Windows are an oft-neglected fixture in interior design. But they shouldn’t be! Windows can totally transform the look and feel of a building from both the exterior and interior view.
When it comes to controlling how a space makes people feel, windows and their dressings (like curtains, trim, and blinds) all have the potential to dramatically affect people’s emotions.
Here are 4 ways to totally transform your interior design just by tweaking your window designs.
Lighting has a profound impact on the human psyche. There is a reason so many people in the northern hemisphere complain of seasonal depression caused by low light.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can manipulate the lighting in your space to positively impact your mood and that of your guests. Bright, warm light nurtures feelings of warmth in the person exposed to it. Anxiety and angst follow bright, cool light.
But natural light is the most ideal lighting schema. The closer you can get to mimicking the natural light of the outdoors, the more positive you and your guests will feel in your space. Natural light even improves conversion rates in sales environments.
With a tool so powerful, you have a lot of opportunity to control the feeling your space elicits. If you need an office that feels productive, you can opt for a lot of cool tones and windows that facilitates cool lighting. On the other hand, if you want to furnish a space for relaxation and warmth, invest in warm hues that will reflect the natural light for a comforting effect.
If you’re working with a tiny room, you will want to draw the eye upwards. Vertical pieces like thin bookcases and other structures can help accomplish this. Curtains are one such piece—and they serve double duty, because they can help control the amount of light dispersed in a room in addition to steering the eye.
If you want to change the width of a room, you can keep your curtains wide and flat at the top of your window frame.
Curtains change the hue of the light by filtering it. If you want to let in more warm light, you can buy warm colored curtains and close them over the window (or even just a part of it).
Curtains and other window dressings give rooms an added sense of security, too. This gives bedrooms, bathrooms, and other intimate spaces that “cozy” feeling. Curtains literally and figuratively create privacy in a home.
Size and Placement
Larger windows let in a ton of light. It can be tempting to slap them everywhere they fit, but you must consider how they impact the end user’s experience in the home. Remember that there are people on the other side of that wall.
Large windows can fit in some rooms—like living rooms or patios—but they will feel out of place in intimate spaces such as bedrooms.
Placement impacts user experience in a similar vein. This is more technical, as it involves calculating where the sun will be at certain times of day and how much natural light a room will receive throughout the day. You don’t want your living room to lose all natural lighting by 5pm, so it’s a good idea to do some trial and error to figure out what works for you and your home’s “vibe.”
The style of your windows will obviously be contingent on the rest of your home’s décor. One must not consider only the architecture of the building itself but the material with which it is made.
Keep in mind that certain styles lend themselves to letting in more or less natural light. For instance, narrow styles like French windows are aesthetically appealing but can constrict light to an unacceptable degree. (A fix for this is side slits beside the French windows to let in more light.)
Decorative trims will age your home. The more delicate or intricate the window dressings or the more pieces of window frame that are visible, the more your home will reflect an antiquated or quaint aesthetic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: ornate details give homes cozy character.
For a more minimalist impression, opt for clean lines. Balance is key when it comes to minimalist windows: without details to distract the eye, the shapes of windows can easily become bolder than intended and might draw attention in a negative way.
Keep in mind that some window shapes are chosen to complement or distract from constraints in the architectural design. For example, homes built for hot climates will usually use stucco, curved lines. Windows are often curved to fit in.