Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

This mod retextures the Skyrim and Dragonborn windows in a lore-friendly way. The window glass has been revised to be thick, textured and insulating. The "opaque" nature of the glass has a purpose. 2K and 1K versions.

Permissions and credits

With RUSTIC WINDOWS, I've chosen to embrace the "opaque" windows of Skyrim not as a game engine limitation, but as a conscious design choice by the people of Skyrim. Living in a cold harsh climate, it is only natural that the Nords would've created glass that is thick and and insulating. This isn't modern "picture window" glass that we're talking about. It's glass that is made to hold up to the elements, while allowing light in, but is very sturdy and affords privacy for it's inhabitants.

UPDATE 04/10/20: Version 2.0 adds a few windows that were overlooked originally. This update adds the two ship windows used on the Katariah, the emperor's flag ship. It also adds the large stained glass window found in the Night Mother's chamber in the Dark Brotherhood headquarters.

The people of the cities of Skyrim live in cramp quarters and close proximity. Would such people want their belongings to to ogled by street urchins, pickpockets, and the Thieves Guild? I think not. It's bad enough that pompous busybodies like Nazeem pester you about going to the Cloud District... do you really want them peering through your windows too?

The windows of Skyrim may be opaque, but they have a purpose, to allow sunlight into dark dwellings lit by only candlelight and fireplaces. Thick textured glass is needed to insulate from the cold, provide strength, and shield the people's belongings from prying eyes. In this spirit, I retextured the windows of Skyrim in a lore-friendly way. I endeavored to retain as much of the original window design as possible. Sometimes that meant recreating the texture from scratch, but I tried to stay true to Bethesda's original esthetic.

An optional download for dimmer glow maps is available for users who want a more subtle window glow. This may be useful for people with lighting mods that increase the glow effect of windows. If you find the default too bright, then try this option.

NOTE: Regarding the window colors.... I took all my screenshots with EFLX and ENB. Depending on what lightning mods you use, the color and appearance of the windows will vary. They will also look different at different times of the day.


The concept for the farmhouse windows, was that their high placement meant they were solely designed to let in light, not for looking through. They were my initial inspiration for this mod (and included in my RUSTIC FARMHOUSES mod). For the harsh climate of Skyrim, a thick block design was used, to better insulate the buildings that are normally warmed by only a central fireplace.


The city of Riften is know as a dank enclave of thievery. The architecture is crude, and the windows are a reflection of that. Riften's heavy textured window glass is dirty and covered with moss and mold. The condition of the windows is appropriate for the surroundings and its people.


Ancient snow covered Windhlem has thick sturdy glass windows that employ both the block design for smaller windows, and a heavy textured glass for the large panes. In a climate this cold, transparency is not a priority, good insulation is paramount. Therefore, most windows are quite small, only the central windows of Candlehearth Hall break with this concept. Therefore, these large windows are very thick and supported by a wrought iron frame. The milky glass does not allow for views of the city, but it does provide much needed illumination in this dreary climate.


The greybeards live in the coldest region of Skyrim, on the highest mountain peak. Their thick stone fortress was built to keep the frigid weather at bay. Therefore, the few windows they have are small and very thick. They allow light in, but are designed for maximum insulation. The less exposure the better in this unforgiving climate.


The mages college survived the Great Collapse. It is an immense stone fortress that was built to stand up to the raging storms of the Sea of Ghosts. The enormous column shaped windows of Winterhold were designed to be as sturdy as the rest of the structure. The thick azure glass was formed on a complex metal lattice work that provides strength and flexibility to the design.


The city of Whiterun is spared much of the harshest weather that Skyrim offers, but still, the same needs prevail... Light, warmth, and security. The window glass is thick and textured, which provide illumination in the daytime, but protect the inhabitants privacy at the same time. The distinctive wood lattice framing provides extra strength and security. Breaking a window will not gain a thief easy access. That's why lock picking has become the only reliable way to break into dwellings.


The port city of Solitude has a greater variety of window design, as you'd expect given its wealth. The city is not as cold as some regions of Skyrim, but the sea still generates powerful storms, and insulation is still a concern. Solitude's heavy textured glass has a blueish tint, inspired by the ocean water. The signature red of the city banners is picked up in the stained glass windows of the Bards College and the Blue Palace. The dragon head motif found in other city windows also features red glass inlays. The windows of Solitude reflect the pride and prosperity of its people.