by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers
Cutting down on square footage you don’t really need is a great way to simplify your life and save money, but it comes with certain design challenges. Keep your smart investment feeling bright and comfortable with a window design that helps it seem larger than it really is! Whether your entire home is small or you just have a tight bedroom, office, or any other room that closes in, here are some ways that windows can augment the space you have!
Bring the Outdoors Inside
When you’re tight on space, employ a trick to fool the eye. Exactly how well it will work depends on the amount of exterior wall you have and the environment to be seen on the other side, but you will definitely notice the difference! Simply by making windows a statement on their own—think of a full-surround design that continues around corners or an entire wall composed of patio doors that open onto your property—you can draw attention away from the square footage of the floor and immerse the interior in its surroundings.
Particularly small houses in natural settings are known for their impressive use of glass. Some of them boast floor to ceiling windows that make it seem like you aren’t really inside, but you don’t have to take it to the extreme to get a taste of the benefits. Think about each exterior wall, what’s behind it, and how a new window would improve the feel of the room. Daylighting alone is usually enough to change the ambiance of a confined space, but a good view will also improve your impression of it.
If you have limited wall space and this doesn’t seem possible, you can still amplify the effect of any window you do have with a mirror. Set it opposite a window to duplicate scenery across the room and double your perceived view. Even if it isn’t an actual window, it’s the same basic trick!
Light from Above
One of the hallmarks of modern architecture, high windows are finding use in all kinds of homes as people want to increase their daylighting potential and dress up plain walls. If you don’t have any other plans for the higher points on your walls, it would be a waste not to take advantage of natural sunlight to reduce your electricity usage and also give you a glimpse of the great outdoors where you might not expect it.
Basement-level rooms use high windows because they have to; it’s the only place they’ll fit and even a small window can help the space feel more inviting. Why not carry this enhancement up above ground? There are plenty of spaces high windows can enrich. They fit well above beds and in bathrooms, where they help provide light while still maintaining privacy. They are also a great addition to walls that you need to be solid, but with which you would still like to do something extra—think of places where furniture is positioned right up against the surface. Once you know how much of your wall is going to be dead space, you can plan for windows, which will be noticed on their own and also put a sleek border over the furnishings below.
Integrate with Shared Wall Features
Sometimes you need to get creative in close quarters. Aim for balance and functionality so you can make the most of what you have, and be sure that the final product will look very different across the board. Plan for any dressers, shelves, counters, etc., and think about how you can fit windows in. It might be simple, with slightly raised windows sitting right over furniture, or a little more interesting, like a row of awning windows situated under hanging cabinets in the kitchen or a picture window nestled into your own library of built-in shelves. Even if you’ve never seen it done before, a professional can probably make it happen for you.
When it comes time to plan for and purchase windows, let the experts at Integrity® Windows help you out. With a wide array of available styles and the option to create custom panes to fit your needs, you’ll find that these professionals have the solution for every kind of home. The industry-leading efficiency and durability of Integrity’s® Ultrex® fiberglass means that you can install as many windows as you want with confidence, so find your local dealer to get started!