The way we live in and use our homes has changed dramatically over the past century. They have become a “hub” for busy families with intersecting schedules accommodating work, school, sports, and other activities. This naturally has changed how homes are designed, as attention is paid to function and how the space reflects its occupants. This contemporary design is an intentional choice to reflect how a thoughtfully designed building will change to meet the homeowner’s needs over the years.
Contemporary design means no opportunity for functionality is overlooked, and that includes windows. Visible from both inside and out, the size, placement and function of each window is a critical factor in defining the home and its many purposes. Windows also contribute to the evolving functionality of spaces within a structure. Some guidelines that bring contemporary sensibility to your home’s overall style include:
1. Deliver light as far into the space as possible: when utilized correctly, the constantly changing light that flows through windows can transform an interior. Balancing the placement of windows to deliver natural light as far into a built structure accomplishes one of the primary principles of contemporary design: serve a utilitarian purpose, not a decorative one.
2. Promote indoor air quality: Proper ventilation for a home goes beyond opening a window or two. Stacked ventilation, for example, utilizes roof windows in combination with wall windows, creating updrafts that funnel warm air outdoors and away from living areas. Interior window openings can help channel fresh air to a home’s more remote locations.
3. Minimize ornamentation to maximize impact: With the right positioning, spectacular scenery can become the focus of a room, even the focus of a home. Whether as a huge picture window or a perfectly aligned group of smaller windows, this reinforces a home’s connection to its surroundings and is commonly referred to as managing the view.
4. Erase the divide between interior and exterior: Walls of windows or patio doors can help connect the interior of a home with the immediate surroundings. Thresholds are minimized, rooflines blend into tree lines, and outdoor spaces become your expanded living space.
5. Knowing which windows match a contemporary style is key to achieving that contemporary look. To that end, this free site connects home styles and the proper windows based on architectural need.
A contemporary style can live and flourish within any home. The thoughtfulness of the design, combined with the fluid qualities of the space, makes contemporary a style that will never go out of style. With the right architectural anchors such as windows selected for a lifetime of use, your home’s journey is on the right path.
Created by Jay Libby
With more than 30 years of experience in product design and design research, Jay Libby is the Creative Services Manager at Andersen Windows.