Amanda Richmond, Interior Designer, provides advice on choosing windows and frames.
The spaces in your home that will require the largest window area are your living area areas, so it’s very important to consider the orientation of your living areas and the best placement for windows to take advantage of the sun at the right time of day (for heating in the morning and coolness in the afternoon) and the available views to open up the space. What type of window shading will you incorporate to ensure it does not get too hot in the interior? Do you have a verandah, do the eaves provide shade, what about a pergola? If you don’t have enough shade you could build a verandah or pergola or use other, simpler devices to provide shade and protection such as curtains, blinds or vinyl film on the windows.
The glazing of your windows is another important decision –you can use double glazing to keep out noise, a very good option if you live close to a busy street with traffic noise. Then there’s obscure glass, which lets in light while obscuring vision. These are often used in bathrooms and you can add a unique, decorative touch with a patterned version. Lead lighting is a highly decorative option for a feature window, usually placed in the main living space, the entry hallway or the front door. Sun shining through a lead light window creates gorgeous reflected colours and patterns, adding a further decorative enhancement.
Choosing a window frame depends on the look you want, performance and maintenance. Timber frames are highly energy efficient as they do not conduct heat but do require more maintenance than aluminium. Aluminium is a popular choice because it’s light, strong and requires little maintenance, but it’s not the most energy efficient choice, you can lose a great deal of heat through the frames in winter and gain unwanted heat in summer. A thermal break will minimise these effects, it’s an insulating material placed between the interior and the exterior elements of the window frame.
Amanda Richmond has a wealth of experience in renovating and decorating, being the chief Interior Designer at Balance Architecture + Interior Design. She will discuss glass safety in next week’s blog.