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Designing with Windows and Doors

Create a home you'll love for years

When you're choosing windows and doors for your new home, there are a few things to consider. From choosing the windows and doors themselves — their size, shape, color, grilles, hardware, etc — to maximizing your view, ventilation and natural light. When it all comes together, you'll have a home that looks and feels just the way you want it.

Consider your woodwork

Today, windows and doors are available in a variety of materials. Keeping your home's decor in mind can help you choose the right windows and doors for your new home.

  • If your new home's interior decor is Craftsman or Victorian, or includes dark wood cabinets, floors and trim, wood windows and doors stained in a complementary color or even Brown fiberglass will create a quality, seamless look.
  • Lighter styles of decor — such as cottage, beach house or contemporary that use light wood cabinetry and floors or painted trim — look great with wood windows and doors painted White or with White fiberglass or vinyl windows and doors.

Make the most of light

Consider these design choices to create space and brightness or add architectural interest with light:

  • Place windows on several walls so that light comes in from more than one direction.
  • Consider dramatic, multi-story, stacked “window walls.” Today’s energy-efficient windows make this a possibility.
  • Special shape windows, such as angled, curve-top, or round, create architectural interest. Consider them for otherwise plain walls.
  • An entry door with decorative glass can create a sparkling light display in your foyer.

It's all about view

Let the view be your guide when you decide where to place your windows.

If you have a beautiful view, consider a large wall of windows to let the outdoors in. If you simply want more privacy, get creative with smaller windows placed up high. They'll still allow natural light to shine into your home.

Planning your layout

Think about how your windows will work with your furnishings.

  • Place windows in a dining room or eat-in kitchen low enough to see out when you're sitting down.
  • If you choose to have a large window wall, be sure there is enough room opposite it for a sofa where you can sit and enjoy the view. And always have enough uninterrupted wall space for large pieces of furniture such as an entertainment center or bed. If you plan to place any pieces of furniture such as chests or bureaus beneath your windows, make certain the sills are high enough to accommodate them.

Get more living space

Instead of the expense of building extra square footage into a room, create a spacious look — and add architectural interest — with a bay or bow window.

Think of your view as living art

Use exterior landscaping to complement your interior décor. Place an arched trellis in your garden to reflect the graceful arch of a curved window. Paint deck railings or patio furniture in a color you've used inside. Or position a wildflower garden or fountain to serve as an eye-catching focal point.

Be inspired.

Visit our photo galleries for more great design ideas for your new home.

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