Windows: Design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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Different types of windows and window designs

Windows are much more than just openings in our walls that let in fresh air. They’re portals to the outside world that illuminate your carefully constructed interior. As such, their design should match your interior. Widows range in size, shape, and materials more than you might know. We are quite used to glass windows and shutters in Malaysia, but in China, Korea, and Japan, they fashion their windows from paper, and this difference is based on different weather conditions.

Windows don’t have to be your traditional square shape, either. They can be circular, oval, they can arch, and they can even jut out from the wall. Some of the most common window designs from around the world are casement windows and French windows. Casement windows attach to their frames by one or more hinges that are hinged at the side. They’re used singularly or in pairs with a shared frame. When this is the case, they are hinged on the outside. Casement windows with hinges up at the top are called awning windows, while ones hinged at the bottom are known as hoppers. French windows are a bit on the classier side of style. When the design world refers to French windows, we’re talking about a of pair of glazed doors in an outside wall that serve as both a window and a door, and typically open up to a garden or balcony.

How long does it take to install a window?

There are a few things to consider before installing new windows and figuring out construction time. The first thing you want to consider is whether or not your old windows can simply be repaired. This will cost you a lot less and save on installation time. The aesthetics are another thing. Your home has its own unique style--a good thing to do is pick a window design that enhances your interior. Mediterranean style homes do well with big, arched windows that let in a lot of light. Minimalist or Scandinavian interiors also do well with big windows, but the casement style will cement that European feel. Next, consider your budget and climate conditions. Anyone living in Malaysia won’t need to worry about getting a window with a blizzard-proof design. Instead, look for high wind and water resistance.

Depending on the size of the windows and how many you need to install or replace, it takes around 3-4 weeks after the date of measurement. And when installing, the most important thing to be mindful of is to protect the glass. Cracks or breaks will only up your installation costs.

Window accessories:

Just like most home decoration, windows come with customizable accessories. Anything from curtains and blinds to shutters and shades. The textile options (curtains, shades, drapes, etc.) come in as many varieties as anything else. Fabric, texture, color, and size are all completely tailorable to your home. Just measure your window and get a pair of curtains that will be mounted on the rod no taller than 20 cm above the window frame. This adds the illusion of height to the window.

Shutters and blinds go a different material route and are normally made of wood, plastic, or metal. Shutters are positioned outside the home on the façade to be add privacy to the interior and add style to the exterior. They help shield the windows from mild to medium winds, as well. Blinds are fastened to the window from the interior and are the best when it comes to controlling natural light. Blinds can be all the way open or closed and anywhere in between, as the horizontal slats that are supported and controlled by cords that run through them can be latched in one position with the simple tug of a cord.

Besides coverings, windows also benefit greatly from decoration like family photos hanging around it or on the sill, a few treasured knick-knacks, or better yet, a few colorful houseplants or herbs.

What is best for my windows: Curtains, blinds or Shutters?

This is something you need to decide on based on position of the window to the outside, amount of available natural light, and interior design.

Curtains are best for areas like the living and dining rooms. They let you close yourself off to the outside during intimate hours or open your home up to the world. They come with a classier aura--full, elegant drapes signify upper class mentality, but simple, sheer curtains add just a touch of delicacy.

Blinds are best for the bedroom. They let you have light during the day and maintain privacy at night.  They also help to keep the heat inside, but when it’s too hot, a simple twist of the cords and your blinds remain fully drawn while the slats reposition to let only slips of light through.

Shutters are best for convenience situations. They’re simple--they only have an ‘open’ or ‘closed’ feature. This gives you great airflow and light any time of day.

Maintenance and Installation of Windows  

Installing windows is no easy task, but one that’s better left to the professionals. It’s important to keep your windows in good condition in order to extend their longevity. Luckily, maintenance isn’t all too complicated. Regular cleanings and inspections are required--so that means two good cleanings before Spring and Fall, and have a contractor come out and make sure the sealing is still in place and no air is escaping outside the frame. Paint the window frame whenever you need to, and replace damaged parts like the sill whenever they get broken. This will ensure the stability of your wall and window. You should have your house windows inspected by a professional and have them look for cracked or broken panes, check the locks and latches, and also check for moisture between the panes.