According to a recent study published by the National Association of Home Builders, approximately 19 windows go into a typical new home, and the four most popular remodeling projects are: kitchen, bathroom, room additions, and window and door replacement. Now more than ever, windows can provide unique, innovative ways for homeowners to express themselves and how they live.
Redefining the Role of Windows
One example of the power of window innovation is showcased in the Andersen inHOME, a home created to provide ideas for new ways to design with windows — no matter how large or small the project. Windows were integrated into the architectural vision from the start via “wall plans” that compose views from various locations within each room and bring natural light to different places throughout the day.
The inHOME features creative use of stock windows arranged in not-so-stock ways. Near the entryway, casement, awning and fixed windows are arranged in a two-story tall geometric rhythm of shape and light, while a ribbon of skylights above the great room provides an ever-changing pattern of light. Clerestory windows are tucked just below the roof overhang and allow for light and ventilation, while assuring privacy.
This design trend is gaining momentum as many publications and programs are dedicating space and time to the importance of windows. “Many homeowners are replacing old windows with new energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing designs that will provide light and air, as well as privacy. The Andersen inHOME manages to combine all of these features and benefits with a creative mix of window designs that can be easily adapted to any style home,” says Barbara Winfield, editor, Woman’s Day Home Remodeling and Makeovers Magazine.
Interior windows are another design concept gaining in popularity. Carefully aligned interior windows, for example, can add natural light, capture outside vistas from other parts of the home and, if they open, provide yet another source for ventilation.
Things to Keep in Mind
Whether you’re considering building a new home or tackling a remodeling project, make the most out of your windows by keeping these simple tips in mind:
* Plan your walls. Carefully place windows to frame a view just as you would frame a piece of art. Remember to think “wall plans” as well as floor plans.
* Think three-dimensionally. Skylights and clerestory windows can bring light in from above, allowing natural light to penetrate deeply into the room while preserving privacy.
* Embrace the seasons. Strategically locate windows to gather the warmth of the sun in winter; in summer, use roof overhangs to shade the interior.
* Bring windows inside. Interior windows allow a room deep inside the house to share views and light with an adjoining room and with the outside.
* Cool naturally. Use operable windows on opposite sides of a room to provide natural ventilation.
* Mix it up. Combine windows of different sizes and shapes to make larger openings and create rhythmic patterns. Design with color by adding art glass to windows and doors, or use grilles to create decorative shadows, bringing depth and texture to walls.