If you are remodeling an older home, you may be faced with an often-seen relic of the past—a dark kitchen. Kitchens used to be smaller than is the fashion now and all-important wall space was used for cabinets, not “wasted” on windows. But today’s larger kitchen designs allow for the inclusion of all types of windows. Selecting the right ones can mean your kitchen remodeling project can go from purely practical to a light-filled space you’ll love. Here, with a little help from our friends at Andersen Windows, are some ideas to transform your kitchen from mundane to magic:
Casement windows that crank outwards are often installed over kitchen countertops because reaching over to lift a double-hung can be awkward. This kitchen features 400 Series Casement windows with pine interior, surrounded in oak trim. The look is completed with Frank Lloyd Wright Colonade art glass and stone-color Metro hardware. These windows feature a natural wood interior (pine is available), low maintenance exteriors, and a nearly invisible TruScene insect screen is optional.
Use windows to convert a dark corner into a comfortable built-in nook for casual dining and a well-lit workspace. This room features 400 Series Picture windows with pre-finished white interiors, painted white trim and a custom grille pattern. Windows can be used as a single window or in combinations. High performance glass provides exceptional energy efficiency and a variety of grille options are available.
Take advantage of a great view by making windows a center point of a room. Flexiframe triangles and a 30-degree Casement Angle Bay unit compliment a 400 Series Frenchwood Gliding patio door with natural pine interior. These doors feature solid wood construction (your choice of oak, maples or pine interiors) and eight styles of hardware with 12 different finishes are available.
If the kitchen is the center of the home, consider making windows the center of the kitchen. 400 Series transom units sit above 400 Series Casement windows with Estate hardware and specified equal-lit grilles. Pre-finished white interiors and painted white trim finish the combination. The larger glass area of these windows let in more light and the vinyl cladding protects the sash from rain.
The layout of a kitchen is critical, making window placement even more important. This kitchen features three 400 Series Tilt-Wash Double-Hung windows with pre-finished white interiors, bright brass Estate hardware and specified equal lite grille patterns. These traditional windows feature convenient tilt-in cleaning.
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Many kitchens blend easily into a dining room and living room, with windows and patio doors fully integrated into the overall look and feel of the space. These rooms showcase 200 Series products and feature 200 Series Tilt-Wash Double-Hung windows with pine interiors, stone-colored metro hardware, and colonial grille patterns in top sash only. The windows have Low-E or dual pane insulating glass, pine interiors and low-maintenance exteriors.
Some general things to remember about your window selection:
Windows may be custom, semi-custom, or stock, but they're all constructed to fit snugly in the window opening provided. You can choose from aluminum, vinyl, wood, aluminum over wood, and vinyl over wood, depending on your needs and budget. Whatever material you prefer, the best news about double- or triple-pane windows is that separate storm windows are a thing of the past.
· Aluminum is the most economical material but may conduct cold, heat, and moisture. It's maintenance free, but if you elect to paint it, it requires yearly maintenance like any other painted outdoor surface on your home.
· Vinyl is also maintenance free and cannot usually be painted successfully, but it comes in a range of popular trim colors as well as in white.
· Wood, the classic window frame material, is still favored for many high-end and historic homes.
More common than double-hungs are casement windows, which are actually an older, simpler style than double-hungs. Casement windows are hinged on the side and can swing in or out to provide complete ventilation. They usually operate with crank handles, making them easy to operate, even when placed above counters and sinks. Your designer will make sure your casements are hinged to swing outward, or will allow space in front of the window for opening them.
Windows may be placed high in the wall and shelving installed beneath to hide an unattractive view while still letting in light.
Decorative windows are available in many shapes and sizes, but among the most pleasing is the half-round, sometimes called Palladian after the classic architect Palladio, who popularized them. Half-round windows can be positioned above doors, above other windows, or in shallow wall spaces to bring in more light and create architectural interest. Quarter-round and elliptical versions are also available and many high-end manufacturers now include art glass windows (stained glass or decoratively grilled) in their product lines. We’ll learn more about those in a future article.
To help you see the design options for your new kitchen windows, it is best to call on the experienced eye of a kitchen designer like Jason Landau of Amazing Spaces, LLC. Trained as an architect with an artist’s eye for using light, Jason can help you choose the perfect windows to brighten your new space. Visit www.amazingspacesllc.com or call 914-239-3725.