Dormer Window Solutions

Dormers add welcome space but can present design challenges. Find ideas for integrating a dormer window into your room design while maximizing natural light.

Add a Dormer Window Seat

Larger dormer windows present the perfect opportunity for built-in elements that coordinate with the rest of the room, and this book nook is a prime example. Wall-mounted reading lights grace each dormer wall, and built-in drawers on either side not only visually frame the vignette, but also provide ample storage without eating up floor space.

Maximize Light

Before you choose the size of your new dormer, let surrounding windows, exterior appearance, and use of the interior space dictate its dimensions. Situating a bed below a dormer window makes a strong focal point in the space, and eliminates the need for a headboard. It also takes advantage of morning light pouring into the room.

Create a Bedroom Bump-Out

This attic renovation transformed sparsely used storage space into a darling guest suite. To give the room a more standard shape, walls were built to disguise the roofline. However, a small corner nook opening up to a dormer window highlights strong architectural lines and support beams, all softened by a fresh coat of crisp white paint. Positioning the bed in the dormer nook also separates the sleeping area from the living space.

Add a Reading Nook

Even fun-packed getaways require moments of relaxation, and the reading nook nestled in the dormer window in this girls' room is the perfect spot. Painting the wall a light shade of green defines the space, and a small chandelier hanging overhead provides a soft glow for reading after nightfall.

Soften with Window Treatments

Without the proper touches, this dormer window's shallow protrusion could leave it looking awkward and out of place. Mounting a shelf overhead and dressing it with soft draperies brings life and interest to the space, especially with personal treasures on display.

Add French Doors to Enjoy the View

With a stunning vista surrounding the property, a dormer addition now allows homeowners to enjoy the view from all sides of their attic retreat. A French door gives easy access to a private balcony to enjoy on sunny days, while the wingback situated in the corner makes a great spot to curl up with a book during days best spent indoors. Heavy draperies hanging from a decorative rod soften corners and add a warm touch to the vignette.

Play Up Architectural Interest

Sometimes a dormer window's exterior appearance trumps how it will look from inside the home; such is the case with this one. While its depth left the window isolated from the rest of the room, an easy option would have been to create a blind dormer by sealing it off from the room. But an antique chair and café curtains let the architectural elements of this addition shine, as light bouncing off the walls draws the eye to the dormer's cathedral ceiling.

Put Bonus Space to Good Use

While not everyone requires sleeping space for more than three boys in one room, this space shows a great example of how a deep dormer can serve as bonus sleeping space or as a play area. Pushing the mattress flush against the wall lets it act as a daybed for play dates and also as an extra sleeping spot for slumber parties.

Highlight Angles with Paint

White walls and white ceilings easily blend into one another, especially when they meet in a dormer corner. Painting the walls a shade that coordinates with the room's color scheme, however, draws attention to its angles and creates a colorful focal point. Simple Roman shades let light filter through while still maintaining an element of privacy.

Add Custom Storage

A shared bedroom among siblings requires a delicate balance and division of space, and double dormers in this room for two ensure each child gets a reading nook of her very own. Custom-built cabinets keep frequently used toys close at hand but out of sight, and they double as benches topped with cushions and pillows for added warmth and comfort.

Enjoy Extra Headroom

Placing twin beds directly beneath these double dormers puts floor space to use in a functional and comfortable way that wouldn't work without the window addition. Cutting into the cathedral ceiling opens up the space, lets in light, and eliminates the risk of accidental head bumps on the ceiling when getting out of bed.

Light Up the Stairwell

This dormer, placed above an arched window on the first floor, takes advantage of natural light and adds a focal point on this once-bare wall. Echoing the window's arch in the ceiling adds a soft touch among the surrounding strong geometric lines, as well.

Add a Small Work Space

An arched doorway leads into a deep, cozy dormer nook that's the perfect size for a small desk. With a recessed light above, space is usable on even dreary days or dark nights. Setting the light on its own switch and defining the space with an archway makes it feel like a room of its own, independent from the larger area.

Bump Out a Bathroom

When put to use correctly, the added space from a wide dormer bump-out can make a room feel much larger. These dual vanities nestled against the wall take advantage of natural light from the windows and share common counter space between them. The steep ceiling may look obtrusive, but a makeup mirror mounted to the wall makes the morning routine easy without the hassle of bending over to look in the mirror.

Soften Hard Angles

A pale khaki wall paint applied around this dormer window not only visually softens the hard angles, but also connects the window with the rest of the space. When situating a bed beneath a window, a proper window treatment is key. These Roman shades filter out bright light and add needed privacy.

Add Natural Light

For those who aren't fans of skylights but crave some extra sun in the bathroom, consider installing a dormer window above eye level; you still get the dramatic architecture of a dormer without the worry of anyone seeing inside your space.

Add Dramatic Height

Add drama to a tall cathedral ceiling with a dormer addition; it makes the room feel more spacious and floods the room's once-dark high spots with light. This dormer, strategically stacked above the door opening to a private patio, creates a strong focal point and accentuates the tall walls.

Balance Light Sources

A two-story addition off of the living room and master suite created a darling seating area for these homeowners and also provided a perfect opportunity to balance the light coming into the room. This triple dormer minimizes contrast in lighting between the two areas without allowing too much sun to enter the sleeping space.

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