These diminutive structures sit atop a roof ridge and bring light and air into a dark attic space. Check out a few cupolas that also bring style and interest to their top spots.
Cupolas were originally designed to add natural light and ventilation to the area under a roof. They sit on the ridge of a roof and can be found in many shapes, including square, round, and octagonal.
On barns, they're meant to allow a continuous flow of air into the hayloft, helping to dry the hay. This multi-sided octagon features wooden louvers to promote ventilation.
Glass panes on a square-based cupola allow light into the interior space. Operable windows bring in ventilation.
A square wooden cupola with louvered sides has a spire-like finial, mimicking the gable wall below.
When a cupola is big enough for a person to look out through its windows, it is also called a belvedere, as in this square cupola in a style typical of Italianate houses.
A stepped roof is topped with a cupola, creating a fancy crown for a gazebo.
A square cupola with louvers brings fresh air into an attic room made larger by a shed dormer.
A slender cupola, topped with an obelisk finial, has arched openings sized on a birdhouse scale.
A tapered wood cupola topped by a metal roof adorns a Shingle-style house.
With its domed top, columns, and circular base, this roof adornment is the definition of a classical cupola.
The metal roof on this cupola suits the barn-like quality of a board-and-batten garage.
This farmhouse ell's cupola has a deep band of copper flashing protecting its base
The domed roof of a square-based cupola is adorned with metal ornamentation, giving it an almost bulbous appearance.