February 10, 2012

It's all in the details...Windows

If there's one thing I've learnt from endless hours watching Kevin McCloud on Grand Designs, it's that the ultimate success of a house often lies in the finer details. Quality, craftsmanship and an understanding of good design tend to produce beautiful homes.

Well... that's all fine for Kevin McCloud, but he never tried selecting windows for the House on Chambers.

After almost two years of tatty brown aluminium, we are finally ready to replace all the windows in the house (preferably before the onset of Winter). But the selection process is turning out to be a touch more difficult than I expected. So, as usual, I'm sending calls for help into the blogosphere.

A couple of considerations: First (and most frustratingly), they must be aluminium. As much as this grates with me, the highly saline bore water used to irrigate the lawns will brown and destroy timber rapidly. Secondly, they will be Vivid White, as all the external doors have already been installed. Finally, they need to be simple, as the overall simplicity of the building design won't support anything ornate or overly detailed.

I love the simplicity of these windows...

And the symmetry of these...

And while French windows are always beautiful, I've never seen them done successfully in aluminium (they tend to look cheap).

Finally, I stumbled across this image...

image via Medallion Homes

While the exterior architecture of this house is far superior to ours, the rendered finish, overall palette and window sizes are similar. With a simple vertical division through the centre of each window and smaller awning openings above, these windows would allow maximum light with minimal disruption of the view. I like it... But then the obsessive voice in my head says that the horizontal beam should be in the centre of the window, not set above! So, I need your help. Remembering that the House on Chambers is essentially a 1980 rectangular box with a wrap-around veranda, what window design would you choose?

And just because we deserve a bit of fun after all of that, take a look at these...

all images via Pinterest



  1. Beautiful images Brooke!!!

    We also went with aluminium windows as we didn't want to deal with all the maintaince that comes with timber :(

    I wish we had gone with pure white, but at the time of choosing MrB convinced me that White Birch IS white... Ugggh!

    We got our windows from Stegbar. Their prices were great.

    Good luck and I can't wait to see what you choose.


  2. Have you seen the new Stegbar range? I think it's called Siteline. Aluminium window on the outside, timber on the inside. Do you think that would work?


  3. Hi, I like the ones you found. I grew up in South Africa and we had aluminum windows similar to these except they also had a panel down the bottom. This meant that they balanced nicely!

    Kinda like these but with the middle horizontal sections removed.

    The other thing that I have seen done really well in aluminum is frameless sash windows. A friend put a mixture of timber and aluminium ones in (wet areas) and they are performing really well.

  4. So after reading this post I've realised that I actually had no idea what you were talking about when we had the window discussion! Firstly can I say that the 2nd from top picture with the black stairs makes me go mmmm! And I like to think that I would stop to sit and read a volume of a book each time I ascended/descended the stairs! Secondly I can't see any problem with the off set awnings as it obviously does not look like it should be centred, also think you're right in the fact that it would utilise the most out of the view. For these reasons they get my vote!

  5. We've just selected new windows for our place - what a process! I like the ones in the picture you posted, I think the the beam going across the top makes them a little different (in a good way) and as you said, it means your view won't be interrupted.

  6. Lovely post and beautiful images. Great examples of each point.


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