Renovation Detail: The Eyebrow Dormer

Celebrity fun facts collect, and one of my favorites is that Whoopi Goldberg does not have eyebrows. She goes from eye to hairline. It does not hold Whoopi back at all, but eyebrows are important — they break up the forehead and put in curvaceous interest to somebody’s facial structure. So when a home comes along with a large grand roof, sometimes you’ve just got to add an eyebrow dormer.

Eyebrow dormers have a low profile and raise a wave in the plane of a roof’s shingles. Originally made for medieval thatched roof cottages, the eyebrow dormer was created to welcome light and add ventilation. However, eyebrow dormers were made popular in the United States when shingle-style architecture emerged in the mid to late 1800s. Mainly seen in New England, eyebrow dormers were utilized as an enchanting visual apparatus to break up the extended expansive roofline of beachfront shingle-style homes.

Today, eyebrow dormers are found on houses of all shapes and sizes. And while they’re expensive to install and complex to make, if a gifted craftsman is up for the challenge, they will drastically enhance your home’s look.

TEA2 Architects

Centered above the front entry, an eyebrow dormer breaks up the extended expansive roofline on this lakeside shingle-style house.

CG&S Design-Build

An eyebrow window has been cut to the roofline to flood this converted loft with daylight.

Daniel M Martin

Numerous eyebrows produce an undulating wave effect.

Thomas Rex Hardy, AIA

The eyebrow is treated as a separate roof on this pool home, with all the curve coated in weathered copper.

CG&S Design-Build

The curvaceous lines of the eyebrow dormer offset the sharp summit of the house’s front gable.

Reynolds Architecture- Design & Construction

An eyebrow dormer unites with angled cross balustrades, a cupola and cedar shingles to make an exterior rich with architectural interest.

Asher Associates Architects

Multiple dormer fashions can work superbly together on a home’s exterior. On this particular coastal New Jersey house, an eyebrow and a shed dormer team up.

Asher Associates Architects

Feast your eyes on this superb cathedral ceiling featuring a set of eyebrow dormers.

TEA2 Architects

Centered above the front door, an eyebrow dormer breaks up the wide monotonous roofline on this lakeside home.

Melaragno Design Company, LLC

A eyebrow dormer graces this Arts and Crafts–moved residence and melds beautifully with the home’s knee braces and square feet.

Jeffrey Dungan Architects

Reminiscent of a thatched cabin, this house goes back to its basics.

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