What is Window Reveals in Interior Design: Transforming Spaces with Light and Shadow

Window reveals, also known as window recesses or window openings, are an important aspect of interior design that often goes unnoticed. These architectural features define the depth of a building’s exterior walls and create a transition between the interior and exterior spaces. However, they can also be effectively used to transform interior spaces by playing with light and shadow. In this blog, we’ll explore how window reveals can be utilised in interior design to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of a space.

The Basics of Window Reveals

Window reveals are essentially recessed areas surrounding a window frame. They are created by setting back the wall from the window opening, usually with a depth of around 100-150mm. This creates a shadow line that adds depth and character to both the exterior and interior walls. Window reveals can be found in all types of buildings, from historical landmarks to modern homes. They come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the style of the building and the architect’s design.

Transforming Spaces with Light

One of the main benefits of window reveals is their ability to manipulate natural light. By adjusting the depth and angle of a reveal, designers can control how much light enters a room. For instance, deep reveals can create dramatic shadows when sunlight filters through, while shallow reveals allow for more light to enter the space. This feature is particularly useful for rooms that require varying levels of natural light throughout the day. Designers can also use reveals to create a sense of direction and movement by placing them strategically in a room.

Playing with Shadow

Window reveals not only bring in light but also create shadows that add depth and dimension to the interior space. By incorporating different materials or textures within the reveal, designers can play with the interplay of light and shadow. For example, using reflective surfaces like mirrors or metallic paint on the reveal’s inner walls will bounce off more light into the room. Or, having exposed brickwork or textured wallpaper on the reveal will result in interesting shadow patterns when light hits it at an angle. These techniques can be used to visually expand a room or highlight certain architectural elements.

Enhancing Aesthetics and Functionality

Apart from their visual impact, window reveals can also serve a functional purpose. In colder climates, deep reveals act as insulation by creating an air barrier between the window and interior space. They can also be used to conceal blinds or curtains when not in use, providing a clean and streamlined look. Additionally, designers can install shelves or seating within the reveal to maximise storage space in smaller rooms. These practical uses make window reveals a valuable feature in interior design.


Window reveals may seem like minor architectural details, but their potential for transforming interior spaces is undeniable. From manipulating natural light to creating interesting shadows and improving functionality, reveals can add character and depth to any room. So next time you’re admiring a beautiful space, take notice of how window reveals have been incorporated into the design. You’ll be surprised by their impact on the overall aesthetics and functionality of the space. So why not consider incorporating them into your own interior design? By doing so, you too can transform your space with light and shadow.

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