Progress on the SDG Cottage is slow. As I continue to search for the best builder and products for our little project, the universe keeps interjecting its opinion on budgets and timing. I’m learning to roll with it and trust that we’re headed in the right direction at the right time. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but keeping an attitude of gratitude helps.
Today, I’m grateful to Jay Libby, the Creative Services Manager for Andersen Windows. Finding the right windows at the best price has been a challenge, as the ones in our 76 year-old cottage aren’t energy-efficient, are either warped or rotting, and don’t let in nearly enough light.
Today’s manufacturing processes give us access to leak free, energy-saving, light emitting options. Jay agreed to step in and share his tips on how to choose the right windows for your home and lifestyle::
As the world shrinks, the line dividing our home life from the rest of our lives also blurs. There’s a trend shifting from reserving the home for a single set of functions to expanding its utility to encompass work, play, and nurturing family connections. Contemporary home design principles have evolved over the past century to reflect this – rather than taking its cues from historic procedures or precedent, contemporary home design is rooted in the 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. Every aspect of the building materials is considered for how its raw form contributes to a design that – rather than dictating how you live in the space – can shift to support how you want to live in your home and the lifestyle you desire.
Visible from both inside & out, the size, placement and function of each window is a critical factor in defining a home for its inhabitants, guests and the community. 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, roof lines 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: https://www.andersenwindows.com/home-styles/#industrial-modern
It’s easy to appreciate the simple elegance of contemporary design principles, as well as the brilliance of the premise: rather than dictating how you live, a contemporary home’s open spaces & clean lines are really a blank canvas ready to bloom with the colors of the life you live. A contemporary home can grow with you from integrating work life connections to expanding for family members young and old, and even simplifying life in later years. This evolving definition is what helps keep contemporary design contemporary, and relevant for any lifestyle.
– Jay Libby
With more than 30 years of experience in product design and design research, Jay Libby knows windows. I’m grateful he took the time to share his insights. I learned a little something and hope you did too!
True Story:: I’m feeling a little envious of those mountain views seen through Andersen’s windows at the moment and hoping the homeowners know how blessed they are. Right now, I’m looking at a brick wall. Seriously. It’s the side of the building across from our rental apartment. It blocks the sun and is the one thing that makes me miss my old house and look forward to the new one at the same time.
Tell me about your view. Is it mountain, beach, rooftop, alley, or backyard? What makes your view special? If, like mine, your view isn’t up to snuff, what do you need change in order to make it the view of your dreams?
Do me a solid and say a little prayer that things start to fall into view at the cottage? I need all the help I can get!
Author’s Note: I was not compensated for this post in way, shape, or form. No money or product was exchanged or offered. The information presented was written and photography distributed by Andersen Windows.