Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doorway Transoms-Interior and Exterior

Whether they are part of an exterior doorway or used in an interior doorway, doorway transoms can be used both functionally and aesthetically.  The beauty of doorway transoms is that they can be custom made giving you a plethora of choices when designing a new home or doing a remodel. You can customize the height and width to fit the scale of the room. You can have an elaborate or simple design. Wood, iron, glass, barbed-wire, and metal are just a few of the choices of material that can be used. The material can be used singularly in a doorway that is the traditional depth. However, if your doorway is deep, you can mirror the material at each end of the doorway opening. Transoms can be used with or without glass and they can also be used in a  passage way without even hanging a door.

Functionally, they can be used as a light source.  An exterior doorway transoms bring light in from the outside while an interior doorway transom allows light to pass between two rooms.

Aesthetically, they add  height to a doorway giving the illusion that the door is taller. If you are building a home and on a tight budget this can be cheaper than paying for taller custom doors. Or, if you are remodeling and want to reuse the original doors but want more doorway height, this could be your solution.  A doorway with a transom will enhance the height of a room.  Additionally, you can use a doorway transom as a design element in your home.

The photos below provide different designs and uses for both interior and exterior transoms. Enjoy!


Source: Great Kitchen Ideas Book

^The photo above is a good example showing how a transom in a doorway adds height to a room especially with the large piece of artwork and the cabinet height. This doorway transom also serves as a light source between rooms bringing the deep color of the living room into the kitchen. I think the simple design element works well.


Source: November/December 2009- If you know the magazine, please contact me and I will note it.

^Although the photo above shows an interior doorway transom, it certainly cannot compete with the pair of Christmas floral design elements and the vases. I wish I could see the entire room and more detail of the pair of coffee tables. Back to the transom, I like how the height of the curtain rod relates to the transom.


Source: Veranda Magazine September 2007

^Above is a photo of an arched interior doorway transom with a Spanish wrought-iron design which I feel enhances the interior design of this home.


Source: Traditional Home Magazine July 2008

^This interior transom is used in the opening between two vanity areas in a bathroom without using a door (note reflection in mirror showing another vanity).  Though seeing the toilet, maybe there is a pocket door. It makes a strong decorative statement in both design and color. I do like how the transom design is reflected in each mirror.


Source: Architectural Digest date unknown.

^Though the photo above has far too many design elements going on for my taste, I do like the iron design of the interior doorway transom.  There also appears to be a door transom above the front door though it is blocked from view in this photo by the chandelier. 


 Source: Elegant Home magazine, date unknown.

^In the photo above is an example of a wider interior transom that has used a modified spider web design to make an elegant design statement in this foyer.


Source: Unknown. If you know the source, please contact me and I will note it.

^Using an hour glass design to create a design element, this exterior transom also allows light to filter in from what appears to be a porch.  Put your finger over the transom and imagine the room without the transom. Don’t you think it is an excellent example of a transom giving height to a door in a room with a tall ceiling?


Source: Traditional Home Holiday 2009

^Above is yet another example of door transoms adding a design statement, creating door height and being a light source. Doesn’t the transom height create a perfect area for the artwork? Imagine how different and less pleasing the artwork would look if it were taller than the doors.

It is my hope with this post that somehow I have positively touched your design process. Please share your thoughts with me in a comment. Blessings. …susan


Design Esquire said...

What a wonderfully informative post. I love all the images too!

DesignTies said...

I really like the look of transom windows. We don't have them on our house, but maybe a future house....

The transoms in the room that's all dressed up for Christmas are especially appealing to me.


Anonymous said...

I love this post ... and I love transoms. Obviously not possible with low ceilings but when you have 10' or more to work with it's best that you do something with the space above the frame.

Julie said...

I LOVE transoms!!!...and it is quite obvious I have a 'thing' for decorating with X's!!

I started a new blog where stories will be published about the farm and the animals if you enjoy reading!


Julie said...

I meant to add that I would really value your opinion .. like you - I work hard not to dismiss the Lord from my work.


soulsearcher said...

i love the interiors..i always wanted to go to a school for interior design or architecture or just build a big house when i win uk lottery..*sighs* when will that be..i so love interior designs..

araon said...

I posted mine! I'm so excited about this. Thanks for hosting it! Add

custom kitchens said...

It is always very much necessary to have a lovely doorway because that is what defines the home first.And the first impression matters...nice ideas here.

vwitcher said...

That settles it: I AM going to put transoms above the interior doors in my new house. We have 10-ft. ceilings throughout and I had the builders frame for 8-ft. tall doors, but was having misgivings that they were going to llook too tall and skinny.

Thinking of my last house, where I "lit up" the many-doored hallway by putting mirrored transoms (just cheap mirrors framed to match) above the doors, I have decided to use fixed frosted glass panels above each 80" tall door. I will leave space beneath the glass (not visible from the floor) for air flow. The glass will allow wonderful natural light into the hallway, and I will be able to see if a light is on in a room so I can turn it off to conserve energy. On the pantry and power rooms, I will etch the respective named in the frosted glass for added interest. Thanks for a wonderfully evocative article!