new yard = new kitchen desire

Earlier this year we embarked upon a major backyard renovation… sod, new additions in the garden, irrigation, fence, the whole shebang.  Our furry and non-furry friends alike have enjoyed it. 

Penelope in the grass 

Jen and hudson 

LG full size 

Wateringcan small 

My biggest regret: I cannot see the new yard from my kitchen window.  I now want to rip out my kitchen cabinets and line one side of my kitchen with windows.   

As I was catching up on blog reading last week I came across this post by Things That Inspire regarding "Vanishing Tresholds"… in essence a lack of separation between inside and outside.  Thankfully our home has lots of windows (just not exactly where I would have placed them)… but when I saw this image (below) I'll be honest, I cringed with jealousy.

The cliche term "bringing the outside in" is nails-on-a-chalkboard to me, and I'm not quite sure why… perhaps because it's tossed around on poor design shows on TV?  But there is something to be said for these windows.  I think Vanishing Treshold is a genius term… and I'd like to rip the treshold out of my own kitchen now, so I can see my green grass and garden blooms.  Things That Inspire didn't coin this terminology, she found it here at Tara Dillard's blog titled Landcsape Design Decorating Styling : Vanishing Treshold Home Garden Life



Can you see your back yard from your kitchen?  I'm tempted to order new windows today, and start the gutting process this weekend… but this might be taking 'nesting' to a whole new level… which could result in a divorce.  I better hold off. 

Last 2 images above from Things That Inspire.


  1. I can only see the street from my kitchen windows-we live on a divided blvd. so it’s kind of busy. Not a great view but at least we have a giant pretty tree in front.

  2. We haven’t event finished the remodel yet (waiting on concrete for the front steps), and already I’m thinking, a bank of windows to that one wall in the kitchen sure would improve things. If I even spoke those words to my husband he’d kill me. At least you can blame it on the pregnancy hormones!

  3. You are hilarious… but I’m all about a vanishing threshold. And I’m afraid if you rip out that entire wall of cabinets in your house… you might be sorry. Where would you put your plates & glasses??
    Love you and you are QUEEN NESTER!

  4. ps- I can see the backyard from my kitchen window… but it’s a small window… but it works!

  5. I had a wonderful view of my backyard, and my neighbors amazing hydrangeas in North Carolina. Here in Brazil, my view consists of the stucco retaining/safety wall :(
    You know what I’m most mesmerized by in those images (besides the obvious?) The fact that the windows are iron-framed – just think that is so fantastic!
    Don’t worry, we’re all cringing with envy, too!

  6. Hmmmm let’s see. From my kitchen window I have the luxury of overlooking my Chinese neighbors. I get to watch them eat their early evening meals outside, followed by an hour long Tai Chi exercise, and I also get to watch the delivery van bring their CRATES of sodas and beer on a weekly basis. We’ve seen rats dart into their attic and water collect in their sunken roof. It’s highly entertaining and probably much more exciting than my 2 x 3 backyard anyhow. I just wish I knew them better — they throw some MAJOR parties!

  7. My mom and I were just talking about the same thing at their summer place and making a whole wall of windows. E- no construction nesting in these last few weeks! xo

  8. We have a small window over our sink. Can see the neighbor’s house. I would like for their house to vanish… Is that bad? I would hold off on the gutting of the kitchen since you are 9.5 months preggos! :)

  9. Hahaha, you are SO funny! I also loved that post by Things to Inspire, My mother has saved very one of those photos wanting to put those steel windows in a house they are going to build in Georgia starting next year. I can see my neighbors pink house that badly needs a paint job from my kitchen window. Worst thing, you can see my back yard from my laundry room! Yikes! I need a kitchen re-do pretty badly! I think in a few weeks you’ll have completely forgotten about that lack of view because you’ll be totally preoccupied with something else :)

  10. I heart those kitchens! I have some windows in my kitchen, but our backyard is about the size of a postage stamp and there really is no “yard” to speak of currently…just a lot of dirt and some initial attempts at landscaping. At least it’ll make for some good before and after pictures when we finally get it finished!

  11. I wish I had a view of the backyard from my kitchen also – I don’t even have a window over my sink. :( We have bay windows that face the street/front yard. Not the best view! Thankfully this is only our starter house…those are going to be priorities when house hunting for the next house!

  12. says:

    yep, I am blessed the whole back of my house kitchen, dinning room and living room are windows. It doesn’t leave much wall space for art work. It will be one of the things I will miss when I move.

  13. The first picture is my favorite, naturally. Look at her run!
    Window placement wasn’t something I really paid attention to when buying my (first) house, but like Jessica, it will be a priority next time around!

  14. I love those windows above the sink! Beautiful.
    Yes, I can see the patio and backyard from one end of my kitchen and the new flower bed from the window over the sink. It is so great!

  15. Liz in Upstate NY says:

    We enjoy looking out the doors (sliders, ugh- must replace with french doors during kitchen redo) every morning and evening while eating. I moved the bird feeders within view of the table so I can watch them while we eat too, and my husband snowblows a path across the yard to the feeders in the winter so they can be filled. I must warn you- in the winter when it gets dark at 4 PM it is like staring into a black hole, and you must dress to come to breakfast early in the AM or any neighbors who can see in will know more about you than you may wish. If you do get some large windows, plan on either functional curtains or some major landscape lighting outside.

  16. See the backyard? I can’t even see outside unless I twist and contort my body!! One day, as God as my witness, I will have a new kitchen!! These pictures are going in my fav file!

  17. Congrats on your grass and backyard additions. The grass is beautiful and I just know there is an amazing sandy beach and ocean not far from it! I think those kitchen photos might just be my most favorite ever! I absolutely love the windows and the contrast with the cabinets. And the sink, faucet, flooring, beams….Ok, back to being thankful for the beautiful life I am living! But, I’m still saving those photo’s!

  18. I saved those pictures, too. Wasn’t that kitchen in Southern Accents?? It looked familiar, anyway.
    I can see my backyard … but it is a depressing mess of weeds and mud at the moment!

  19. I can see parts of my backyard from my kitchen window and once your little one gets big enough to play in the yard, you will definitely want the vanishing thresholds so you can see her playing while you go in to make her lunch. But this is not the time:) I moved when I was 8 months preggers and my first son was 3 weeks early as a result.

  20. I can see my back patio from my kitchen window but it’s not the loveliest view around. I sure would like to have a backyard like yours (or the other one) to look at though.

  21. I envy this, too, but the working part of my kitchen looks out on my neighbor’s drive way. It would be so handy to see the children from here.

  22. the windows have me swooning. We can see our backyard from our kitchen and all other living areas (open floor plan). When we were in the market for a new house that was one of my stipulations I wanted to be able to watch the kiddos while they were outside playing. Although, I do wish my windows looked like those, still swooning.

  23. I love the look of the ‘vanishing treshold’ and would join you in ripping out my cabinets and current windows. I do have a window in my kitchen but it over looks a parking lot. :( Your new yard looks lovely!

  24. I’m not even thinking about windows after seeing your post…I’m just smiling from those cute little buns walking through your backyard!! Too adorable!

  25. that bank of windows is gorgeous! would love to gaze thru those windows while doing dishes. i have a medium-sized window that does look over the backyard. and we planned the backyard so i get maximum plant exposure while doing dishes. the kitchen window is major for me. also out the nearby backdoor i placed my bistro table with a small planter on top with some favorites so i get a glimpse of that passing by the door. pam

  26. I can & I consider myself so lucky! I have one large (6ft wide) window at the kitchen sinck & I can see the pool & most of the yard. It makes me happy when I do dishes. :)

  27. Uncle Bayn says:

    Come on E. A divorce. Highly unlikely. You know as well as me that Chance gets no greater joy than demoing something and putting it back together. Plus, I might just know a guy who could help. ;)

  28. Frances Haines says:

    Uncle Bayn’s comment almost made me spit out my coffee!! What a charming family you have…you are indeed a lucky girl!
    Mary Frances

  29. Carol from Indian Springs says:

    My window over the sink is small and looks over the side of our lot (we have 2 acres) so I see trees. But right behind the kitchen we added a sunroom so I can see back there into the back yard. However, I can’t see the ground because we have a very tall basement so I can see up in the trees and look at the birds and squirrels! The cat loves looking out at the creatures and we do too.

  30. I can see my backyard from my small kitchen window and I do love that! The windows that I would love to change are those in my master bedroom. We have 2 windows in our bedroom and they both overlook the side of our neighbor’s house.

  31. The home in the picture with the wall of windows above the sink was on a tour of homes. When I entered the kitchen, I gasped. It was so incredibly beautiful. The home is from the 1930s, and has been remodeled, but they kept all of the quirkiness and charm of the original floorplan. The kitchen stands on its own, and truthfully, is just about the most impractically designed kitchen I have seen recently – the sink is on one end of the kitchen, and the appliances are on the other end. But the beauty of that space – it might just be worth a little inconvenience. I sneaked out my iphone and took the picture in this post, and I am so glad to have this picture in my files. The kitchen designer was Cynthia Ziegler.
    My own kitchen: no vanishing threshold there! Joni from Cote de Texas looked at a picture of my kitchen and recommended ripping out two set of cabinets and expanding the window over the sink, but my view is of the brick side of my neighbor’s house, which has got to be less than 12 feet away. Not attractive. Why would I want more of a view of that?
    Something to dream about for the next house….thanks for the mention.

  32. DIVORCE? I approached my husband several years ago with an important VANISHING THRESHOLD issue. Stated my position and ended, Divorce me now if you don’t like it.
    We’re still married. In hindsight it was the biggest thing I’ve ever done for inner peace.
    What began as combining house/garden resulted in my house/garden/spirit in VANISHING THRESHOLD.
    Do you know what the energy of that is? OMG, love it.
    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  33. I love the view from my kitchen/family rooms (large windows and french doors). My mom calls it the “Million Dollar View”, and everyone who comes into our home for the first time comments on “the view”. We live in historic Bucks County, PA, our home sits atop a hill with a direct view into the state park ajacent to our community. The house isn’t perfect (yet) but this view (and location) of our home is one thing that I would miss terribly. I don’t even mind doing dishes that much:)

  34. I love love love that first kitchen. Those windows are just heaven!

  35. Alcea Alba says:

    Loved those iron-framed windows in the kitchen pic. Just gorgeous! Yes, I can see my garden (or at least the top of it)and the bay view beyond from my second storey breakfast nook french doors. My favorite view! Oh, and yes, your idea of gutting your window sounds good to me, only wait until the little one arrives. All that dust and disturbance won’t be good for baby or mama (although, I’m a little crazy and spontaneous so maybe I wouldn’t wait come to think of it).

  36. Yeah! That would be so nice to get a glimpse on your backyard from your kitchen window. Now I’m thinking of renovating my kitchen again! LOL!

  37. I would love an over looking view, from my kitchen through my backyard and my garden. To see what my kids are up to playing on the yard.

  38. oh boy do we have windows. our entire back wall is sliding glass windows, which sounds lovely. but when you live in texas and it’s 106 in the summer, it turns the house into a greenhouse.
    i had to change out the curtains this year to white ones just to soften the light.
    i love that kitchen by the way. and yes, that would take your nesting to a whole nutha level!

  39. Erika,
    That’s one of the things we changed on our 100 year old home…move the kitchen from being a dark hole, to the back of the house where it can view the yard. Wow- what a difference it made! Our kitchen table is in a bay of windows…honestly, it’s one of the best projects we ever did. :)

  40. Isn’t that always the way! You remodel one thing and it leads to several other projects!
    I adore natural light in the kitchen. Unfortunately I have a pretty small kitchen with only two windows. One of the windows is a greenhouse window and it’s prefect for growing pots of fresh herbs.
    I’ve been lurking for a while, but I love reading you!

  41. Thanks for your sweet comment on my post. I totally meant to thank you and Darby for introducing Marla to us. She was so much fun, and spoke so highly of you and Chance. It really made me want to move down there and hang out with you guys:)Oh, when you get your photos back you have gota post them, I would love to see them!!! We will be praying for you and baby girl for a fast and safe delivery. Soon right?

  42. Scrappy_Lady says:

    My over-the-counter window in my kitchen is small. Enlarging it is definitely on my list of things to do. Love the photos!

  43. My FAVORITE part of our total kitchen remodel is a 4′x6′ window over the sink. It was cut down from a sliding door and when opened stacks entirely on the outside of the house. No need for a screen, because the window opens to a screened patio. Only problem? Right now I am looking at a green pool, and a lawn that needs to be mowed!

  44. That kitchen is stunning. I can’t see my backyard from my kitchen, unfortunately (other side of the house), but I think eventually that sounds like a great plan for you…just maybe after the bebe is born?

  45. I have a little teeny house with a smaller kitchen but it does have a set of three windows over the sink…nice tall ones. I won’t be tearing out any of my precious few cabinets but did knock out a wall and put a slider with a small 12×12 deck off the eating area (I can not call it a dining room, it is so small, even though it serves that purpose, and that one change has totally changed how I feel about my small kitchen/dining space.
    I know exactly what you are thinking!
    The photos make me envious but I know that size kitchen and house is not in my future. Sigh….

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  47. All I can say is that I have steel window envy.
    Both of our homes have very open floor plans with a view of the kitchen from the back. The only thing I would add is some of those beautiful steel windows!

  48. Those windows really are gorgeous!

  49. this is funny because i am wanting to rip out the windows in the room that’s going to be the nursery and put different ones in! hmm, don’t think it’ll happen ;( love that 2nd kitchen. i can see my backyard a little from the backdoor window and another smaller window and i do like that i can see it.

  50. I’m lucky to have two windows in my kitchen that look out onto my backyard. When I was remodeling I wanted to relocate my sink from one window to the other. My kitchen designer, in all of her infinite wisdom, argued the point saying that no one ever actually looks out the window when they’re “doing the dishes” and that it was just a concept manufactured by window companies. WHAT!?! Luckily, I (and reason) prevailed, and my sink is right where I wanted it to be, right in front of my window.

  51. Ha! I’ve often had fantasies of opening up a good portion of our kitchen to the backyard (just ripping out all those upper cabinets – they’re overrated anyway) – and I’m not pregnant. And I have one window over the sink, and glass doors into the backyard… But still – I want an uninterrupted view of the outdoors… Maybe some day. For now, our remodel will have to do. Or I too will be looking at divorce in the face, without a doubt!

  52. I can tell you that having windows in the kitchen that look out to the backyard are awesome, i wish mine were all the way down to the counter like in the picture so you can see more! it’s great when the kids are swinging on the playset and you can crack the window to listen to them and drink a glass of wine and prep dinner all at the same time!

  53. Great site…keep up the good work.

  54. Hey, great post. I read a similar topic via this morning at .,

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