Ribbon windows – with long horizontal and short vertical frames – are a great way to emphasise the shape of any room, enhance your view to the outside, and let natural light flood in. They bring a modern touch to the kitchen, bedroom, office or living area and can double as a splashback or bookshelf, or even take the place of artwork or other decorative features.
Ribbon windows are set within the structural facade of the wall. They are generally at eye level rather than at the very top or bottom of the wall.
Modernist architect Le Corbusier first recommended the use of ribbon windows in his 1920s manifesto Five Points of Architecture, as long strips of windows, he proposed, would illuminate spaces equally.
In the kitchen
Ribbon windows are a great way to enhance your view of the outdoors. Their elongated shape affords uninterrupted panoramic vision and lets in plenty of natural light, illuminating worktops and dining areas.
Behind the kitchen sink, worktop and hob, ribbon windows can double as an easy-to-clean splashback. In this kitchen, cabinets above the benchtop provide for additional lighting and an extractor, without interrupting the openness of the ribbon windows.
Even if your house is right on the boundary and you’re in close quarters to your neighbours, a thin ribbon window will still pull in light, while maintaining your privacy. Play with colours and frames to make them a decorative feature.
In the living area
Who needs artwork when you can create a panoramic picture on your wall by incorporating a ribbon window? Although in this room they’ve gone for both, with a ribbon window providing a view of the changing seasons outside, and as a dominant aspect for arranging objects along and on the wall. The room has a sense of being curated, with the view out of the ribbon window the central masterpiece.
This ribbon window takes a turn as it connects with a skinny vertical window at the corner of the room. This L-shaped window allows extra light into the space, while opaque glass on the horizontal strip protects the occupants’ privacy.
In the bedroom
In this contemporary bedroom with graphic wallpaper, a large ribbon window is a breath of fresh air. It provides a visual rest and brings uniform light across the bed. The black frame accentuates the composition of the view outside.
Recessing your ribbon window gives you a usable ledge on which to display items such as books, pot plants and ornaments. It saves on additional furniture and valuable floor space, and is a visually interesting touch in any room. If you’re close to your neighbours, then having a slightly higher and deeply recessed ribbon window means that vision into the room from the outside is limited.
In the office
Brighten up your days in the office with a ribbon window running the length of your desk. Lots of natural illumination will help your sight and will also mean you don’t have to clutter your desk with additional lamp lighting. And with a view to inspire, you may be more productive than ever before.
On the stairwell
In this multi-level town house, a ribbon window on the stairwell is a great visual feature with a view to the garden outside. There is no need for artwork or photographs when you’ve carefully crafted your outdoor area.
From the outside
Recessing your ribbon window externally provides a functional ledge for pot plants and other small items – in this case, atmospheric candles for an intimate outdoor en suite.