Vintage vs. Modern: Which Window Style Should You Choose?
If you’ve been experiencing more condensation than usual and your energy bills have been slowly creeping up, then it’s time to take action. These are some of the biggest warning signs that you need to replace your windows, but what sort of window style should you choose to complement your home?
While there is an almost never-ending list of window styles, they typically all fall into one of two categories: vintage windows, and modern windows. The modern replacement windows category includes styles such as horizontal sliders, non-bar designs, and tilt & turn windows. Generally speaking, these styles are quite minimal in their appearance, and create a ‘more window than wall’ look. Vintage windows are different. Styles such as Georgian windows, 17th– century sash windows, and 18th– century casement windows are usually more ornate and decorative and form a central focus of any room.
Does Style Really Matter?
Yes. And no. Although the style of the window that you choose will certainly impact the overall look and feel of your home, style isn’t everything. Modern windows, for example, can be given a classic touch simply by being selective with the type of window accessories you choose. By pairing a modern window style with decorative drapery hardware, a contemporary window instantly gains a more traditional aesthetic. A curtain rod with antique finials, for example, helps to really set the scene.
Similarly, a vintage window can be given a contemporary makeover in the same sort of way. Clear, acrylic curtain rods create a very minimal, understated appearance, and on-trend drapery such as voile wave curtains and roller blinds can also have a big effect. So, although it’s important to choose the right style for you, remember that there are many ways to dress up/dress down a window to suit your preferences.
Let’s take a closer look at the different styles:
Vintage windows are ideally suited for period style homes, colonial cottages, and older properties, adding character and personality and keeping the windows in a similar style to the home’s older design features. Softwood timber casements can also be very affordable, yet they’re also pretty durable if they’ve been sealed correctly. There are a few things to take into consideration, however; if you’re keen for vinyl or fiberglass, remember that it’s tricky to replicate the authentic look of wood grain in this modern material, however some manufacturers have come very close.
Modern windows are best suited to more contemporary homes. These styles often have very minimal framing, with a higher glass-to-frame ratio. This helps to bring more light into the property, making these windows a great choice for houses that are naturally quite dark due to location or surrounding tree density. Styles such as tilt & turn windows also offer a wide opening for improved ventilation; perfect for homes with pets. Vinyl is one of the top choice materials, along with Fiberglass. Vinyl is cost-effective and easy to maintain, however Fiberglass can give you a more sophisticated look.
How to Choose the Right Style For You
Always consider the style of your home, along with the design features and decor that you’ve chosen to implement within your property. And if you’re planning to renovate your home to sell, keep in mind that window styles that match the era of the property can help to increase or at least maintain its value. Ultimately, however, it’s all down to personal preference. Perhaps you don’t enjoy the look of modern window styles, or maybe you’d prefer a wide, easy-open design to allow lots of light and air inside.
Earlier, we briefly touched on the fact that style isn’t everything. And it’s not. Sure, choosing the right style can help you create the aesthetic you’ve been dreaming of, but there are some more vital factors to take into consideration if you’re planning to replace your windows. Here are a few things to think about:
- Longevity: To avoid having to replace your windows again and again, select windows that are designed to last. Look for frames that are manufactured to prevent dirt building up in crevices.
- Maintenance: Unless you particularly enjoy cleaning your window frames, choose an easy-clean material that requires minimal maintenance and is quick and easy to keep in excellent condition.
- Durability: No matter what style of window you choose, always take care to select windows made from high-quality materials that can endure the elements and maintain their strength.
- Protection: It’s no secret that winters can get pretty chilly, so look for windows that boast high elasticity seals that protect the window from harsh weather conditions outside.
Installing replacement windows and giving your home a new look can be an exciting project, but choosing the right windows can often feel overwhelming. The good news is that, by knowing what to look for in a window, and understanding more about how both vintage styles and modern styles complement different types of properties, selecting the perfect window becomes much easier.
About The Author: Zana is a window treatments consultant with over 20 years of experience.
Image by MikesPhotos from Pixabay
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