Window Design Tips for Your Interiors

The right window design can make your interior style shine.

Original-midcentury-modern-living-room-portrait_s4x3 Floor-to-ceiling windows are a natural fit when designing a modern space.

The different styles of windows available on the market might be dizzying if you're remodeling, but it's essential to keep your wits about you since windows contribute so much to the overall success of your design scheme. They reflect the architecture of your house, but they also add a dose of decorative style to the interior that should enhance the look of the room they inhabit.

Traditional Style

Double-hung, multiple-light windows are a good choice for a traditional home. But within that category you can choose patterns for the grille design (the muntins separating the panes) that can reflect a classic style or lean more toward a more restrained, contemporary style.

A leaded-glass window with diamond-shaped panes establishes a decidedly old-fashioned look to a room — and can be a focal point on its own.

To achieve the look of original glass, there are companies, like Bendheim Restoration Glass, which manufacture wavy, old-look glass to today's building codes.

Contemporary Flavor

For a fresh, modern style, the clean look of casement windows, which open from side hinges with a crank or lever, are a natural fit. "Casements look great inside and out and add a very authentic but humble feel to a space," says designer Doug Davis of Tracery Interiors. "It's also nice to be able to crank them open and feel the breeze."

These windows can be deigned with grilles, for a softer, more transitional look, or with solid panes of glass, for the modernist. Used in conjunction with picture windows, casement windows contribute to a sleek, clean look in keeping with a linear, minimal decorating style. And since the picture window is immovable, the casements offer the option of ventilation without obstructing a view.

Illumination Control

Windows brighten a room, but they hog wall space, sometimes leaving you with nowhere to hang artwork. If the effect you're after is the kind of highly personalized, enveloping atmosphere that artwork creates, less might be more.

And as many homeowners can attest, there can be too much of a good thing. A blast of early morning sunlight can turn a kitchen into a torture chamber rather than a peaceful place to begin the day.

Curtains can minimize some of the problems of too much light, but in spaces like kitchens, where use of fabric is ill-advised, the design of the windows should take into consideration the path of the sun over the course of a day. A north-facing kitchen can handle more windows, and there is nothing more lovely than a wall of windows with storage limited to lower cabinets only.

Special Shapes

Specialty windows, like bay windows or Palladian shapes, are used to make maximum design impact. A bay window can provide you with a spot for a window seat, creating a charming dining nook. Or in a larger traditional home, Palladian windows can give the classic grace note to your elegant interior.

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