Higher Light: Interior Transom Windows

Transom windows are a lovely historical detail with an interesting history of practical purpose. Before the advent of air conditioning, transom windows were an innovative design feature that allowed for cross ventilation between rooms. Typically, transom windows could be opened and closed using a long metal rod. There were also styles that opened on a hinge sideways like a door, or from the top to the bottom with a lightweight chain that prevented the window from opening too far.


Image Credit: New American Colonial, Barnes Vanze Architects Inc.

Once air conditioning became common in American homes, the ventilation function of transom windows was less necessary but they continued to hold appeal for other reasons. Their design is ideal for increasing the amount of natural light in interior halls, entryways and niches, especially in larger homes and buildings. Privacy and security are also a benefit since transom windows let light in while the door below remains securely locked.


Image Credit: Katie Ridder, Country Portfolio

One of the main attractions of transom windows continues to be their visual charm, particularly in some of the “fixed” versions, which do not open. Decorative versions are often fan shaped or semi circular and sometimes created with stained glass. Intricate stained glass transom windows were particularly popular during the Victorian period, while simpler versions prevailed in Craftsman homes.


Image Credit: Giannetti Home via decorpad.com

At Country Club Homes, we stay in touch with the latest custom home design trends to share exciting new ideas with our clients. Contact us today at 203-762-0550 or visit us at countryclubhomesinc.com to learn more about our work.