What to do with this leftover kitchen window?

Kitchen West before painting rack

I’ve had the hardest time figuring out what to do with this old single-hung window in the kitchen that was once the back of the house, but now just opens into the back sleeping porch area.

We love the light coming in from the back door and windows into the kitchen. The former owner had the refrigerator in front of the window, blocking most of the light coming into the kitchen (see photo below). The pantry in the back didn’t help either, which is why we wanted to find a smoked glass pocket door back there to let in the maximum light.

This window is covered with 12 layers of caked-on paint and looks terrible. I’ve destroyed some of the inside edges of the window already getting the bottom part of the window out, and I’ll definitely take out the hung upper portion of the window in the top pretty soon.

The problem is trying to figure out what to do with the trim and frame. The inside edges of the windows look the worst, with all sorts of grooves and uneven surfaces that won’t look much better even if I did paint them. The trim around the window and the sill is covered in a ridiculous amount of paint. I suppose I could try to use Peel Away or something like that to take the paint off the trim, sand it and then repaint it.

My other idea was to try and put some flat pieces of facing wood along the inside edges of the window to make the surfaces flush and clean and get rid of all the grooves and slots for the old window to slide up and down. Basically laying in a flush, flat surface inside the window all the way around. That would give it a nice, deep platform in the sill area for plants, and a clean surface all the way around the inside.

Day 0: Kitchen East
On the day we took possession of the house

But is there an option I’m not thinking of? Should I take the entire window frame out and make it an opening flush with the walls, with no trim around it at all?

Anyone have any ideas or suggestion for the most design-savvy thing to do with this? I think I’m suffering from a lack of vision — I look at this window and don’t see many options. All ideas welcome. Speak your mind in the comments. I need help!

Kitchen window detail
Pre-move photo, but what it looks like today

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