Since windows are one of the the most prominent design features and expensive line items for our new homes, it’s important that we know what's popular in windows, so we don’t make the expensive mistake of purchasing windows that will take away from our homes curb appeal and resale value. We want windows that will make our homes feel current and interesting, and not tired and dated. Here are 7 window trends that you might consider for your project.
1. Black is back… and here to stay.
A decade ago, almost all you could find were white, cream or light tan windows. And those light windows, especially white windows, are classic favorites. But homeowners have been requesting black windows for the last several years and it looks like that trend is here to stay. Not only are we seeing a lot of windows with black exteriors, but black interior frames, as well. Paired with light colored interior walls and light exterior siding, black windows add interesting contrast and they work well with contemporary, transitional, farmhouse, and urban style homes.
In addition to black windows, we’re now seeing other darker hues such dark brown, deep barn red, dark green and aged bronze, which a blackish brown. Classic stained wood interior finishes are also still a popular choice, but stains are getting darker and richer in color. In addition to traditional pine interior frames, higher-end homes might use more luxurious wood species like white oak, walnut, or mahogany for interior frames.
2. More glass and less frame.
Many people building homes today are ditching chunky window frames and obstructive window grilles (also called grids, mullions and muntins). Instead, they're opting for unobstructed glass for enhanced views. Because folks are for looking for more glass and less frame, they’re choosing windows with very slim sashes (the sash is the part of the window that hold the glass). Or they are requesting fixed, inoperable windows or casement windows without grills, as opposed to single hung or double hung windows which have a prominent portion of the sash right in the center of the window. These grill-less windows with slim sashes feel less traditional, less formal and less fussy.
3. No screens.
Window screens are still an option, but they cost extra, and they can slightly obscure your view. These days most people are opting out of the screen option. They prefer the ultra clear view that you get without window screens. Sometimes code requires an operable window. Most of the time, though, there is no actual need to open windows because many people are adding mechanical ventilation to their homes, including exhaust fans and/or whole house ventilation. If you don't open windows often, you don't need screens often. Even for those of us who like to open our windows to let in fresh air during the fall and spring, when the weather is nice, screens are not a must because spring and fall are seasons where we see fewer insects. Flying insects are most active in summer months, when most of us prefer to keep our windows closed and to keep our air conditioning on.
4. Straight lines and 90 degree angles are preferred over arches.
Adding different sized windows is definitely on trend, but people are mostly choosing different sized squares and rectangles and not as many rounded or arched windows. The arched-topped windows that were so popular in the 80s are not often seen in today’s new builds. Add too many of those arches and your brand new house could look dated. I think there is a place for a few arches in some home styles, like mediterranean or an urban loft, but try not to go overboard. And if you love an arched window, make it look more up to date by choosing black, minimalistic window sashes and frames.
5. Bigger is better.
Homeowners are trying to get as much glass in their homes as possible within their budget. Because blurring the lines between outdoor and indoor living is in high demand, large windows and walls of windows are moving from the luxury market to mainstream construction. A more budget friendly way to design a wall of windows is with multiple, fixed windows that abut each other. You can mix sizes of fixed windows and add corner windows for more architectural interest.
To save money, the large windows or wall of windows can stop a foot or more from the ceiling and floor, and not expand the entire distance between floor and ceiling. If you have deeper pockets, you might choose lift-and-slide patio doors that can open all the way up, giving you a dreamy indoor/outdoor living area. Fixed windows can sit above the patio doors for an really expansive look. The large windows and walls of windows add drama and lots of natural light.
6. Pass-through windows.
Large sliding, garage style or folding windows are now being used in kitchens to create a pass through window. These windows are convenient for passing food and drinks from the kitchen to outdoor patios or decks for casual dining or outdoor entertaining.
7. Energy efficiency.
As homeowners become more educated about the importance of choosing energy efficient materials, many are requesting windows with ENERGY STAR® certification. They realize that paying a bit more upfront for energy efficient windows will give them significant savings and comfort in the long run. Plus, energy efficient windows will add to your home resale appeal.
For more detailed information about windows, take a listen to episodes 41 and episode 42, called Windows 101 and Windows 102. You’ll hear about the differences between casement, double hung and other window styles and you’ll learn more energy efficient features.
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Please remember that the purpose of this podcast is simply to educate and inform. It is not a substitute for professional advice. The information that you hear is based the only on the opinions, research and experiences of my guests and myself. That information might be incomplete and it’s subject to change, so it may not apply to your project. In addition, building codes and requirements vary from region to region, so always consult a professional about specific recommendations for your home.
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