One of the reasons we bought our home was the potential we saw in the kitchen to extend it to a large family room, with plenty of space for cooking, eating and hanging out. It was, as we saw it, a case of adding a simple bricked box structure onto the back of the house, thereby doubling the existing kitchen size and featuring those bi-fold doors which can open up the back of your house like a giant can-opener. Our architect refined our ambitions and we pored over our resulting plans with great excitement.

We showed them to various friends and family members, and thrashed out a few of the design points. Perhaps one of the nicest and most ingenious additions came from our sister-in-law Ali, who suggested a long strip of window along the dining table side of the extension, ostensibly to break up the blankness of the new-build wall. Thank you to Ali! It is a characterful and fun element in the room, and gets so many compliments.

Pillar box window in a blank wall: not designed for tall cats

Pillar box window in a blank wall: not designed for tall cats

When I was considering it, I realised that the vista was not exactly interesting: a classic picture window normally frames a fantastic view or a feature in a garden, as you can see in this stunning example from Houzz:

I also thought about the clerestory concept, which is a window or strip of windows based high up in a room to let in light.

A view of the sky: designyourinteriors showcases the clerestory effect

A view of the sky: designyourinteriors showcases the clerestory effect

But our slimline window is not a clerestory window, because it is at eye level, and the prevailing view is of leaves on the evergreen trees outside. And that is part of the charm. The white plain walls have a rich slice of foliage daubed across them, whatever the weather or season.

Green screen: leafy aspect

Green screen: leafy aspect

A final small bonus to this clever window is that the kids’ trampoline is located on this side of the garden. Once bouncing begins, from my partial parental viewing gallery the occasional glimpse of a disembodied head reassures me that all is well.

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