Why the Kitchen Window Is the Most Important Window in the House

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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

For 10 years, my kitchen sink faced a sad, beige wall. It’s no wonder I’d leave dirty dishes to pile up — a sight that boring couldn’t exactly distract me from the job at hand. When I’d eventually get to scrubbing the plates, forks, glasses, and who knows what else, all I could ever think about was how I’d rather be doing, well, anything but that.

Then I moved into a house with a corner kitchen. I traded up to a kitchen with two walls of windows — and I finally have a window over the sink! The dishes haven’t disappeared, but the task now seems much more enjoyable. I never realized what I was missing until I won the window jackpot, but now I know: Kitchen windows are the most important windows of any house.

Think about it: How often do you gaze out your bedroom windows? Mine are hidden behind blinds that I usually forget to even open. And in the living room, I’m more likely to be looking at the TV screen or pages of a book than through the panes. It’s the kitchen windows that get the most use.

As I wash vegetables and stir pots, I take in the changing colors of my neighbor’s maple tree. While I fill the kettle for my first mug of tea in the morning, I catch the sky’s changing colors. And when I stand over the sink to eat a juicy nectarine, I keep an eye on what’s happening down the block (don’t tell the neighbors!). It’s impossible to get tired of a view that’s constantly changing. Even when I’m not in the middle of mealtime prep or cleanup, I find myself gravitating toward the kitchen window, if only to glance outside for a moment.

My kitchen window perspective puts me in a contemplative mood, with thoughts deep and not-so-deep. The endless parade of squirrels chasing each other around the yard and up the trees makes me puzzle over where they sleep. I wonder if the rabbits I see nibbling in the grass were born in the nest we found last spring.

One thing that never crosses my mind: The long list of to-dos and worries that tends to creep into my thoughts whenever I’m idle. Turns out, the right outlook (pun intended!) can change your whole perspective.

It’s been nearly a year since we moved in, and we’re just now getting around to buying curtains for the house. One recent weekend, my husband and I went room to room taking window measurements. “What about the kitchen?” he asked. I shook my head. Why on earth would we block the view?

(Image credit: Alicia Macias)

5 Reasons the Kitchen Window Is the Best

1. You can watch kids — or pets! — without hovering.

I don’t have the stats, but I’m pretty sure almost every backyard swing set in America has been built within the line of sight from a kitchen window. This way, kids can play on their own and burn off all that extra energy — under a watchful eye. I don’t have kids, but I stand at the kitchen sink to watch my dogs while they bask in the morning light and I make oatmeal.

2. You can spy on your street.

You’re not being nosy — you’re fulfilling neighborly duties! Is someone getting ready for a yard sale? Did trash night shift because of a holiday this week? If you pay attention to what’s happening, you won’t need to search for answers online and you can help neighbors if you see that they need it.

3. You can watch the nature happen.

Suction a seed-filled feeder to the glass and make friends with the wildlife that drops by. Plus, there are the rabbits, the squirrels, the deer, and there’s that always-impressive sky. The kitchen window is a front-row seat to a nature show.

4. You can zen out.

I wasn’t exaggerating when I said I don’t think of my to-do list when I’m at the window. It’s shockingly easy to feel stress-free when standing there. Try it and see for yourself.

5. You can plant a kitchen garden.

Kitchen windowsills were practically made for container gardens (it’s a little weird to grow a pot of basil in the living room). These spaces usually get great light and then you can grab what you need as you cook. Keep pots of what you cook with most and you’ll never have to buy it at the grocery store again.

What do you love about your kitchen window?