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One of the most rewarding aspects of getting older is settling into a sense of style. Whereas before, you might have eagerly sought outside approval or darted back and forth between advice columns in various home magazines, now you only have one person to please, one person to listen to: you.

This personal sense of style extends to the clothes you wear, the art you hang, the throw pillows you choose, and – of course – the window styles you prefer.

At Golden Windows, we understand that there is no single, homogenous style. Instead, we serve customers with an array of backgrounds, concerns, tastes, lifestyles and architectures. Our job is to give you your perfect window, whether it’s a bay window with an ornate grille pattern or a stark floor-to-ceiling picture window.

Still, some customers do not know what kind of windows they want until they see them – or read about them. To help, this article offers inspiration by breaking down a few common styles. We have chosen three categories: Modern, Traditional and Functional. Although these categories overlap, categorizing in this way helps us understand some fundamental differences in the way people approach choosing windows.

So, what’s your window style? Read through the following breakdown, and, when you are ready for new windows, contact us to turn your unique vision into custom windows.


Traditional Window Style

"Traditional" encompasses a broad umbrella of window styles, including Classical, Neoclassical, Edwardian, Victorian and more. We group them together as “traditional” because they are styles adapted from historical architecture. They also share some common characteristics: They are often ornate, stately and detailed.

Traditional window styles fit neatly in heritage houses, farmhouses, rustic cottages and revivalist architectural homes. They can also be applied to modern homes to imbue them with a sense of refinement and flair.

In this section, let’s walk through a couple of traditional windows and explore the materials, grille patterns and colours typical of the traditional style.

Traditional Windows

If you want to incorporate traditional windows into your home, you have several options.

Classic bay and bow windows are a perfect accompaniment for cottages and classical homes. They are bold, bright, multi-panelled windows that originated in the mansions of the English Renaissance. Back then, architects used bay and bow windows to signify importance; the windows were often placed prominently behind the lord of the manor, who enjoyed a spotlight of natural sunshine.

More recently, bay and bow windows became popular in North America for how they maximize natural light. Bay and bow windows continue to impress today, adding loftiness, light and grandeur to a room.

Architectural windows are another fantastic choice. These windows come in various traditional shapes: half rounds, quarter rounds, gothic, ellipticals, segmentals, arch, ovals, and many more. At Golden Windows, we can custom design and manufacture your architectural windows to fit your home’s unique architecture.

Finally, double hung windows remain popular among homeowners considering a traditional style. These classic windows, which feature two vertically sliding sashes, work especially beautifully in farmhouse and colonial style homes.

Grille Patterns

In the past, window grilles (sometimes called grids) were used to hold together separate panes of glass. It was easier for companies to ship smaller panes of glass (less risk of breakage) and then assemble them into a window using slats of material.

Nowadays, grilles are ornamental – a nod to the past. While some modern styles eschew window grilles, traditional windows still often feature grilles.

At Golden Windows, you can choose from grille patterns like Colonial, Muskoka, Victorian and 2” Horizontal. Or, we can design you a custom grille pattern.  

Materials

In our recent blog post about types of window materials, we noted that wood is the classic choice. Used in window construction since at least 100 AD (though probably earlier), wood has enjoyed two millennia of popularity, throughout changes in architectural and design trends.

It remains the go-to choice for homeowners who prefer a traditional window style. Its natural texture and rustic appearance recall a more bespoke era of house construction when artisans worked directly with their materials to craft the elements of a house. At Golden Windows, we continue the craftsman tradition; our GoldenWood windows are designed and manufactured by a team of experts right here in Kitchener.

You can also achieve a traditional look with aluminum-clad windows, which feature an extruded aluminum-clad exterior with a wood interior. This allows you to benefit from the beauty of interior wood and the durability of exterior aluminum.

Traditional-Window-Grilles

Colours

Where wood is concerned, we offer pine as our standard, although we can source any wood species of your choosing. Wood windows can be stained any colour to compliment your particular style. To reinforce the classic look of a wood window, you might also consider pine or stained pine exterior brickmould.

If you have chosen a GoldenClad aluminum clad window, you have your choice of exterior colours. Choose from our six standard colours:

  • Golden White
  • Taupe
  • Golden Sable
  • Black
  • Cranberry
  • and Green

Or select from 28 optional colours. If you have a precise tone and shade in mind, contact us about creating custom colours for your windows.


Modern Window Style

We can differentiate modern (sometimes called contemporary) window styles by their relative simplicity. Whereas traditional window styles may lean heavily into ornateness, with impressive displays of visual intricacy, modern windows are often stripped down and basic (but no less impressive). They favour clean lines and simple colours, allowing the window to serve its primary duty of providing natural light and unobstructed views.

In this section, let’s explore a couple of common modern windows and survey different materials and colours typical of the style.

Modern Windows

Perhaps the trendiest modern window style is the picture window – a tall, impressive, fixed-pane window usually without grilles. You can generally find these statement windows flanked by smaller, operable windows to create a structured framing effect.

Another popular choice for modern homes is the double sliding patio door. Although “door” is in the name, several organizations, like National Resources Canada, group sliding patio doors with windows because of their large glass panels. Double sliding patio doors feature four panels, with the two doors in the middle sliding open outward into the back patio. 

Other popular choices for modern windows are casement windows and slider windows.

Modern-Patio-Doors

Grille or No Grille?

Grille or no grille, that is the question. For many, the answer is a mixture.

While modern homes benefit from some clear, unobstructed windows, simple grille patterns like the Colonial or 2” Horizontal feel right at home as well. They add visual and geometrical intrigue without detracting from a minimalist appearance.

That said, the choice is entirely yours. How complicated you want your grilles, or whether you want grilles at all, is a personal choice you make based on your intimate understanding of your house, personal taste and home design objectives.

Materials

There is no correct answer when selecting materials for a modern window. Aluminum clad is a fantastic choice because it features both the sleek sophistication of exterior aluminum and the restrained simplicity of interior wood.

Vinyl is a fashionable choice for modern windows too. In addition to its clean look and customizability, it is also very energy efficient. Most modern architectural trends look beyond aesthetics to consider a home’s overall efficiency and liveability. Vinyl windows, especially a triple glazed window made with vinyl, boost your home’s efficiency, making it more comfortable and eco-friendlier.

Colours

Modern design trends tend to favour monochrome or greyscale colours. Our Golden White and Black are popular choices, as are the optional Wedgewood, Dove Grey and Pearl Grey.  

Bear in mind, we are only evaluating trends. We are taking a broad-stroke look at what is popular in modern windows. You can – and should – feel free to buck the trend, add splashes of colour, and design your windows however you see fit.


Functional Windows

“Functional” isn’t a style, per se. Think of it as more of an approach. While some homeowners prefer to foreground aesthetics when they choose windows, others take a more practical approach; they want their windows to be, first and foremost, working elements of their home. Windows should brighten your entrance, lower your energy bill, ventilate your kitchen, etc. Windows should serve you.

It’s important to remember that functionality isn’t a mutually exclusive concept, and can be mixed with modern or traditional styles to provide you with the perfect windows for your home and lifestyle. If you prefer functional windows with a dash of traditional panache, you might choose the GoldenWood Casement Window, which marries the warmness of wood with the practicality of an operable window. If you want a modern window that also functions as ventilation and outdoor access, you might not choose a “window” at all, but rather a large sliding patio door in sleek, black aluminum.

You have plenty of options for combining functionality with the styles above. Contact us to chat more about your particular vision, or book an appointment at one of our showrooms to see our custom windows and doors in Kitchener, Kanata and London up-close.

In this section, we take a slightly different approach. Instead of highlighting specific windows, colours and materials, we will explore window replacements through the lenses of ventilation, energy efficiency and ease of maintenance. If you prefer to think about windows as “function-first” and then decide whether you want a classic or modern look, start by reading through this section.

Ventilation

Even the most steadfastly modern homes need windows for ventilation. A house cannot function with fixed picture windows alone. At Golden Windows, we offer several choices for operable windows, like the slider window, hung window, casement and awning window.

Slider windows and hung windows are ideal for rooms with interior or exterior space constraints, as the sashes run flatly on a track. They allow you to ventilate a room without obstructing space.

Casement windows open completely at a side hinge, allowing you to direct the airflow. And awning windows open from a top hinge, which allows you to ventilate a room even when it’s raining outside. You can tailor each of these ventilating window types to a traditional or modern style by choosing suitable materials, colours and stains.

Energy Efficiency

At Golden Windows, we take energy efficiency seriously. A core function of your windows should be keeping your home sealed against the elements. You should not lose heat in the winter or air-conditioning in the summer. Moreover, you and your family should feel comfortable, free of chilly drafts and leaking AC.

Luckily, all of our products – from traditional bay windows to modern picture windows – utilize Low-E glass, superior materials and expert construction to increase your home’s efficiency. If you have the time, read through our blog post on energy ratings, which breaks down the importance of choosing efficient window and door products for your home.

Ease of Maintenance

If easy maintenance is high on your priority list, you will find several excellent window options at Golden Windows. Slider windows and double-hung windows, in particular, are very easy to maintain. The former features two sashes on a single track, while the latter allows you to pivot the sashes toward the interior for effortless cleaning.

As for materials, vinyl is often regarded as the easiest to maintain, although aluminum clad is also undemanding. Wood, meanwhile, requires more involvement. But, armed with a few resources and some foreknowledge, even wood is an uncomplicated material to keep in good condition.

What style would you choose? Do you prefer the stately appearance of a wood bay window or the trendy look of a floor-to-ceiling fixed window? Do you consider windows for their appearance first and foremost, or is function more important to you?

Whichever style you choose, Golden Windows can manufacture the perfect windows and doors for your home. Contact us to discuss your upcoming renovation or construction project. Or call us to book a showroom appointment, and view our traditional, modern and functional windows up-close.

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