How to make a kitchen window look bigger - 7 clever optical illusions used by kitchen experts

From fitting tips to colour recommendations, these simple switches will enhance natural light in your kitchen

Shaker kithcen with navy and white striped blind
(Image credit: Future PLC)

An expansive, light-filled kitchen is what many of us dream of, but when faced with small spaces and north-facing rooms, you'll likely be on the hunt for tricks to make kitchen windows look bigger.

New windows can be costly and restructuring a room to move them is a huge faff, so focusing on smaller, affordable techniques to make windows look bigger will achieve the desired effect without the hassle.

Whether it's through updating your window treatment ideas for a more contemporary style or changing how your blinds are hung, these expert-led tips to create an optical illusion in your cooking space will take you one step closer towards a bright and light kitchen.

How to make kitchen windows look bigger

Let's face it, blinds, curtains and window frames fall under the umbrella of things we never thought would be so expensive, but they are. They're the finishing touch to any room so you want to get it right, especially because natural light is so essential to the appearance of your home and your wellbeing.

So, to help you get it right we spoke to experts in the kitchen field for their favourite hidden tips and tricks on how to make kitchen windows look bigger.

1. Use light, sheer window covers

deVOL kitchen with light pink walls and cafe curtains on windows

(Image credit: deVOL)

Sheer voile drapes that blow softly in the breeze, the kitchen window open on a summer's day and coffee freshly brewed. You're sold, right? Opting for lightweight linen for your curtains or blinds isn't just a chic sartorial choice, it's also a simple way to make your windows look bigger.

'To make a kitchen window appear larger, maximise natural light. Use light, sheer window covers or completely forego heavy curtains. This allows more light to enter, which naturally extends the visual boundaries of your window,' says Danny Stalman, director of Plan-it Windows.

2. Make use of valances

Green kitchen with wooden topped island and window seats

(Image credit: Future/ Jeremy Phillips)

To create the illusion of height when your ceilings and windows are low (or just standard height) you might need to get crafty with how and where you hang curtains from.

'Installing window accessories, like valances, higher than the actual window can create an illusion of height. Match this with the ceiling or the top line of your kitchen cabinets for a cohesive look that draws the eye upward, making the window seem taller,' adds Danny.

3. Focus on lighter colours

Shaker kitchen with white blind

(Image credit: Future PLC)

It's true what they say; when trying to make a space look larger, lighter colours are generally best. Choosing heavily patterned fabrics or dark tones for your window coverings will make a kitchen feel more enclosed, drawing unwanted attention to a small window.

Allan Reid, founder of Art Windows & Doors, also recommends, 'Paint your window trim and surrounding walls a light colour. Light colours reflect light and make the space feel bigger, including the windows.'

4. Use mirrored surfaces around the kitchen

Kitchen with large island with green square tiles on front matching green square tiles on wall

(Image credit: Magnet)

Making a kitchen window look larger doesn't just lie in the window itself, the materials you use around the room are just as important.

'Strategically place a mirror opposite the window. This reflects light and creates the illusion of a larger space, including the window,' advises Allan.

Danny also adds, 'Consider using mirrored backsplashes or glossy finishes in your kitchen. These reflective surfaces can amplify light and mimic a larger window space, enhancing the kitchen's overall openness.'

5. Colour drench

view of sink area in retro kitchen with salvaged tin wall tiles

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

Although lighter colours tend to be best for creating the illusion of more space, colour can still be effective when used wisely.

'One way to make your windows look bigger is to choose window blinds in a colour that matches your walls to create a colour-drenching effect, blurring the lines between the wall and window,' recommends Daniel Hatfield, brand manager at Luxaflex.

Knowing the best colour tricks to make a small kitchen look bigger will help you decide on a light-enhancing wall colour, then you can choose a window covering to match.

6. Fit outside of the recess

Kitchen window with antique shutters and sash window

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Similar to using a valance, fitting blinds outside of the window recess will make a kitchen window look wider and taller. It's a simple thing to change when fitting blinds but it will have a big impact on the overall appearance.

Lisa Cooper, head of product at Thomas Sanderson, recommends, 'Consider installing vinyl shutters with an outside mount. This expands the visual footprint of the window beyond the frame, creating the illusion of a larger opening.'

'For an illusion of height,' Lisa continues, 'consider fixing roller blinds above the window frame. This trick creates the impression of a bigger window opening.'

7. Stick to stripes

Shaker kithcen with navy and white striped blind

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If a pattern is more your style, then vertical stripes should be a strong consideration. Rather than making the window look busy, they will create an expansive look that helps to open up the window width and height.

'For vertically proportioned windows, consider curtains with vertical stripes. The stripes draw the eye upwards, making the window appear taller,' says Ana Zuravliova, trend specialist at Blinds Direct.

For shorter windows, fashionable vertical stripes on soft fabric blinds are a classic, and horizontal stripes are ideal for more narrow windows.'


How can I make my kitchen windows look better?

When designing a kitchen, some of the most important decisions lie within choosing cabinets, work surfaces and flooring. So understandably, windows might take the backseat. But they're just as vital to creating an overall kitchen scheme that you're happy with.

Making kitchen windows 'look better' will be down to the window coverings you choose and the type of window you have. If you live in a period property with original sash windows, ensuring that the frames aren't rotting and are painted will be your first step to making them look more polished. Even swapping out latches to match other hardware in your kitchen will be the cherry on top of a put-together design.

When it comes to blinds and curtains, it's worth investing in well-made styles that fit the space. If you have non-standard-sized windows then getting these made will make a kitchen look more expensive. Plus, they'll stand the test of time - a much more worthy investment.

Which window idea takes your fancy? Whichever clever trick you choose, your kitchen will look brighter and bigger.

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).