Idea Collecting: Windows
You can learn a lot about design by simply looking more closely at houses in your neighborhood, town, or on your travels. Take an architectural detail like windows, for example.
This image of an imaginative modern house in Denmark shows how a window can morph into a door (see the sliding barn door tracks over the big front glass), a wall, and a window bay (toward the rear). It’s the Sten Hus (photo by seier+seier+seier through Creative Commons).
Or here’s one window divided into four individual windows, for variety, by Bruno Taut, at Onkel Toms Hutte, Berlin (photo also by seier+seier+seier through Creative Commons).
Or in a hot or cold climate, why not have functioning shutters that also show colorful character (photo by joseph.stuefer through Creative Commons.)
Finally, see how a simple, horizontally expressive frame — in contrast to surrounding shingles — can turn a small window into something special (photo by ercwttmn through Creative Commons), as happens at the Gamble House in Pasadena by Greene & Greene.
Building a new home suddenly makes you see everything in a new way or as if for the first time. You start wondering about the windows on your new house and that makes you look at the windows on other houses. This “looking around” phenomenon reminds me of a statement by the late great landscape San Francisco landscape architect Thomas Church, who said “Look to your trees; they may have unrevealed beauty in their branches.” In other words, with a little pruning you can bring out a tree’s structure and perhaps its beauty. We are creating a new Houseplans.com feature — called Looking Around, naturally — to do just that: help you look more closely at architectural details — including streetscapes, facades, front doors, windows, porches, roof lines, outdoor lighting, and more — as you search for design ideas. It debuts next week.
Until then, here’s a design to explore — (Plan 64-136).
See how double-hung windows shape the house’s character — it’s an updated bungalow.
Browsing manufacturers online is another way to gather window ideas; semi-custom units are common. You or your contractor review the window styles that suit your new home design and then special order or purchase pre-made units. View the product galleries at major window manufacturers, including Andersen, Marvin, and Pella.