Here’s What You Call Those Rounded Rooms on Older Homes

published Feb 10, 2023
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If you’ve ever driven around an older neighborhood filled with Victorian-style homes and wondered what those rounded rooms that extend from the corners of the buildings are called, you’re not alone. 

Many Victorians and castle-style homes include a turret room — a circular, rectangular or octagonal room that protrudes from a building, typically on a corner, but it can also protrude from a wall. Turret rooms most often span the height of the building, but they can also be placed atop the building or protrude from an upper corner.

“The origin of a turret dates back to the days of the European castle and war,” says Rachael Grochowski, founder of RHG A+D, an architecture and interiors firm. “The turret was designed for protection.” 

As a protective element, it gave soldiers a sweeping view of the land and allowed them to attack from above. The modern turret room is decidedly more relaxed — though it does come with some design challenges.

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Grochowski notes that turret rooms are not terribly functional spaces, but those lucky enough to have one have the opportunity to create something unique and special.

“The curve of a turret invites a feeling of intimacy and vulnerability. It encourages connection and conversation,” Grochowski says. A turret room also provides curved windows and a wider view of the surrounding area, so it’s a perfect place to create a reading nook where you can “gaze up from a book out the curved windows and encourage a state of awe or wonder.”

Grochowski also points out that you can turn a turret room it into a meditation space. She explains. “meditation or ritual spaces are deeply needed in our current lives. [They’re] a place to be still, to turn inward, to pray or change, to set intentions, to return home. The curve of a turret is the perfect symbol for this purpose.”

Because the room is an unconventional shape, it lends itself well to purposes with unconventional needs, like a children’s play room or reading nook with curved window seats and creative shelving.

The turret room is a perfect example of how design evolves over time. What was once a purely functional space that provided protection during times of wars or raids has become a space that can offer the grounding peace of a meditation space, the cozy comfort of quiet conversations, the wild excitement of a children’s play room, or the relaxed vibe of a reading nook.