Use Windows to Communicate Your Contemporary Design

Whether building a new home or remodeling an existing one, every homeowner wants to make the most of the space. For today’s lifestyles, that often means multi-functioning spaces throughout the blueprint. Known as “Contemporary,” these home design principles have evolved over the past century from a core belief that a home should be a “machine for the living.”

No opportunity for functionality is overlooked with a contemporary design, 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. It also contributes to the evolving functionality of spaces within a structure. Some guidelines for any new build or remodel 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.

With the right investment in thought and design, a contemporary home’s open spaces and clean lines become a blank canvas ready to bloom with the colors of the life you live, and remain relevant for your life as it grows and changes.


With more than 30 years of experience in product design and design research, Jay Libby is the Creative Services Manager at Andersen Windows.

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