HGTV's Hilary Farr Proves Removing A Window During A Reno Isn't Always A Bad Idea

In the renovation process, you're faced with many serious decisions. The features you choose to include or exclude will have always a consequential impact on the overall home experience. In season 18 episode 10 of "Love It or List It," Hilary Farr decided to remove two windows during the reno, and while it was something that would typically raise eyebrows, she knew that it would work because the rooms had other generous light sources and it worked better for the layout.

Removing a window isn't something that is done lightly even if doing so enhances a space. Beyond aesthetics, we suggest considering issues around safety, functionality, and the law when deciding whether or not to keep a window. Removing a window in a bathroom that has water damage problems, for example, may not be the best decision because window ventilation is one of the ways to prevent mold from entering your home. Your building code might also require an egress window to act as an emergency exit in certain rooms, so you need to not only keep the window but maintain specific dimensions to keep your home up to code. Keep a window if you find that a room absolutely needs a window for such reasons, but consider letting it go when it doesn't work functionally.

Farr's thought process in deciding to remove a window

As she discussed her plan for the kitchen with clients Peter and Sheryl, Hilary Farr said she wanted to place the stove against the wall where the window is. Peter pushed back on the idea because it was one of the biggest ones in the house and he didn't want to lose the natural light. This was understandable due to the various benefits of natural light in a space like creating a brighter and healthier atmosphere. She was set on it, however, and explained that the kitchen is well-planned so removing the window won't be a great loss.

They wouldn't be losing so much light because there was another window in the kitchen and a great bay window in the connected living room, one of the reasons you won't regret having an open floor plan. "I don't like taking away windows but I also don't like designing a bad kitchen. This is a kitchen that's designed properly," she said. She also wanted to remove a small window in the ensuite bathroom because it was in the way of where she wanted to place the vanity, it didn't have a remarkable view, and there was another window in the room. "You won't miss it," she told the couple.

You can remove a window when it does more harm than good to the design

As a design expert, Hilary Farr felt comfortable with removing these two windows because she considered the overall floor plans and the other light sources that were present. It can be the right decision to remove a window when it's in an awkward place and you need to improve the layout and general style of the space. If the existing window location interferes with the new intended design, removing it will be a small price to pay to improve the room.

The finished kitchen in this "Love It or List It" episode didn't look at all like something was missing because there was still an abundance of light pouring in due to the open-plan layout. Similarly, the new bathroom looked more cohesive when the window was taken out of the way. The light was even better because she made it an all-white bathroom. "The fact that this is all so white. Less light gives you more. Nothing is absorbing the light, it's all bouncing the light," she explained in the reveal.