How To Create A Faux Transom Window

How To Create A Faux Transom Window




I fell in love with my kitchen the first time I ever saw it.

When it looked like this.

And I knew….that I knew….that I knew….it was going to be something beautiful.


I really wish I had some more before pictures.

This is the only one I have…..but it’s a good one.  There’s nothing like tiny bits of stripped wallpaper and a bottle of cleaner to make the kitchen look extra pitiful.

But even with wallpaper and cleaners and dark walls and ladders.

I knew.


Remember those after-school-specials?

Remember the one where the girl was not that cute and she was wearing glasses and frumpy clothes with not cute hair and she was super shy.  And she didn’t really have any friends.  And for some reason she was always drawing in a notebook.


Super awkward.

And then one day she was helping the star football player with his homework and he gazed into her eyes….well actually he really gazed into her glasses, but it didn’t matter because he saw beyond those glasses…..

…..and truly saw her for the first time.

He saw her for the true beauty that she was.


Weren’t those ABC after-school-specials just the best?



This kitchen is just like that.

Just like an after-school-special.

When I first saw it….it needed a little TLC.  It had wear and tear and cracked walls and wallpaper and it was one step away from wearing glasses and writing in a notebook.

But I knew that it could be so much more.




And when the dust settled….I think it was the windows that truly won my heart.

So vintage.

So one-of-a-kind.

So ready for a make-over.




When we remodeled the kitchen…..we didn’t have a lot of spare change for windows.

We were adding important things like counter tops and cabinets and light fixtures and faucets.

So we came up with a cost-effective way to make the windows truly shine (absolutely no pun intended).



How To Create a Faux Transom Window


2  4′ x 8′ pine boards

1  48 ” pine board

10 feet of decorative molding

8 feet of crown molding

All characters in one of my favorite after-school-specials ever.


Step 1:  Add the 8 foot boards to either side of the existing window molding.

Step 2:   Fill in between the top of the 8 foot boards with a 44″ piece of 1′ x 4′ pine.

Step 3:  The space on the wall between the pieces of 1′ x 4′ pine boards creates the illusion of a transom over the windows.




Step 4:  Trim the inside of the faux transom with a piece of decorative molding.

Step 5:  Add a piece of crown molding to the top.







There’s no inspiration like a good after-school-special.

Especially the ending.

Like the ending where the quarterback was supposed to meet his stuck-up snobby overly-tanned girlfriend at the dance.  But all of a sudden on the dance floor, the dancers parted and there was the previously shy, notebook-writing, frumpy-haired girl.

Looking like the next super model.


Just like my kitchen :)

 If you want more molding inspiration….click here to check out all my other molding projects.

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  1. I. Love your new kitchen! The windows are gorgeous, beautiful job on the whole redo! I used to love those after school specials!!! Your analogy was great, made me smile!! Wonderful post!

  2. I love your kitchen, and the new transoms make such a huge difference. Wouldn’t you love for the former owners of the house to see it now? Very beautiful.

  3. I so thoroughly enjoyed your post! I even enjoyed reading about a “transom” window. You are the best writer.

  4. I love your faux transoms….as they transformed those beautiful antique windows from Cinderella in her ash covered dress to Cinderella in her beautiful gown….you were definitely your home’s Fairy Godmother…waving your magic wand of fairy dust over the entire home….creating your beautiful castle….hmmm…now I know why there is a Glass Carriage parked in front of your house!……bippity, boppity, boo!!

  5. That was a very romantic story….your kitchen before and after, that is! Your vision of what your kitchen could be came to life with all your hard work and oh my goodness, how lovely it turned out! So light and bright and cheerful!! I LOVED those after school specials, and also, I WAS THAT GIRL!!!! Totally awkward and a little weird……my husband and kids would probably still describe me like that today 🙂

  6. Now that is brilliant! I’m very impressed and if my ceilings were not directly above my windows, I’d be copying this idea. It looks beyond fabulous. Being able to see the potential is a gift.

  7. Your kitchen is a superstar, and I have loved every detail since the very first time you shared. I even showed my husband the way you added the molding to your windows. ♥♥♥ to you, KariAnne.

  8. Wow – the windows are GORGEOUS! They just wouldn’t be the same without the moulding that you added. Your kitchen is pretty fabulous too! ;o)

  9. Simply stunning! and the perfect answer to a situation we are running into… what to do in the space above windows when you have low ceilings? The answer… add trancoms! KariAnne to the rescue once again!!!

  10. That’s a really neat project, Kari! Love your beautiful kitchen. It was so nice to chat with you last night!


  11. I LOVE the look it gave your windows!
    I would love to be a copy cat and do something like that over the pantry door in my kitchen.

  12. Your kitchen is so pretty, bright and airy! Love it! And I adore the light fixture! Great idea for extending the windows, too!

  13. That is one gorgeous kitchen…I mean girl! Love the idea and the eye for something beyond the ordinary. Great job!

  14. Karianne,
    Only you would think to compare your kitchen to an after school special…they were the best. Maybe kids today need some after school specials. Anyway, your kitchen is beyond lovely. Like the girl in the afterschool special went on to become, ummm, I don’t know the most beautiful girl in the world. (Fill in your own idea of the most beautiful). The world today needs less reality tv, and more after school specials, and most of all, more kitchens as beautiful as yours.

  15. Beautiful, Karianne! The added height really makes those windows look important and taller. You’ve got some great natural light in your kitchen. I miss that about the kitchen in our old house. Here in the condo, the kitchen is on the side with no windows.

  16. Would you/could you put a mirror in that area to give the illusion of light coming through? I still love your blog, and your house. Good luck on your CL Blog of the Year honor.

  17. Such a great idea to make the windows look larger that way. Adding trim is always such a good idea to make your house look better. It’s often overlooked too. I like your shutters also.

  18. Beautiful kitchen, KarriAnne! I love your wall colors… would you share? I am repainting my living room and dining room and this is just the color I am looking for!
    Okay, back to the kitchen… did you know that only 3% of people can see beyond what a house is to what a house could be? You must be in the top 1%!
    Awesome faux transoms!!! They give your kitchen great height and a feeling of the past.
    Why do I want to copy everything you do!!!!
    If you have time would you share them at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS? Link goes live Wednesday night at 8:00.

  19. Great kitchen. I love it and couldn’t imagine your windows any other way. Thanks for sharing.

  20. It really does add a lot of character!

  21. Awesome transformation and your photographs are great! Mind me asking what camera you use?

  22. WOW! Pinned this to show the Mr. tonight. What a beautiful, bright kitchen!

  23. Is “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor in a neighboring State’s kitchen and decorating skills” a commandment? Because I think I just broke it. No, I KNOW I just broke AND it wasn’t the first time either. I am in love with your kitchen. I want to hop on a plane with it along side you and your porch and head to Vegas!!

    Please drive to Illinois and help me with my family room. I need to tear out a built-in entertainment wall and build another one on a different wall. I’ll give you gas money and take you out for a pork tenderloin sandwich if you do. 🙂

  24. Kari Anne,
    I have kitchen envy! Let’s just say my ugly duckling hasn’t had her makeover yet. I’m not seeing her inner swan. She looks more like a turkey buzzard. May I borrow those rose colored glasses?!
    Bravo to you, your vision and hard work to make the dream a reality.
    Your Friend,

  25. What a fantastic idea!!

    I’m curious, are your windows the originals to your house?

  26. What a great idea..Nice look..

  27. Gee, who’d a thunk it? And those little shutters are adorable, too!

  28. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brighter, whiter kitchen! It’s almost blinding! Gorgeous! Did your husband see the potential in the kitchen like you did? I keep having to say to my husband “just wait Honey, you’ll see it’ll be gorgeous when I’m finished!” Kinda gets old but then in the end it’s all so worth it to have him say “you were right”!!!!!

  29. Love them! I love the windows, the kitchen, I love your entire house!

  30. Hi, Karianne. I have loved your kitchen from the first time I saw it photos of it. Just gorgeous. I’m so inspired by your vision and transformation of this space. Even now, as bloggers and knowing how important before pics can be, it’s still hard to remember or take the time for them! But your one before pic does the trick. Thanks for sharing your after school special with us.

  31. I noticed you had the dark wood colored trim before and white trim afterwards. Did you paint it or just buy all new trim? We have an ugly wood trim in our kitchen and tried painting it but now the paint is wore and chipping and looks even worse now lol. Your kitchen is amazing! I wish I had that talent!

  32. and……….she does it again. That’s it, I’m buying you a plane ticket and we can sit on my couch and watch after school specials all day long {in between you redecorating for me of course}

  33. If you ever want to visit I will pay your way here so you can help me with vision here – I am stuck halfway between the shy girl and the super model, and stuck is stuck – I think I need new eyes to see……..

    Seriously this is awesome, your kitchen area you have shared is truly a super model. WOW – so so amazing!


  34. Tresha Terrell :

    I loooove your kitchen. Where did you get the lights and what color are the walls? Great job!

  35. What an incredible transformation! I love the transomes that you created and just everything else in your kitchen. My sons hated those afterschool specials. I always made them watch the ones about suicide because I had a good friend who commited suicide. They finally said, “Look Mom, we’re not going to”. Maybe I liked those after-school specials more than they did. Especially the one with the girl in glasses because that was before I had Lasik.

  36. Dear Beautiful Kitchen, you always were and always will be special and one of a kind! Your fairy god-mother, little k, will cherish you and watch over you from here on out! Always making sure others see the real you! I loved you the first time she presented you, and I still do! She has been very good to you, and in return you have blessed her and her family with the perfect place to whip up some mac-n-cheese, as well as a place to sit and devour the savory cheesy-pasta concoction, all the while enjoying you in all your splendor! Sincerely, your biggest fan ever! Mrs. C

  37. Great post! What a gorgeous transformation!! So bright and cheery, looooove it!

  38. Karen Rubin Brown :

    Beautiful windows. When you have a minute….what is the paint color on the walls?
    Thanks 🙂

  39. Wow, wow, and wow.

  40. Truly one of the best makeovers I’ve seen and I’ve seen alot. I would never have thought to add a fake transom window. It makes the windows pop and look so much taller and…wow…great job. Not to mention how you make me smile with your analogies…You are a truly gifted writer and decorator.

  41. Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful.

  42. You know how much I LOVE your kitchen, don’t you? And, the addition of the “faux” transoms is incredible. I soooo want to try this; and, truthfully, hope to do so in my kitchen some day! If I put on an after school special, will you come and help me?

  43. Really? Stop making the rest of us look bad. 🙂 This is awesome.

  44. This has to be the best window idea ever! you kitchen is amazing. How high are your ceilings? They look like 10 until I look over the door, then they look about 8. if so the transom makes the room appear taller too!!!! Love it

  45. Your kitchen is gorgeous… I love transome windows, and faux would be a go with me!

  46. KariAnne, your kitchen and your transoms are brilliant! My kitchen has transoms. My kitchen is not so brilliant. She’s more like the snobby antagonist of those after school specials. She thinks she’s all that, strutting her stuff and lookin all pretty, but deep down, she’s just a superficial girl wearing cheap knock offs and bad makeup. I really need to break it off with her, or at least give her one heck of a makeover, but I think those transoms will stay )

  47. Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful. Mine needs some more tlc. I’ve fiddled with it for 15 years. What it really needs is gutted and totally rearranged.
    My living room windows have the same idea – BELOW them. Or they did before we gutted the room. My hubby is determined to put it back. I don’t want him to. It’s already been FIVE years since we finished everything but the woodwork. I just want baseboard and woodwork so I can hang the old shutters I have for the inside of the windows. sigh. I’m blogging today about my living room fall decor and I actually show you a picture of a window – without it’s trimmings.

  48. Your kitchen definitely went from frumpy to spectacular. Now, can you work your magic on me before senior prom 🙂

  49. You’re amazing! You have such a clear vision of your style and it always comes out so beautifully! The transom window is gorgeous!

  50. pinned it…we need to do something like this in our kitchen.. we just have a double window, but it would look so much sharper with this faux transom above it. 🙂

  51. I had never heard of a transom window before…well thank you…I don’t know how or why or when…but I must have one! I would also like your kitchen..just a small slice of it 😉

  52. I just love the transom window moldings. I love your whole house, it has such beautiful light. The curtains are wonderful, did you make them? They highlight the pretty windows. I made my husband take the tour of your house.

  53. Gorgeous. I don’t have any windows I can do this to (I don’t think), but I love the idea.

  54. The transoms are a great idea! I have trouble envisioning bits of wall becoming faux panels until I see bloggers like you doing crazy neato things like this. Thanks for the easy tutorial. Oh, the binding power of paint.

  55. I read this first thing this AM … oh, and love love love it … and then raced off and around all day like a chicken with its head cut off. So now I’m back and I’m commenting, my friend! So lovely. The whole kitchen is swoon-worthy!



  56. Your kitchen is Stunning! The windows make it so unique and add so much character!

  57. Absolutely stunning!!! Maybe my plain Jane windows need a little extra molding so that they really shine?
    You are such an inspiration!!!!!

  58. [sigh]…. I’m filled with envy every time I come over to visit your farm.
    I want those windows. I need tall ceilings so I can have those windows. Then I want teensy little white shutters!!

    You should be so proud of the home that you have created KariAnne. It is truly beautiful.

  59. Those windows are gorgeous! You guys did a fantastic job!! It’s so light and bright now 🙂

  60. Wooooo I love your kitchen and yes I know I have said that before but you do have a great looking kitchen………………..

  61. I don’t know a lot about transom windows but you are absolutely right about seeing the potential in your kitchen! Love the analogy of “after school special” – how I remember those! My fave are the chandeliers you chose – so perfect for a bit of bling in your space! Everything looks fabulous including the bit of fall decor! Would love to spend time in your kitchen!


  62. These are so so so gorgeous, I can’t stand it. Not only do I love all the woodwork, I am crazy about those little shutters.
    I bought some at a thrift shop the other day, thinking I was so smart that, altho I didn’t have a clue as to the size of my windows, eyeballing them made me just KNOW they would fit. Well, of COURSE, they don’t fit. Too big to use as lower ones like you are doing…too short to use as whole window covers….I don’t think I can cut shutter off…..bummer

  63. Gorgeous, gorgeous kitchen! I want to see it all!

    Visiting from Wow Us Wednesday…
    Rhonda @ home.made.

  64. Great job on the faux transoms! Your kitchen is gorgeous!

  65. Your kitchen is beautiful. Everything!!
    Mary Alice

  66. Beautiful, Karianne! Love that look! You are so stinkin’ creative, it boggles my mind! 🙂 Your home is truly worthy of being in a book, girl.

    xoxo laurie

  67. These are really beautiful…but seriously, I am drooling over that whole side of the kitchen. Sigh.

  68. What a fantastic idea! So simple and it turned out beautiful! Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous…
    Debbie 🙂

  69. I love how you always think of the things that make a room extra special. I don’t think I would have ever thought of adding faux transoms, but they are absolutely beautiful and look like they’ve been there forever. Also, the warm fall decorating in your kitchen in just beautiful. Hope you have a great week!

  70. I’m speechless. This is a WOW factor if there ever was one!

  71. Absolutely unbelievable! I honestly can’t believe it’s the same space. You had some serious vision, and I love it!! Well done with the whole entire project. It truly is jaw-dropping beautiful!

  72. Just gorgeous!! How did i miss this? And yes, I used to run home so I could watch those after school specials, whatever happened to them?

  73. such a great idea! makes a huge impact!

  74. WOW! What a transformation…..Thanks for sharing with us. It turned out Gorgeous. Sharing over on my FB today.

  75. You seriously amaze me! I absolutely adore everything you do. This room is perfect and those windows are gorgeous. Wonderful tutorial! Thank you for being such an inspiration 🙂

  76. Absolutely gorgeous!

  77. I have a silly question for all of you do it your selfers out there..What size it that large board in the middle? Did you add that? It looked like from the before pciture that you did. I have 16′ ceilings and would love to transform my windows this way through my old frumpy 110 yr old after school before the transformation girl bought it 2 years ago and I saw all this potential but I am not the visionary that you are obviously..She is still frumpy 🙂 But I have a plan!! I have put all of my dyi projects that I love ( including yours) together to see the vision for this old frumpy girl.
    Thank you for your inspiration!!

  78. How dumb do I feel??I just figured out that it was the wall..HOW INGENIOUS!!!!!! Sorry but I am stealing your idea here 🙂

  79. LOVE your kitchen! Where did you get the awesome light fixtures from?

  80. Wow, What a BEAUTIFUL makeover, YOU did an absolutely phenomenal job!! I love the casing and added moulding around the windows! I am obsessed with moulding, it has the ability to transform a room instantly. Thank you for sharing your tutorial! Again, fabulous job on the entire kitchen transformation!! I LOVE IT!!!

  81. I love the cafe curtain and shutters on the window – where are they from?

  82. Karianne I’m swooning over those gorgeous windows, you have THE BEST ideas hands down!