Celeste Lewis Architecture
Shared Visions + Pragmatic Solutions


As featured on HOUZZ

Recently, a remodel I designed was featured in the following Houzz post that highlighted the dramatic ways internal windows can be an important component of overall design.  

For this home, the 7'-4" basement ceiling height could not change.  Most people find a ceiling lower than 8' as confining or claustrophobic.  But adding relites (interior windows between 2 interior spaces) at the ceiling to give the rooms an illusion of space and added height.  

As with every remodel, there was an on-going discussion about how to value engineer the details of the overall design to accommodate the always shrinking budget.  These particular relites were framed onsite and the glass was placed by the carpenter, essentially making a custom window the old fashioned way.  The cost saving tip was to add a post at the corner of these windows to avoid the most costly detail: Making a column free, 90 degree corner.  

The column-free corner ends up being the most important detail to convey the sense of space...the illusion of a taller ceiling.  It also happened to match an original detail elsewhere on the house.  Working together, we agreed to save money elsewhere and retain the column-free corner.

Another detail that added to the illusion of space is the wall hung cabinet.  While I am not always a fan of wall hung cabinetry because it increases the amount of cleaning you have to do (dusting under the cabinetry regularly), in this location, it does make the room feel more spacious and helps hide the short ceiling.


SW Carl Place Basement

interior windows add the illusion of space

Original Dining Room Window at the Front Entry

Original Dining Room Window at the Front Entry