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How To Screw Up A Home: Window Placement

bad window placement in new constructionWhen building or remodeling a home it is important to consider window placement from the interior first.  This is where many subdivision homes or remodeling projects can go terribly wrong.  Someone decides to line windows up all nice and neat on the outside, completely ignoring what happens on the interior and people are left scratching their heads.  It becomes a game of where to put the furniture, walls which shouldn’t hold artwork and window treatments which never look right.

Warning: by reading further you are indulging me in a slightly bitchy soap-box moment. 🙂  But I dare you to disagree.

bad window placement for the interiorLooks great on the outside but notice how this cuts up the room on the inside. It is even more prevalent in new construction.

So where did we go wrong?

Likely with the homogenization of homes in the late 1940’s.  Get it up, get it in, add lots of windows, call it a home – right next to 100 others which look exactly the same.  It became a habit, and dare I say while guys have a great appreciation and understanding of symmetry, when it comes to houses they’ve taken it way too far.  The windows do not have to all line up or be the same!

(Can we scream this any louder?  Or maybe I should make some bumper stickers.)

Proof can be found by visiting earlier styles of architecture to see how they treated window placement.Shingle style homeWhile this shingle style home is fairly boxy in shape what gives it interest is the windows.  They are not all the same and they employ a very clever trick, gang windows together.  This allows more light to shine into the interior.Victorian shingle style home in Harbor Springs MichiganThis Victorian version of the shingle style employs the same brilliance of window placement. Group windows together to make a single large one!Dana Thomas House by Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright understood window placement. Case Study home #9Case Study House #9 by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen illustrates the purpose of windows which many seem to have forgotten. How windows should be put together in a homeThe purpose of a window is to allow light into a space, to enhance the interior.  The view may or may not be a consideration, but the real reason for windows is for light, not because they look good on the outside of a building.  You’ll get a much happier and more usable interior by planning the windows from the inside out.


Photos: 1-3 Zillow, 4 About.com, 5-6 Me, and 7 Daily Icon

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