Transom Window?

(Posted by Sue Paasch)

Transom Windows…


I have been fascinated with transom windows since I was a young girl. How they operated and how light comes in through them has always interested me. My grandfather lived in a100 year old 3-flat building in Chicago that had transom windows above the back doors. Years ago these windows were used to get air circulating in the house. I remember they were hard to open for me at the time. Many of the Frank Lloyd Wright and prairie style homes have transom windows that use colored or stained glass. These windows would bring both light and color into a room. Today transom windows are an architectural feature used primarily above windows and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.


Deciding on how to cover or decorate windows can be challenging. Very often when someone sees they have transom windows in their home, they would like to show them off. If the transom windows are placed above other windows, do you cover all of the windows or leave the transom uncovered? Are these windows in an area where you may want some privacy? How much light comes in these windows and what type of furnishing are in these rooms? These are some of the questions to consider. If you decide to only cover the lower part of your window you do have to take into consideration the overall look of the room. This look could make the windows look shorter which will make the total height of a wall or the room appear shorter. You want to make sure you have a balanced look. A transom will bring more light into a room, so be sure the furnishings are protected from damaging UV rays.


There are many different products and ideas to cover these windows. If the transom windows are directly above casement or double hung windows drapery could be used to cover the whole window. When the drapes are open you will then see the transom windows. Some window treatment products can cover each window individually such as shutters, honeycomb shades to name a few. Drapes could then be used as side panels to accent the windows and bring color into the room. Stained glass or colored glass could be used in transom window and then the window would be left uncovered. No matter what you choose you want a balanced and pleasing look to the eye for your home.

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