Sometimes a quick wash and wipe-down will do the trick, other times it’s up to a full-on replacement. We are, of course, talking about windows and how selecting the right one(s) can influence your home’s style, price, and ambience.
When it comes to window design ideas, we are definitely spoiled for choice, considering that windows are available in a multitude of designs, materials, and colours. But seeing as not all of us are trained interior designers, it can be tricky knowing which windows are perfect for a room and which ones might look pretty, but are not as functional as we’d want them to be.
So how do you know which is the right one to choose for your living room, or the kitchen, or any other space in your house?
Before we scope out window design ideas, first determine whether those windows you require are “new” or “replacement”.
New windows are usually installed when the homeowner changes the size or shape of existing window openings and wants to put in a completely new window. This generally involves the work of a professional (such as a contractor) to complete the installation and surrounding carpentry. While new windows don’t always cost more than replacement ones, the extra labour can increase the final price.
Replacement windows are when old windows are removed without disturbing the surrounding trim or frame, and the replacement windows fit in perfectly into the existing openings. These generally cost the same as new windows, yet involve less labour, meaning the overall cost is less.
Regardless of whether you’re opting for new or replacement windows, you’ll have to pick a certain style. And this is where you start scoping out the various window design ideas available on the market.
Casement windows, an age-old choice, were the most common house windows in the UK before sash windows were introduced. They contained leaded glass – glass panes held in place with strips of lead.
Casement windows are attached to their frames by one or more hinges. The opening casements can be top, bottom or side hung on hinges attached to the window frame. Today, casement windows continue to be one the most popular choices for replacement windows thanks to their functionality, durability and huge range of styles and designs.
Also called “box sash windows” or “sash and case windows” in Scotland, this option consists of one or more movable ‘sashes’ that open via a sliding mechanism. Although they have been popular in the UK for centuries, their fame took a temporary dip in the 1960s with the construction of more modern buildings and their casement-style windows. In the 1990s, an appreciation for sash windows’ aesthetic style started climbing again, thanks to a shift in attitudes towards conservation.
Today, a lot of homeowners pick sash windows to ensure a traditional touch to their homes’ architecture.
homify hint: Although they originally had timber frames, sash windows recently became available in uPVC and aluminium. This evolution in design ensured many windows that are both more energy efficient and require less maintenance and painting.
Tilt-and-turn windows can be opened inward in two different ways: by tilting vertically for secure ventilation, or by swinging inwards horizontally to open up fully.
When opened vertically, tilt-and-turn windows can provide a secure source of ventilation for the room. And thanks to their multi-point locking systems, your home can be more secure.
Opening tilt-and-turn windows horizontally allows not only allow large volumes of air to enter and exit a room, but also offers easy access to the window’s exterior surfaces – perfect for cleaning!
Window design ideas aren’t exclusive to walls. Just like the name suggests, roof windows are built into a roof’s design and are opened outward or by pivoting. Roof windows include rooflights and skylights and are ideal for when natural light and fresh air are required in a room. This makes them perfect for spaces that generally aren’t prone to lots of light, such as loft conversions and attics.
Scoping out window design ideas involves more than aesthetic beauty – as windows are the thinnest point between the interior and exterior of a home, you need to ensure that they can protect your home and save you money. And when we start talking about windows’ energy efficiency and heat loss, we use the lingo ‘R value’ and ‘U value’.
• R-value measures a window’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more efficient the window.
• U-factor measures how well the window prevents heat from escaping. The lower the number, the more efficient the window.
Be sure to keep these terms in mind when shopping for windows.
Thanks to designers and architects thinking out of the box, gone are the days when windows were only designed in wood. Today, the four most popular materials are:
• Vinyl, popular due to its affordable price point and low maintenance requirements. Vinyl windows are also quite durable and provide good moisture resistance.
• Aluminium, a strong, affordable, and low-maintenance option. Keep in mind that it’s a big conductor of heat and cold.
• Wood, an expensive but beautiful option. Wood insulates relatively well, yet also expands and contracts in response to weather conditions.
• Vinyl-clad wood, an option that provides the best of both worlds: the beauty of a wood interior and a low maintenance vinyl exterior.
Forming part of a window’s design is definitely the frame’s colouring. Just think about what a difference a window’s exterior colour makes to a house in terms of kerb appeal.
Although the entire rainbow is an option for most windows, remember that you need to choose a colour that complements the rest of the house and enhances the overall look.
For the interiors, pick a tone that can blend in seamlessly with the rest of the room’s colour palette. While white is the most common choice, black has a more modern appeal and can work in a lot of contemporary spaces.
Choosing a window is one thing; keeping it looking crystal clear is another. That’s why we have Window cleaning advice that really works.