by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers
Whether small, large, rectangular, or uniquely shaped, windows impart their personality on a home and influence its appearance both inside and out. So, it only stands to reason that you’ll want to outfit your home with the perfect style. Beyond just size and shape, there are plenty of finishing options from Integrity® from Marvin® Windows and Doors that can drastically enhance window design and the aesthetic interaction between windows and different kinds of architecture. Multi-paned windows look great on country houses and cottages, while modern homes tend to utilize simple, open panes to help take in great views. No matter the style you’re hoping to achieve, here are some factors to keep in mind when shopping for your own perfect windows!
The Power of Grilles
Back in the old days, a multi-paned, or divided lite, window was actually composed of many smaller pieces of glass held together in a frame of wooden muntins. It was difficult to produce a large window that was unblemished and sturdy with the technology of the time, so this distinct style now conveys historical charm, and you’ll find it on many older homes as well as new construction built with rustic appeal in mind.
Plenty of people adore the look of these windows, but they can be difficult to clean. Thanks to the vast improvements made to window manufacturing over the years, a single large piece of glass is now clear and strong enough to be installed on its own, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the classic look of multiple panes. Simulated divided lites place a grille between two panes of glass—which also has the benefit of creating better insulation—and this gives the same classic appearance in an easy-to-maintain package that can be wiped down quickly. Different grille options give you the opportunity to instill just the right character into your windows, and there are also numerous patterns to consider. Traditional rectangular or prairie-style lites suit older-style and rustic homes, while equally divided horizontal grilles give contemporary homes the chance to add a little extra to their simple, clean aesthetic without overcomplicating it.
The Variety of Trims
When you’re looking for windows, the windows themselves are basically the same. They come in different configurations, but the material and what you can expect from it is identical whether you’re looking at casement or double hung windows. It’s the trim that really gives you the chance to match your home and design goals; the intermediary between walls and glass can have a huge effect on the overall aesthetic, and you need to consider it from both sides.
The shape of the trim you select should reflect the style of your home. There are trims to fit architecture of all kinds—sill, flat, and brick mould casing each have their advantages, and a builder or installer can help you choose the best one for your situation. Different trim patterns give you the chance to create a sleek low profile or a more prominent one, giving you more or less to work with and complete with the finish of your choice.
Your finish options vary depending on the type of windows you select. Wood-Ultrex windows from Integrity give you the best that pultruded fiberglass has to offer, and they come with a pine interior that you can customize. Choose the prefinished white if you want a classic look and quick installation, or bare wood if you want to stain or paint the trim to your exact specifications. All Ultrex windows come with a hardy white interior finish, while the exteriors of all Integrity windows come with their Ultrex® trim in natural neutral colors ranging from Stone White to Ebony. Best of all, this finish can be painted without voiding the warranty, allowing you to make the windows your own and really personalize the outside of your home no matter your goals.
The Finishing Touch of Hardware
It’s easy to forget the little things when you’re looking to install something that takes up so much room, but the pieces of hardware on your windows are an accent that can pull it all together and complement your design components elsewhere to produce a coherent ambiance throughout the home. Windows come with standard hardware that works best with their different modes of operation, but you can select a metal finish that matches your style. From cool, light metallic tones to rich, darker ones with a warmer glow, there is sure to be one that suits your fancy.
Patio doors give you a little more to work with, and you can complete them with handles from either the Northfield or Cambridge Collection. The Northfield Collection offers sleek shapes perfect for modern designs, while the Cambridge Collection gives you a more traditional selection with graceful curves. The finish options are the same as those for windows.
Are you ready to plan some great windows to accent your home? Find your local Integrity dealer now to get started!