Window Styles and Designs

The different styles of windows

Windows are not placed strategically in floor plans just for the sake of aesthetics. Most architects spend a great deal of time integrating aesthetically pleasing and technically functional windows into structures. Windows are essentials to home designs for providing natural light and ventilation. A window could double as a fire exit too in case of emergency.

The windows speak volumes regarding a house's design. They could even be a reflection of the architectural style employed in the design of the building. If this were so then the styles and designs of a window could be patterned after Neoeclectic designs that are popular today. By neoeclectic, the subtypes of neo or new wave of architecture classified as NeoColonial, NeoMeditterranean, NeoVictorian, NeoRomantic, NeoClassicism, and more. The window styles could also come from the school of Modern designs and architecture or the Post Modern architecture.

For what it's worth, the design and style if windows should be an expression of the whole structure's architectural design, motif and style. You cannot possibly combine a NeoVictorian house with NeoColonial windows.

Windows types can also be differentiated according to its designs and functions. No two rooms in your house would have the same requirements when choosing windows. However, the overall design and style of your windows would depend on your requirements and house style.

Today, windows come in varied shapes: rectangular, square, round, triangle, octagon and more. Take note that not all irregularly -shaped window are always functional as they are only used to let the light in. Windows like this are panes that are mostly orders for customization.

Basic Styles of Windows

The six basic styles of windows according to its design functions are: double or single hung windows; casement or rollout windows; hopper or awing windows and louvered windows, sliding windows and rotating windows.

  • Double or Single Hung Windows - This type has the panes sliding open vertically. A single hung window only has one sash (frame of the window) that could slide open. The bottom half is usually that sash. The top half is usually fixed. A double hung window has the bottom and upper sashes sliding either way, up or down. This window often has screens installed outside the window frame. This type is perfect for bedrooms and kitchens. However this type of window is as airtight. Note that even in double hung windows, only one sash could be open at a time.


  • Casement or Rollout Windows -have hinges at the side of each pane so they could open outward. The windows can be manually be pushed out or cranked open with a mechanical handle. Normally, screens are placed on the interior side. The whole window can be opened to the exterior. This type is perfect for homes that thrive on natural ventilation. However, for natural ventilation to work, a set of windows at the opposite wall or side should be so located for the air to pass through freely. A rollout window works on the same principle but with only one side able to swing out. This window type is commonly used in bathrooms.


  • Awning or Hopper Window -An awning window is hinged at the top of the window frame and opens to the exterior. A screen is usually attached on the interior. This type of window is called "awning" because when the window is opened the glass protects the window opening as an awning would. A hopper window is almost the same as an awning window. The only difference is this type is hinged at the bottom and not at the top. Awnings and hoppers are used in basements. When placed above doors, they are called transom windows.


  • Louvered Windows -This type of window has strips of glass or wood that is angled or tilted open for ventilation. The louvers are generally manoeuvred by a lever. A subtype of a louver window is called jalousies. Jalousies are glass or wooden louvers that are overlapping. These types of windows are very popular in warm climates. However, these types are not airtight therefore they are not energy efficient. They are also security risks as the louvers are easy to dismantle. When one of the louvers is removed, the rest of the pieces are easy enough to remove.


  • Sliding Windows - This type of window have sashes that move horizontally. Both sashes can be moved in a double-sliding window with only one sash moving in a single-sliding window. Materials can be of metal or aluminium with the main window made of glass. This type is highly popular in Neoeclectic homes today. This type of window is air tight and energy efficient.

There are houses that use from two to three types of windows: awning windows for the basement; casement windows for the living and dining rooms and double-hung type for the bedrooms. As long as the different designs are cohesive, the aesthetics will not be affected.


Common Window Designs

Fixed glass windows are self-explanatory. It is supposed to stay closed and is only used to provide light. Stained glass or coloured glass can also be used as panes for fixed glass windows.

Another type of window not so much for function but more on design is the Palladian window. This window design consists of three windows with the same height and width but with the centre window arched. This has become a very popular design in the past few years because the design adds flare and drama to a house's facade.

Picture windows are seen mostly in ranch style homes in the USA. This design has big fixed windows flanked by two casement windows or double-hung windows.

Choosing the right window for your home could add beauty, point of interest and drama to a boring facade. Updated windows can make a drab looking house aesthetically pleasing.