Release time:2023-08-26 Number of views: 74

Before choosing picture windows for your home, consider these insightful design tips from a seasoned architect.

Picture windows can be multifaceted design elements and choosing them for your home prompts lots of questions. When choosing the size and location of a picture window, you’ll need to consider the effects of light and airflow; find the best way to leverage views or maintain privacy; and think about how a picture window will interact with a room’s intended use and furnishings.

What is a Picture Window?

Picture windows are large, non-operating windows often found in family rooms and other shared living spaces. They are specifically designed to take advantage of beautiful views and pull in as much natural light as possible. Picture windows can be built in most any size or shape and can be mulled (connected) together with operating windows.

Take Advantage of the Best ViewsInstalling a picture window is the ideal way to capture a scenic view or expansive landscape just like a
picture frame can capture and define a beautiful painting. If your home is located in an urban area, your scenery might consist of a captivating cityscape or inspiring skyline. If your home is surrounded by nature, a picture window is a great opportunity to highlight your ever-changing nature views. And while most often found in shared spaces, don’t discount the idea of installing picture windows in offices, bedrooms, and even large bathrooms.

Minimize the Unsightly

Not every home can be perched up on the side of a mountain, tucked away in a tranquil forest nook, or surrounded by bucolic countryside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t install a picture window to open up a room and take advantage of the
health benefits associated with natural light.

Maintain Privacy

Picture windows are not just for living rooms. More private rooms can also benefit from a well-placed picture window. While one obvious advantage is that it allows an occupant a view of the outdoors, the flip side is that a curious neighbor or passerby can see inside the home.

Natural light is desirable in most every room, but in some spaces, privacy is a necessity, when choosing a glazing plan for bedrooms and large bathrooms, and even garages, you can always consider using tinted glass, frosted glass, or glass with an
obscuring texture like rain or reed glass.

Think about How a Space Will Get Used

At the very beginning of the design stages, it’s crucial to envision exactly how any given room will be used. You need to think about which parts of a room will benefit from harnessing the most light, how that light will affect TV and computer screens, and how the furnishings and traffic will interact with the size and location of the window. It might be best to have the bottom of a picture window located just above the height of a sofa, or a full wall of glass might be the perfect complement to the way you plan to interact with the space.

Both Interior and Exterior Need to Work Together

In addition to envisioning how a room might be used, you need to reconcile that plan with the aesthetics of the exterior.

Direct Glaze Can Make Big, Bigger

One reason picture windows came into existence is that non-operating windows can be configured in larger sizes, sizes that can now reach 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide. And even though most picture windows don’t operate, the majority of them still have a sash (the part of the window that slides or swings open), it’s just that the sash is sealed shut. The reason for this is that a picture window with a sash will match the profile and sightlines of the operating windows that surround it.

But when precisely matching surrounding windows is not a concern,
direct glaze windows are available. A direct glazed window has no sash. Instead, the glass is attached directly to the frame. That means, a direct glazed picture window features narrower sightlines and delivers more glass than a standard picture window in the same size rough opening.

To Mull or Not to Mull…

While newer technology makes it possible to create huge, uninterrupted expanses of glass, many home designers still choose to add mulls,
divided lite bars, or grills.

Don’t Forget about Fresh Air

Screens are an often-overlooked aspect of designing a picture window into a room. Like natural light, fresh air has proven health benefits, but by design, most picture windows don’t operate, which is why they’re often paired with windows that do. However, you have to remember that in most parts of the United States, operating windows require
screens to keep out unwanted pests.

A modern, high-quality screen is more transparent than the coarse screens of the past, but any screen will obscure a view somewhat. And from the exterior, a window with a screen will have a somewhat different appearance than one without a screen. That doesn’t always matter, but when it does, Marvin offers an
operating picture window that features projection venting and a perimeter screen that leaves the glazing perfectly transparent.