak framed property. 

11. Bring original sash windows back to life

full height sash windows in living room with pink sofa

These stunning full-height sash windows bring light flooding into the space.  (Image credit: Loaf)

If you are lucky enough to have original windows in place in your renovation project then you should do all you can to restore and enhance them — replacement is rarely the best option. 

Sash windows are most commonly found in Georgian and Victorian properties, but can also be seen (with some variations) in late Victorian and Edwardian houses. They are often fairly large, particularly in Georgian homes. The full-height sash windows in this living room are stunning and ensure the whole space is full of natural light.

12. Create a courtyard visible from all angles 

picture windows in self build on infill plot

The courtyard at the centre of this infill property can be enjoyed from all internal spaces. (Image credit: Fulham Performance and CLAD Studio)

For houses on awkward plots or with little in the way of outside spaces, central courtyards make so much sense and are one of the best ways to bring the outside in. However, in order to work as they should, this type of outdoor area needs to be visible from all the rooms that surround it — and this is where huge pictures windows come in handy.

This infill property, designed by CLAD Studio, was lacking in views and a traditional garden but the owners were desperate for a way to pull in light. The two huge glazed openings face towards the new space and the beautiful water feature that has been installed here. The picture window has been lined with oak and features push-release cupboards to store the children's toys. 

13. Create a 'through view' with opposing picture windows

stone contemporary self build with picture windows

Aligning windows to create a 'through view' is a fantastic design feature.  (Image credit: Laurence Liddy)

There are many different ways to create a 'through view' — a way of creating a glimpse of the same view from several different spaces within a house thanks to the positioning of windows. While clerestory windows and even internal windows can all be used, large picture windows positioned directly opposite one another make for a striking effect.

In this self build, designed by Peregrine Mears Architects, windows have been really carefully placed so as to fill the interiors with light and give many different views of the wonderful surroundings. 

14. Keep prying eyes out but let light in with shutters

living room with white shutters at window and blue sofa

Large windows can really benefit from shutters.  (Image credit: Thomas Sanderson)

While there are definitely many advantages to having large windows, there are a couple of drawbacks too. Their larger proportions not only means more glass to clean, but it can also make privacy something of an issue. 

Here, vinyl shutters from Thomas Sanderson have been used. Designed to look just like wooden shutters, these are waterproof and are available in three neutral shades. You could also consider installing privacy window film.

15. Include large glazed openings for barn-style appeal

barn style self build with glazed openings

Looking to all the world like a barn conversion, this is actually a new build. (Image credit: Nick Yarsley)

It is common for barn conversions to feature huge glazed openings due to planning stipulations stating that original apertures must be retained. If you are hoping to replicate the look of a barn conversion in a new property then it is well worth incorporating large sections of glazing.

The owners of this self build had always wanted to live in a green oak barn, plus they needed their new home to be traditional in appearance for planning reasons. Welsh Oak Frame came up with a design that featured plenty of full-height glazing. 

16. Unify an open plan layout using matching windows

open plan living kitchen and dining room with full height glazing

The dark aluminium window used here sit in brilliant contrast with the pale finishes used elsewhere.  (Image credit: Norsu Interiors)

Making open plan living work can be tricky — sometimes they can seem cold and lacking in character if not dealt with correctly. While it is all well and good having spaces that flow seamlessly into one another, a method of pulling them together is key to their success.

In this space, the kitchen, dining and living spaces have all been tied together visually by the enormous black aluminium windows that span from floor to ceiling and run the width of the area.

Natasha Brinsmead

Natasha is Homebuilding & Renovating’s Associate Content Editor and has been a member of the team for over two decades. An experienced journalist and renovation expert, she has written for a number of homes titles. Over the years Natasha has renovated and carried out a side extension to a Victorian terrace. She is currently living in the rural Edwardian cottage she renovated and extended on a largely DIY basis, living on site for the duration of the project. She is now looking for her next project — something which is proving far harder than she thought it would be.