We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

When was the last time you paid attention to a skylight, really? Sure, dramatic Eiffel-era glass domes peppered around Europe are worth a second glance, but your average residential ceiling windows are possibly the most overlooked feature in a home. Enter a new crop of cool, modern interiors—Sarah Sherman Samuel’s Michigan fixer-upper; Rachel Castle’s Sydney bungalow—and we’re looking at them in a whole new light. 

“A circular skylight is more dramatic than a conventional one,” explains Greg Crawford of Bilden Corp. “It’s like an exclamation point.” Think of it as shining a spotlight (quite literally) on your home’s best features and creating a portal to frame the outside world in a striking way. (Basically, your very own James Turrell installation.) Want to highlight a windowless stairwell or bathe your breakfast nook in sunrays? How about giving your freestanding tub the attention it deserves? 

In a Dark Stairwell

Photography by Peter Clarke

The team behind B.E. Architecture used a round skylight in this Melbourne home to illuminate a windowless concrete staircase, instantly warming up an otherwise industrial-style space. The opening mimics the curved lines of the brass balustrade and wall, making the whole feel cohesive.

On a Punchy Color Moment

Photography by Matthew Williams

A round skylight was already part of the postmodern architecture when Sarah Sherman Samuel purchased her Michigan home, but she used the feature to inspire other details throughout, like arched doorways and decorative cutouts. Keeping the color scheme neutral, she placed a mustard-hued sofa center stage to highlight its sunset hue. 

Overlooking a Soaking Tub

Courtesy of DGA

In this Los Angeles home by Dennis Gibbens Architects, the team took advantage of a large bathroom with a freestanding tub to carve out a circular skylight that mimics the curved shape of the tub below. The owners can now soak in rays and bubble baths all at once.

Instead of a Dining Room Chandelier

Photography by Sharyn Cairns; Styling by Tahnee Carroll

Rachel Castle’s Sydney home was dark and closed off before she opened up the main living areas and added an entire wall of windows. But to push the airiness a little further, she had a round skylight installed right above her dining room table, where her family gathers for meals and homework. 

As a Peekaboo on a Veranda

Courtesy of DGA

When Dennis Gibbens Architects decides to add circular skylights, it’s often in more places than one. Here, the firm used an opening to provide a sunny spot in a shaded veranda. Bonus: An exterior skylight may not even require a window. “The framing and finishing is a little more complicated and expensive, but the skylight covering is about the same,” explains Campbell. What you save on glass you can splurge on with your very own place in the sun.  

Discover more design trends we’re loving: A Round Window Will Change Your Perspective on Your House When It Comes to Ugly Lower Cabinets, You Can Skirt the Issue Your Grandma’s Favorite Look Is the Next Big Decor Trend