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Using Windows to Capture a View

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

If you’re building a dream home, chances are you carefully chose a dream location. You may have selected your lot because of the woods, a mountain or cityscape in the distance, or because there's a great area for a garden. Whatever the reason, you'll want to maximize the view. You should consider different types and sizes of windows to bring in amazing outdoor scenery, so here are some points to keep in mind!

Integrity Windows

Floor-to-ceiling Integrity® All Ultrex Polygon Windows are used to take advantage of natural light, take in arboreous surroundings, and create a tree house effect in this stunning modern home. The space is amplified, making it seem one with the environment.

Opening a Room

The simplest way to bring the outdoors inside is to opt for larger windows. When opening a room this way, the primary goal is to brighten the interior and enhance its atmosphere, and views of the outdoors are a bonus. If privacy is a concern or you’d like to preserve more of your wall space—perhaps for artwork or furniture—consider high windows to allow light in from above. A transom window over an existing window or door can go a long way to combat dim and cramped quarters, or you can borrow from the traditional basement option and use standalone awning windows.

Keep your home’s style coherent with architecturally appropriate products. Even if it might seem scary to update the originals, the right replacements will be a major design asset. Generally speaking, contemporary homes call for casement, other hinged windows, or stationary picture windows if they aren't in a location where they can be operational. Traditionally, older-style homes have single or double hung windows, which aren’t as visually open due to their sash frames and the divided lites they usually include. Increasing the height and width of each window allows in more light, and the increased dimensions also place them closer together on the wall for improved flow. In these ways, contemporary designs maintain their seamlessness, while traditional ones preserve their long-established historical style.

Integrity Patio Doors

The wide, open panes and thick black frames around these Integrity Wood-Ultrex Sliding Patio Doors, casement window, and the transom windows above bring in panoramic views. The visual layers of patio, greenery, and sky appear like artwork with this arrangement.

Creating Uninterrupted Views

Most homes designed for scenic views include impressive windows on one side, where they transform living space into a private observation deck. High and vaulted ceilings lend themselves well to these displays, but there are numerous ways to expand views, even within the confines of smaller than average houses. With a little imagination and flexibility, you can revamp a dark and tired interior into a fresh and bright one.

Consider if patio doors might address your needs. They provide some of the largest standard panes of glass and slide or swing to physically connect indoor and outdoor areas, so they are particularly suited to allowing uninterrupted views. The double panel configuration you already know provides a broader view than two large windows, but even wider configurations are available if you have the space. Four panel doors are great for 16’ spans of wall, and Scenic Doors offer amazing solutions for spans up to 56’. Minimizing the number of apertures maximizes glass, making these a natural choice.

If a patio door doesn’t work for you, windows can still answer the call. The biggest casement windows available are comparable in size to patio door panels, and they can be operational or fixed. Look into Specialty Windows as well, which offer everything from corner units to unique shapes to capture sweeping, wraparound views and fit into the angles of your architecture. Don’t discount anything until you’ve met with a professional who can point out options you may not have ever considered.

Marvin Specialty Shape Window

Marvin Ultimate Casement Windows and Patio Doors immerse the interior of this contemporary studio in the natural environment, but it’s the individual tree captured by a Special Shape Window that takes the statement a step further.

Framing the Best Sights

Whether it’s your own garden or a natural wonder in the distance, if there’s a point of interest you want to draw attention to, windows and doors are your best bet. Think of a well-placed pane as a picture of the outdoors. Frame it with the finish of your choice—the right wood or a painted color can make the image pop even more. Standard rectangular windows work well in most cases, but tricky subjects require you to think outside the box. Perhaps an octagonal picture window would best complement a mountain, and a large pentagon could capture a noble old-growth tree on your property. Take the time to walk around your house or building site while looking outward to see what you might like. If a nice sight falls where windows aren’t already specified, consider your options. Reorienting the home is possible before you build, but you can also modify blueprints if necessary.

When it comes to selecting windows and doors for your home, Marvin® and Integrity® have everything you need to take in views while also taking heed of energy efficiency and environmental challenges. With so many products for every style and a range of interior casing and finish options, you’re sure to find beautiful windows that complement your house and its surroundings. Find a local dealer for expert assistance today!