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Remodeling Design Tips

Designing with light

Whether you're remodeling a kitchen or a bathroom or adding living space to your home, you'll want to maximize your natural light, ventilation and safety. The right windows and doors can help you do all that.

Expand your horizons

Bay and bow windows are affordable ways to add livable space to any room. The area in front of the windows can be used as extra floor space for furniture.

  • Add a window seat to create a cozy seating area or a place to display books and decorative objects. Hint: Put a hinge on the top of your window seat and use the space below for storage.
  • Replace old "picture" windows with a bay or bow window. You'll not only add square footage to your home — you'll enjoy more light and view.
  • Use taller windows or add transom windows for additional light. This will also help make your room feel larger.

Add a generous helping of charm

Bow windows are ideal in the kitchen or dining room. Add a banquette — or built-in bench — in the shape of the bow to create a cozy eating area and more storage.

Maximize your view

Wherever you add new windows, consider designing them with grilles only on the top half. This way, you can still get the divided-light look you want, without blocking your view.

Follow the sun

  • For maximum daylight all day, add windows — or a pair of French doors — on the north side of the room.
  • Don't be afraid of windows on the south side of a home. Today's Low-E (low-emissivity) glass coatings reflect the sun's heating rays away from your house.

Create a focal point

Special Shape windows are an easy way to add architectural interest to your room and highlight other features of your home.

  • Flank a fireplace with quarter-circle windows.
  • Add a circlehead transom window over a patio or entry door.
  • Use one perfect circle window as a simple design accent.

Finish your basement

If you're considering a basement renovation, you'll need to add an egress window to create an easily accessible exit in case of fire. Egress windows are not only important for safety, they add extra light to your normally dark basement space — making it more pleasant and comfortable.

An egress window is larger than a common basement window. Consult with your local building code experts or make sure your contractor is familiar with your local building code requirements for egress.

Be inspired.

Visit our photo galleries for great remodeling design ideas.

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