Creating a faux transom window isn't as bad as it sounds- here's our before


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?


Here is the kitchen after it's makeover- amazing!

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.


The faux transom window blends easily with the rest of the kitchen.


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.


Creating a faux transom window in the kitchen was an easier project than I expected.


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 in your home.

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.


Measure the size to make your faux window.


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.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Ann K. @ Corner of Plaid and Paisley Ann K. @ Corner of Plaid and Paisley

    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. Image for Sandra Sandra

    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. Image for Sandy Miller Sandy Miller

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

  4. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

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

  5. Image for Lisa Lisa

    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. Image for Vee Vee

    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. Image for Beverly Beverly

    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. Image for Peggy Peggy

    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!!!

  9. Image for Debbie Hein Debbie Hein

    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.

  10. Image for Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    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.

  11. Image for Kelly Kelly

    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.

  12. Image for Yvonne @ StoneGable Yvonne @ StoneGable

    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. xo

  13. Image for Stephanie @ The Hardscrabble Home Stephanie @ The Hardscrabble Home

    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. :-)

  14. Image for Fairfield House Fairfield House

    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, Deborah

  15. Image for Jaye @ Just Tryin' to Make Cents of it All Jaye @ Just Tryin' to Make Cents of it All

    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"!!!!!

  16. Image for Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door

    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.

  17. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    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!

  18. Image for Melaine Melaine

    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}

  19. Image for Michele Michele

    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! Hugs!

  20. Image for Gretchen Gretchen

    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.

  21. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    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

  22. Image for Janet Janet

    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 job. Not to mention how you make me smile with your analogies...You are a truly gifted writer and decorator.

  23. Image for Becca Becca

    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?

  24. Image for Karen Karen

    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

  25. Image for andrea andrea

    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 )

  26. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    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.

  27. Image for tara tara

    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. :)

  28. Image for Sarah@20 State Sarah@20 State

    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 ;)

  29. Image for Susan Susan

    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.

  30. Image for Julie S Julie S

    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.

  31. Image for Des Des

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

  32. Image for Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutqiue Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutqiue

    [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.

  33. Image for Dining Delight Dining Delight

    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! DD

  34. Image for bj bj

    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

  35. Image for laurie laurie

    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

  36. Image for Keeping it Cozy Keeping it Cozy

    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!

  37. Image for Jilly Jilly

    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! xo, Jilly

  38. Image for Heather Heather

    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!!

  39. Image for Heather Heather

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

  40. Image for Jessica@MyLoveOfStyle Jessica@MyLoveOfStyle

    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!!! ~Jessica

Comments are closed.