How to Select the Window That Fits Your Home’s Style

You can find a lot of articles about window furnishings and window treatments online. They discuss everything from drapes and vertical blinds to romans and roller shades.

And that’s great. But everyone fails to mention the most important design feature in any home – inside and out – the windows themselves!

It’s easy to see that windows are an integral part of the overall “look” of your home. Just stand outside and look up, or stand in any room and look around. You will instantly see how much wall space is devoted to the windows. Have you noticed how your eyes are drawn to the windows too, and not just for the view outside?

Windows are more than pieces of glass. Their shape, size, style and the finish of the frame speak volumes about your house. They can make or break a room. And that is why color and finish are important.

Think of your windows as framed works of art. The wrong frame can really detract from a picture, while the right frame can make all the difference. You wouldn’t put a beautiful old portrait in a brushed stainless frame, just as you would never put an abstract painting or a modern poster in a heavy baroque frame.

The same effect happens with windows. An older home with a distinct architectural style should have windows that complement the home. We all notice when a beautiful older home in the neighborhood, gets replacement windows that just don’t match… It’s just not in keeping with the style and sticks out.

But, thankfully, replacement windows don’t have to be “one style fits all”. Today’s custom manufactured windows are made to fit your exterior and interior home design as well as your window opening. They can be made just for you, however you want them, because quality window manufacturers know homeowners need choices, such as the choice of two different colors or finishes in one window-one to suit the exterior of the house and one to suit the interior design of the room.

For example, a classic white trim might be the perfect choice for your Cape Cod cottage, but those interior rooms could probably benefit from the warmth of wood. So you can have white exterior trim and a wood grain finish such as oak, pine or maple inside to match your flooring or to complement your furniture.

And while white is classic and versatile, let’s face it, it’s not always suitable. Try another shade on the exterior, such as forest green, and still have your warm wood trim on the inside. The choice is yours. Today’s window manufacturers offer an astonishing array of colors, tones and finishes to suit every taste and designed to enhance every home.

Quality window companies are sure to have design consultants on their team. With an eye for detail and harmony, a window design consultant will help you choose the perfect color palette and show you all the options available, so you make the right choice for each room and for your home, inside and out.

While it is important to dress up your windows with just the right coverings and hardware, it’s equally important to choose the right window first. You really can have fun choosing replacement windows these days because of the myriad options out there now. In fact, you might not even want to cover those windows once you see them installed. They will be so beautiful; you’ll notice they are a design element all on their own.

New Zealand Interior Design

In terms of architecture and interior design, New Zealand is a relatively young country when you compare it to the likes of America and England. The design choices, both interior and exterior, have traditionally mirrored that of the countries where most migrants originated from – predominantly the Pacific and Europe. However, over the last few decades New Zealand has developed its own tastes and architectural design elements that blend together the built environment and the unique surrounding natural environment. To compliment this style, interior design has also changed. New Zealand has created its own style that celebrates its heritage, and combined it with modern touches and creative flamboyance.

If you look back to the first half of the 20th Century, New Zealand homes were decorated very sparsely. Traditionally interior decorating included antique furniture, floral print fabrics, fine bone china and sparsely decorated rooms. By the 1940’s state housing was predominant and interior decorating remained minimal.

Post-war immigration during 1950’s could be seen as a starting point for subtle changes to our interior design choices. New Zealand experienced a large influx of immigrants leaving post-war Europe, including architects who brought with them the principles of the ‘modern’ architectural movement. At this stage Scandinavian designs were also taking the world by storm – both for exterior design and interior wooden pieces.

The 1960’s and 1970’s saw the beginning of more Pacific influences in design. Colourful and adventurous fabrics started to make their way into New Zealand homes. These fabrics complemented the new ‘open plan’ living and ‘indoor-outdoor’ flow of homes that started to emerge during the 1970’s. At this stage New Zealand’s distinct design tastes began to emerge.

By the 1980’s there were a broad range of architectural styles available – colonial, American colonial, Cape Cod, Ranch, Swiss, Japanese and English country, Mediterranean, to name a few. As a result interior design also started to become more creative, and many consider the mid-1980’s as the coming of age of interior design in New Zealand.

Over the next three decades New Zealand homes became truly international. All designs were tried, and architects also started to construct houses to fit New Zealand’s unique environment. Homes were built to maximise sunlight with main living areas facing north, allowing more natural light. The open-plan look became the most popular with less internal walls and better flow, again taking advantage of natural light. And New Zealand’s popular pastime of entertaining around the barbecue meant the popular indoor-outdoor flow was here to stay.

As a result, interior design changed also. Over the next three decades designers mixed all the cultural influences of European and Asian migrants with Maori and Pacific design, to emerge with what has become a distinct New Zealand style. Many homes started using fabrics and patterns that mixed outdoor elements with indoor décor colours. Interior designers combined different patterns and textures to bring homes to life.

Now you will find a mix of interior design choices in New Zealand homes. Floral, stripes, Maori koru and weaves, earthy tones and bright pacific colours all cleverly blended together to create a unique style. As well as the popular Pacific theme, many modern homes combine classic or antique pieces with modern décor, and retro interiors are also currently in vogue. Fabrics range from classic linen, cotton, and silk to new fabrics such as bamboo, merino and possum fur (sourced in New Zealand).