A little light

Transom window over a door with stained glass effect

One of the simplest things that we did to save energy on lighting in our new house was to include small transom windows over our bedroom doors and a bathroom door in the ‘sleeping wing’ of our ICF bungalow. We intentionally kept bedrooms on the smaller side and access to them is off a fairly small L-shaped hallway. When we did one of our many walk-throughs after the main floor interior walls had been framed, my husband and I had an almost simultaneous ‘a-ha’ moment, and realized that transoms would ensure that some daylight would get into an otherwise dark hall space; the inclusion of a transom in the tiny but very efficient internal bathroom (ie no external windows) we carved out for our two boys, also means that during the day it isn’t usually necessary to switch a light on in order to use this room.

The very best thing about these transom windows didn’t happen until several weeks after we moved in however; a chance visit to the hardware store turned up a stained glass effect roll-on paper that transformed these windows. At night, when electric lights are turned on, the glowing colours are really lovely.

16 thoughts on “A little light

  1. I’m sure my best friend, who is a stained glass artist, would be cringing at the thought of fake roll-on stained glass… but the windows are beautiful nevertheless! 🙂

    1. I can certainly understand that! I’d love to be able to afford to have an artist do unique windows for us, but this is what we could swing. I must confess, I always tell people who visit that it’s a faux treatment (that is folks who might not otherwise tell the difference at a glance!).

  2. We have a very dark hall at the farmhouse, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get light to it, since we can’t have skylights because of the second story overhead. This idea for transom windows is just the thing, and I will design this into our remodel. Thanks for the terrific idea.

    1. It’s really nice to know that this information could be useful to you as you work on your remodel – that’s wonderful!

      1. I like the stained glass effect even more than I would have realized after using them for a time. Having a 14-year old who goes to bed after we do some nights, he’ll come up and turn on his bathroom light for a minute or two. Naturally with transoms some lights spills into the hallway and then into our room through our transom. The stained glass mutes the light that comes through and so it’s just more practical all round. I personally love the colours too; splashes of colour make me happy!

      2. It would be so nice to have even a little light in our hall. I’ve made stained glass in the past, and am thinking that I can make some Frank Lloyd Wright-looking panels for placing above the 4 doors.

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