Spruce Up Your Kitchen With a Light-Loving Garden Window

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Updated February 24, 2022
Herbs and vegetables getting sunlight on a garden window
Photo: Kristen Prahl / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images


  • Garden windows are similar to bay windows—but smaller.

  • Many garden windows are made with durable, well-insulating materials.

  • They may help you to save on energy costs.

  • You can customize them to match the colors and finishes in your existing kitchen.

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If you’re looking to add beauty and light to your kitchen while saving on energy costs, a garden window may be for you. Think of a garden window as a "tiny greenhouse" that extends from your kitchen. Not the typical garden variety of window, it provides a perfect place to grow—you guessed it—anything green (especially herbs for cooking). Get a glimpse into the benefits of installing a garden window.

Grow Your Garden Window Knowledge

A three-dimensional garden window is structurally similar to a bay window—but much smaller. Most garden windows extend out from your wall by about 18 inches.

Garden windows are both decorative and functional, because you can grow plants and flowers on them, including tomatoes and herbs for cooking. They also help add more natural light to the room.

If you don’t have a particularly green thumb, you can decorate a garden window with fish bowls, cookbooks, photos, and various decor.

These styles of windows aren’t hard to come by; window companies generally include garden windows in their product lineup.

Garden Window Features

A typical garden window uses 1-inch-thick insulated glass that helps heat or cool your home. Most are designed with a fully welded virgin PVC vinyl frame to create strength and rigidity. Frames are designed to prevent any chipping, peeling, or blistering.

You can open and close some varieties of garden windows using sealing side vents.

Making Your Garden Window Match Your Room

Don’t worry about your garden window sticking out like a sore—or green—thumb (we had to).  Like many window styles, it's easy to customize a garden window with any of the colors and finishes that already exist in your kitchen. You can paint the garden window frame to blend in (or stand out), or add unique window treatments.

How Easy Is It to Install a Garden Window?

A woman watering plants placed on a garden window
Photo: Tetra Images / Getty Images

Generally, installing a garden window is not an ideal DIY project because of its complexity. You have to make sure you have a secure fit to prevent air seepage, water leakage, and other potential issues. If you do decide to install one yourself, the cost and level of ease depend on window size and positioning. Generally, a standard-sized garden window is the most budget-friendly option. Unique and custom-shaped windows are more suited to a pro, and cost more due to both material and labor.

If you are replacing an existing window, you might have to do some extra structural work to make sure it can handle the extra weight of a garden style. The project gets a little more complicated if you’re creating a whole new opening to install a garden window where there was no window before.

A new window installation often requires the help of a structural engineer or general contractor to make sure you don’t open up a load-bearing wall. You also don’t want to cut through any piping or electrical wires when building your garden window.

Regardless of window type, one thing to note about building a totally new window in your home—you’ll likely need to get a building permit.

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