Greenhouse Windows for Kitchens

on September 22, 2023

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Greenhouse windows for kitchens are a remarkable fusion of aesthetics and functionality. These unique windows extend outward from the kitchen wall, creating a small greenhouse-like space within your home. The primary purpose of these windows is to enable homeowners to cultivate plants, herbs, and even small vegetables in a controlled environment right in their kitchens. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of greenhouse windows for kitchens, their benefits, various design options, installation processes, and how to build a greenhouse out of windows.

Benefits of Greenhouse Windows for Kitchens

Before delving into the specifics, let's uncover the array of benefits these innovative windows bring to your home.

1. Abundance of Natural Light

Greenhouse windows act as conduits for natural light, flooding your kitchen with sunshine. This not only reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day but also creates a brighter and more inviting kitchen space. Imagine cooking amidst a sea of greenery and abundant sunlight – it's a game-changer for your culinary experience.

2. Enhanced Ventilation

These windows also serve as ventilation hubs, allowing fresh air to flow into your kitchen. With operable greenhouse windows, you can easily open them to let in a gentle breeze, providing a breath of fresh air for both you and your indoor plants.

3. Year-Round Gardening

Greenhouse windows enable year-round gardening, regardless of external weather conditions. This means you can grow your favorite herbs, vegetables, and ornamental plants even during the harshest winters or scorching summers.

4. Increased Property Value

The addition of greenhouse windows not only enhances your quality of life but also adds value to your property. Prospective buyers often find these windows attractive due to their uniqueness and the promise of year-round gardening.

Types of Greenhouse Windows

When considering greenhouse windows for your kitchen, you'll encounter two primary types: fixed and operable. Let's explore these options to help you make an informed choice.

  • Fixed Greenhouse Windows: Greenhouses are designed to capture sunlight and create a greenhouse effect for your plants. These windows are energy-efficient and require minimal maintenance due to their stationary nature. They are perfect for homeowners who want a sun-soaked kitchen and don't necessarily plan to grow plants inside.
  • Operable Greenhouse Windows: Operable greenhouse windows, on the other hand, can be opened to allow airflow and provide easy access to your plants. They are an excellent choice if you plan to grow herbs or vegetables in your kitchen, as you can easily water and tend to your plants through these windows. These windows offer the dual benefit of providing ventilation and a controlled gardening space.

Design and Style Options

Greenhouse windows come in various shapes, sizes, frame colors, and finishes. These design elements allow you to personalize your greenhouse window to match your kitchen's aesthetics and your own style.

1. Window Shapes and Sizes

Greenhouse windows can be rectangular, square, or even custom-designed to fit unique spaces. The size and shape you choose should complement your kitchen layout and the available wall space.

2. Frame Colors and Finishes

Frames come in a diverse array of colors and finishes. You can select a color that matches or contrasts with your kitchen's color scheme, adding a pop of personality to your space.

3. Integration with Kitchen Aesthetics

To achieve a cohesive look, consider how the greenhouse window will blend with your kitchen's overall design. It should enhance the space rather than disrupt it. Incorporating complementary elements like cabinetry and countertops can create a harmonious visual flow.

How to build a greenhouse out of windows

1. Assess Your Space

Begin by identifying the ideal location for your window greenhouse. Consider factors such as the amount of sunlight the area receives, accessibility, and the available space for your greenhouse. Windows with southern or southeastern exposure typically receive the most sunlight throughout the day, making them excellent choices.

2. Gather Materials and Tools

Prior to commencing the construction, collect all the necessary materials and tools for the project. Here's a compilation of the essential items:

  • Salvaged windows (make sure they are clean and in good condition)
  • Lumber for framing (pressure-treated or cedar wood is a suitable choice)
  • Screws
  • Hinges
  • Roofing material (polycarbonate panels, glass, or acrylic)
  • Sealing and insulation materials (caulk, weather-stripping, foam board)
  • Ventilation system (if desired)
  • Shade cloth (for regulating sunlight)
  • Paint and primer (optional, for finishing touches)
  • Basic carpentry tools (saw, drill, screws, screwdriver, measuring tape, level)

3. Design Your Window Greenhouse

Plan the design and dimensions of your window greenhouse. Take accurate measurements of the windows and the space where you'll build. Sketch out a design that incorporates salvaged windows as the main structural elements.

4. Obtain Salvaged Windows

Finding the right salvaged windows is a key part of this project. You can often source them from salvage yards, architectural salvage stores, or even online marketplaces. Ensure the windows are clean and free from damage. You can choose windows of various shapes and sizes, depending on your design.

5. Frame Construction

Begin by constructing the frame for your greenhouse. Use pressure-treated or cedar lumber to build a sturdy frame that matches the dimensions of your salvaged windows. Ensure that the frame is level and securely anchored to the wall.

6. Attach Salvaged Windows

Carefully attach the salvaged windows to the frame using hinges. This step requires precision to ensure that the windows open and close smoothly. Consider the orientation of the windows for optimal ventilation and access to your plants.

7. Roofing and Glazing

Select a suitable roofing material for your greenhouse. Polycarbonate panels, glass, and acrylic are common choices. Secure the roofing material to the frame, ensuring it is watertight and sealed. The roofing material should allow sunlight to enter while providing insulation.

8. Insulation and Sealing

To maintain a stable and controlled environment, insulate and seal any gaps or joints in your window greenhouse. Use weather-stripping, caulk, or foam board to prevent drafts and leaks.

9. Ventilation and Shade

Consider incorporating a ventilation system, such as adjustable vents or louvers, to regulate temperature and airflow. Additionally, install a shade cloth that can be easily adjusted to protect your plants from excessive sunlight.

10. Finishing Touches

If desired, paint and finish the frame of your window greenhouse to match your kitchen's aesthetics. This step not only enhances the appearance but also provides additional protection for the frame.

11. Selecting Plants

Choose plants that thrive in the conditions your window greenhouse provides. Herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary, as well as small vegetables like cherry tomatoes and lettuce, are excellent choices for a kitchen greenhouse.

12. Plant Care

Regularly tend to your plants by providing water, nutrients, and appropriate care. Pay attention to their sunlight and temperature requirements, and adjust as needed to ensure healthy growth.

13. Seasonal Considerations

Be prepared to adjust your window greenhouse's environment based on seasonal changes. In colder months, you may need to provide additional heating, while in summer, shading and proper ventilation become crucial.


1. What are the benefits of greenhouse windows in kitchens?

The benefits include:

  • Abundant natural light
  • Improved ventilation
  • Year-round gardening
  • Increased property value
  • Aesthetic appeal

2. Can I install a greenhouse window in my existing kitchen?

Yes, you can install a greenhouse window in your existing kitchen. While it's a complex DIY project, professional installers can also do it. The choice depends on your skills and preferences.

3. What are the ideal conditions for a window greenhouse?

Window greenhouses should ideally be installed in areas with southern or southeastern exposure to receive maximum sunlight throughout the day. However, proper ventilation and temperature control are also essential considerations.

4. Can I use salvaged windows for building a window greenhouse?

Yes, you can use salvaged windows for building a window greenhouse. Many people find unique and attractive windows at salvage yards or architectural salvage stores. Ensure the windows are in good condition and clean.

5. What plants can I grow in a window greenhouse?

You can grow a variety of plants in a window greenhouse, including herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary, as well as small vegetables like cherry tomatoes and lettuce. The choice of plants depends on the available sunlight and temperature conditions.