Traditional to Contemporary: Window Styles for Every Home
Whether you’re basking in the warmth of natural sunlight or enjoying a soft breeze, windows let you enjoy many things, adding character to your home and allowing you to connect to the world outside. Sure, windows offer the practical functionality of keeping the elements at bay, but they also frame your outdoor views and help maintain the energy efficiency and comfort of your living space. Failing to replace your old, worn-out windows will result in stress and trouble for your household. Windows that have reached the end of their lifespan should be replaced.
MATCHING WINDOWS AND HOMES: When investing in window replacement, find a window style that will truly complement your home’s architectural design.
There are many factors to weigh when it comes to choosing new windows for your home. Not only do these replacement units have to look good inside and out but they should also be strong, energy-efficient and low-maintenance, all at a reasonable price. Most importantly, they have to complement your home’s existing architectural design. Fortunately, there are window styles that can work with both traditional or contemporary themes.
The Functionality of Double Hung Windows
They say nothing beats the classics. Perhaps this is why double hung windows have been favored by American homeowners for decades. With two sashes that slide up and down, they are a perfect addition to any area in the home, such as the bedroom, living room, kitchen and, yes, even the bathroom. Want to boost natural ventilation in a room? Need to install an air conditioning unit? Depending on which sashes you open, you can enjoy a number of functions from double hung windows.
Double hung windows are classic favorites, featuring two operable sashes that allow for better natural lighting and ventilation throughout the year.
Double hung windows offer the following advantages:
- Ease of Maintenance. Since both sashes of a double hung window are fully operable, you can easily reach the inner and outer surfaces of the panels when cleaning. Some models even simplify maintenance further by featuring tilt-in sashes. This means you don’t have to go outside to wash the other side of the panel. Simple wipe the sashes with a washcloth and you can easily keep a double hung window looking good year after year.
- Superior Ventilation. As both its sashes can be opened, double hung windows offer great ventilation control. For best results, open both sashes, letting in fresh cool air from the bottom while pushing warm, stale air out through the opening at the top.
- Double hung sashes don’t swing out, meaning there’s no risk of accidentally hitting someone or something while you’re opening your window. For this reason, they work well in areas with heavy foot traffic, such as patios and walkways. Lower sashes can also be kept closed at all times if you have pets or small children at home.
Double hung windows can complement a wide range of home styles, from the traditional Victorian homes modern-style houses. You can use colors and accessories to personalize your windows and make them match your design. For instance, for traditional homes, you can choose darker colors, like sandtone and dark brown, to convey old-world sophistication. Modern homes, on the other hand, can make use of lighter tones, such as white and canvas, to bring out that light and airy feeling within the structure. You can also combine double hung windows by installing several units in a series to amplify the window style’s effects.
The Simplicity of Casement Windows
Window styles offer different functions. Some are great at providing natural light, while some are better at improving ventilation. Want to enjoy the best of both worlds? Choose casement windows. Featuring a simple structure, casements are hinged at the side and operate like a door, swinging out. They also come with expansive glass areas, offering unobstructed outdoor views.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: If you’re looking to improve both natural lighting and ventilation in your home, casement windows are the way to go.
Here are some of the most notable benefits casement windows offer:
- Enhanced Energy Efficiency. When closed, casement windows create a tight seal that prevents outdoor air from getting in and indoor air from getting out. This stabilizes temperature inside the home, minimizing the strain on your HVAC system. Consequently, this will translate to more efficient energy use, leading to savings on your utility bills.
- Abundant Lighting and Ventilation. Because casement windows have expansive glass areas, they let in a lot of natural light, illuminating your home. You can also angle sashes in such a way that you can direct breezes into your home for superior ventilation.
- Excellent Security. Most casement windows come with hook-shaped locks that are embedded within their frames. These are hard to get to from the outside, adding a reliable layer of security for your home.
Casement windows work well in traditional homes, thanks to their simple and classic design. However, they can also fit seamlessly into a contemporary home. Thanks to modern technology, today’s casement windows can be customized with different colors, hardware and accessories to perfectly complement any home style.
The Versatility of Sliding Windows
Also known as gliding windows, sliding windows are ideal for homeowners looking for a minimalist, versatile and easy-to-use window solution. These units usually have two panels that work like double hungs, only they slide horizontally.
THE GREAT SPACE-SAVER: Sliding windows are great if space is tight because they don’t require clearance to be used, unlike casement windows that swing out to open.
Sliding windows have some key benefits, setting them apart from other window styles, such as:
- Space-saving Features. Since their panels do not open outward, sliding windows are ideal for rooms where a projecting window might obstruct a walkway or patio. You can also put them near the door, as they won’t use up space when being opened or closed.
- Panoramic Views. Sliding windows are mostly made of glass, allowing for wide outdoor views. Because of that, you can enjoy magnificent views from any room while supporting a smooth transition between your indoor and outdoor living spaces.
- Operation Ease. These windows need little effort to operate—just give them a gentle push to slide open or close and you’re set! This is possible because sliding windows have lightweight panels that easily slide along tracks.
No matter the spatial restrictions in your home or the characteristics of your preferred aesthetic, there’s a sliding window that will suit your needs. If you have a traditional home and want to emphasize the old-world feel of your home, go for standard lock handles and finger pulls in rustic colors. If you wish to spruce things up in your modern-style home, you can make use of more innovative hardware, like Andersen’s flush mount sash lock and passive sash handle.
The Elegance of Bay and Bow Windows
If you’re looking to make a significant change in your home’s curb appeal without tackling a major remodel, installing bay or bow windows is the way to go. Because they are striking in appearance, they command attention wherever they are placed, drawing attention for the right reasons. Bays and bows both extend out of exterior walls but differ in the number of panels they have, with bays featuring three and bows consisting of four to six units.
The advantages of installing these window styles include:
- Additional Space. Bay and bow windows protrude from your home, which means they help extend floor space. This creates a small nook inside you can use as a window seat or extra storage space.
- Flexible Configuration. You can use multiple window styles when forming a bay or bow window. If ventilation is your top priority, choose casements in your configuration. If you’re keeping it classy and simple, double hungs might be a better choice.
- Gorgeous Views. Because bay and bow windows result in large glass areas, they work best in rooms with a great vista outside. They offer numerous viewing angles, allowing you to appreciate the view from every side.
Minding window grille patterns can help customize your windows for your traditional or modern home. Colonial-, farmhouse- and prairie-style patterns suit traditional structures well, while modified prairie and custom-designed patterns are ideal for contemporary homes. Additionally, you can play with colors and hardware to make your bay and bow windows perfectly suit your home.
For more expert tips and recommendations on choosing the perfect windows for your home, be sure to consult a trusted window replacement contractor in your area. No matter your home design, you’ll benefit from their expertise, allowing you to make the most of your investment.
Kathryn Ruth is the marketing head for Renewal by Andersen of Seattle. With more than a decade in the industry under her belt, she has first-hand knowledge and significant experience when it comes to the window replacement solutions she shares with clients and homeowners. For updates from Kat, check out the company blog!