row of Victorian houses in London with Victorian sash windows

Best Windows For A Period Property

Window style is often overlooked as an aspect of interior design. You think about how the window functions first: whether to go for double or triple glazing for maximum insulation? What pane configuration will let the most sunlight soak into your rooms? The way your window actually looks can become a secondary factor. Whether you choose functional PVC or simply stunning timber frames, you’ll likely factor in the cost, how long the material lasts, and the insulating properties before you consider the design impact on your room. 

This is a shame. Box sash windows will bring as much vintage elegance to a room as a restored cast iron fireplace, while a sleek roof lantern will turn a modern, minimalist space into a sun-soaked masterpiece. Carefully chosen, windows can make an impressive impact on your interior design.

Replacing windows is an important, if infrequent, part of maintaining your home – you should always consider your choices from all angles. Appearance might not be your first priority but it should be a strong consideration.

With a period property, it should maybe be your first priority. Keeping your choices sympathetic to the period can make a hefty impression on the value of your home. If your house is listed or in a conservation area, you may even be bound by law to keep within certain styles. Even if you modernise the interior, having an authentic period appearance from the outside brings instant kerb appeal. Not to mention, instant value.

Rules to Remember When Choosing Period Windows

Before we get involved in features of specific periods, there are a couple of things that will apply to all heritage properties.

Your ultimate goal should always be historical accuracy. Like all other aspects of architectural design, window design followed fashions which evolved over the decades. A house built at the start of the century won’t benefit from designs that were fashionable towards the end.

If you know the age of your property, and your existing windows seem appropriate you can replace like-for-like without much concern. If they don’t seem faithful to the period of your property, take a look at your neighbours and other other similar buildings locally for inspiration, as well as reading on to find out the fashions of the time.

A Brief History of Windows

Historically, windows were often used as status symbols. The construction and materials were expensive, and big, bold, bright windows were the wealthy homeowner’s way of flashing their fortunes. This is why an old English manor house always seems to have vast floor-to-ceiling windows, while cute, compact casements seem to default as cottage windows.

Glass manufacturing limitations also played a part in fashions and designs. Originally, it was only possible to create thin, fragile panes that had to be small to stay stable. This is why many heritage windows are built using multiple panes in a grid. As technology improved and glass got stronger, less panes were needed. The patterns were then influenced more by appearance instead.

What Windows Are Best for Tudor Properties?

Glass was weak and very fragile during the Tudor period. Most windows featured a large proportion of lead lattice work, often in rectangles or diamonds. 

They didn’t exactly feature frames as we would understand them, and were often inserted straight into stone. Large windows would often be broken down into smaller leaded sections that were placed between a stone grid for support.

What Are Georgian Windows?

As glass grew stronger, Georgian windows left behind the invasive lead lattice, and moved on to more spacious timber frames.

Box sash windows were common with the intricate pulley and weight system concealed with the wooden frame.

These were still supported in a grid pattern (eight over eight or six over six) to give the largest possible windows when glass still wasn’t stable enough to support large panes.

Which Windows Suit Victorian Properties?

Victorians stuck with box sash windows, though smaller or rural homes may have had casement windows. They preferred a cleaner, more classic, two over two, pane window. This was only possible because glass was stronger but made windows more expensive. It was another vintage way of flashing your cash.

As the use of so many glazing bars and grids fell out of fashion, ‘horns’ were introduced to sash frames. These help support the weight of the larger glass panes. You can get decorative horns on modern sash windows. Though they don’t serve any function, details like this will help you achieve perfect period authenticity.

What Are Edwardian Windows Like?

Edwardians still used classic sash windows, though they took the best of both worlds from Victorian and Georgian designs. They kept using the ‘horns’ from Victorian windows, but also used the multiple panels of Georgian ones. Six over two panes was the most common.  

They often stuck to a slimline framework between the panes, with thicker timber pieces on the top and bottom. 

What Style Are 1930s Windows?

Architecture of the 1930s was influenced by the Art Deco movement. It saw the rise of decorative coloured glasswork and the distinctive ‘Crittal-style’ windows that used slim geometric steel frames to create a striking appearance. These slim framed metal windows tended to be in the casement design, moving away from sash windows.

Do I Need Planning Permission to Replace Period Property Windows?

The style of your windows might not matter to you, but if you live in a conservation area, it might be your legal duty to care. If your home is covered by an Article 4 Directive, you will need to apply for planning permission to cover almost any work on your house. This includes replacing your windows.

When planning permission is granted, you will be expected to install replacement windows that are as close to the originals as possible. Timber frames are usually preferred over uPVC, due to their heritage appearance. You will need to choose the same style, be that sash, casement etc.

Things get even stricter with listed building windows. You will have to apply for ‘Listed Building Consent’ to make any changes at all.

If you live in a conservation area, we recommend speaking to your local planning department before you begin to look for replacement windows. As well as explaining restrictions to you, they will be able to advise you on the appropriate style and manufacture of windows. 

Here at Windows & More, we offer a variety of windows sympathetic to period properties. We offer JELD-WEN conservation windows and classic box sashes, as well as our own range of beautiful timber windows. Browse our range and get in touch if you have any questions.

Coloured timber windows

What’s the Best Colour for Exterior Windows?

Exterior windows don’t need to be plain. In fact, adding colour to your exterior adds character, and increases your homes’ curb appeal.

If a lavish exterior isn’t for you, have you considered a bold yet understated approach? Instead of opting for a bright colour scheme, a navy blue or charcoal adds an understated touch of class to your home’s exterior.

Thinking about the BEST colour for your exterior windows, there isn’t one. The colour scheme that you go for is down to personal preference; however, there are colour options that reduce the amount of maintenance that your timber windows need.

The colour of your windows says a lot about you. It’s important to consider what you want your home’s exterior to project. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular colours to use for your external windows. Have a look through the options and decide which is best for you and your home.

Black Windows

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Black is an uncommon colour to use for external windows; although, it’s a common colour to use for external doors. Black reduces the amount of maintenance that you need to take out on your home’s exterior. Now, we’re not saying that you can neglect your external windows and doors by going with this colour. We’re implying that you won’t have to clean them as often because dirt is less likely to show up.

Black is a classy colour to use on your home’s exterior. As it’s a dark colour, it contrasts beautifully if your home is rendered in a light colour.

Grey Windows

Grey is an understated colour; it’s classy and modern. It’s light enough that it doesn’t need to be a statement piece, yet it’s dark enough to look great against rendered properties or cottage-style bricks.

As with black, grey still requires maintenance; however, it’s dark enough that you can clean them less often than white.

Blue Windows

If we’re talking navy blue, yes. If we’re talking baby blue, maybe not…

Navy blue is a very classy colour. Against white render, navy blue windows will stand out, while adding colour to your property’s exterior.

With being a dark colour, navy blue is a great choice if you like the reduced maintenance of black, but want something a little different.

Baby blue, however, we wouldn’t recommend. From a distance, baby blue looks like an odd shade of white. It’s also light enough that the frames will require a great deal of upkeep to prevent them from looking dirty. If you’re after white but want to add a twist to it, then baby blue is your colour; however, we’d recommend looking into a darker shade of blue.

Brown Windows

Brown windows follow a similar suit to blue windows. Dark brown works well, and if you get a deep, black undertone shade of brown, you can add a great deal of character to your property. Not to mention the reduced upkeep that it needs.

However, if you go for a lighter shade of brown, or a brown with an orange undertone, you run the risk of increasing the maintenance needed to prevent it from looking dirty. This shade of brown also doesn’t lend well to sun exposure. Over some time, an orange undertone-brown can become washed out and start to look yellow.

Green Windows

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In recent years, green has become a staple colour for many households. It’s mainly used internally on doors, cupboards, and home accessories; however, green has started to creep onto our external windows and doors.

The best type of green to use on your home’s exterior is, what we like to call, cottage green. It’s a beautiful deep, but muted, green. It’s not bright enough to become a lime green, but it’s not dark enough to run in the same category as navy blue.

This cottage green is a really beautiful colour, and works wonderfully against white render; it gives any type of home a country-cottage vibe.

Bright Coloured Windows

If you really want to have that stand-out, full of character, exterior for your home, try something vibrant and loud. There are plenty of colours to choose from that are bound to catch people’s eyes:

  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Lime
  • Baby blue
  • Yellow

And of course, there are tone variations for all of the above as well.

Brightly coloured windows are a statement piece – if you’re after a bit of fun, bright colours work well.

In terms of maintenance, bright colours are prone to showing up dirt and debris, so you’ll need to keep a relatively tight schedule for their upkeep.

There are a few maintenance issues to consider when deciding on your colour; however, the colour you choose for your exterior windows and doors is a personal preference.

Bay window

How Do You Dress a Window?

Dressing a window brings many benefits to your home – they don’t just make it look pretty. Adding curtains or blinds to your window will increase your thermal efficiency and security.

By covering your windows – or having something in place to cover them when you want to – you eliminate draughts coming through your window frame. You also decrease the chance of heat escaping through the glass which decreases your energy bills as you’ll require less heat to warm up your home.

Burglars are opportunists. In most home invasions, the criminal has seen something through a window that they want. By dressing your windows with blinds or curtains, you’re hiding any valuables that may have been on show. This drastically reduces the chances of your home being broken into.

Aside from those 2 major factors, the last reason to dress your window is for decor purposes. This can come in the form of hanging curtains or blinds, but you can also dress your windows by adding a plant to the window sill, or decorating the edge of the frame with fairy lights – this is a great option if you’re on a budget.

Curtains and blinds bring a lot to a room – even though they may get overlooked during the design process.

It’s crucial for curtains and blinds to be measured and fitted correctly. When curtains are too large, your space will look smaller. If they’re too small, they won’t be fulfilling the purposes that made you install them in the first place.

If you want to upgrade your windows, please take a look at our range of high quality and thermal efficient timber windows and aluminium windows.

a bedroom window

What types of window coverings are in style?

The window coverings that are on trend for this year are mainly textured. It seems a lot of us are bringing texture to our interiors in the form of curtains and blinds. Whether that’s a thick set of velvet curtains or a sleek wooden blind.

Modern homes are typically minimal in design – think white walls, silver hardware, and glossy countertops. This is why texture from window coverings work so well. They can be used as colourful statement pieces against a plain backdrop or used to warm up a large open plan area – for warmth, think deep shades of orange wool.

There are many types of window coverings to choose from:

  • Curtains
  • Blinds
  • Shades
  • Linen
  • Velvet
  • Woven wood
  • Silk
  • Wool

Are curtains going out of style?

There are so many choices of curtains out there that them going out of style will never be a thing. Our personal style may change and you may prefer blinds over curtains but there will alway be a need for them. For some people, curtains give them a lot more benefits over blinds.

There are many options for curtains such as colour, design, and texture. Curtains are also easier to cut to size. Blinds are great for understated window dressing, however a lot of people aren’t a fan of their architectural design.

If you’re looking to dress your windows to improve thermal efficiency, curtains are the better choice.

Should I put curtains over blinds?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. Whether you decide to put curtains over your blinds or not is a matter of personal preference.

People often have curtains over blinds to give them more flexibility. Having a blind half open can reduce the amount of light coming in without completely compromising your view to the outside – which is what would happen if you closed your curtains half way. If your blind has slats you’ll still get a bit of light coming through it, even when they’re closed. Remove the light coming through the blinds by installing a set of curtains and closing them in the evening.

There are many ways that you can dress a window, some will want to install blinds or curtains (or both!) and others will want to use items to make the window look pretty.

When dressing your window, consider how much space you have around it, what your budget is, and whether you want to go for blinds or curtains. Think about the design that you currently have in your home, would a sleek set of blinds for your bathroom work better than a lacey curtain? And would curtains for your bay window be cheaper than blinds? Your circumstances are at the heart of your decision for dressing your windows.

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Frosted glass window

Feng Shui for Windows

You might have heard that the eyes are the windows of the soul. Well, when it comes to Feng Shui, the reverse is true: the windows are the eyes of your home. Their job is to allow you to see what’s outside, and to allow light into the home. According to this ancient Chinese school of thought, windows also allow chi to enter and exit the home; and this is certain to impact your life in several essential ways.

If you’re not a spiritual or superstitious person, this may sound like a load of hooey to you, but Feng Shui generally results in balanced minimalist interiors that anyone can enjoy. And if you are interested in it, then you’ll be happy to know that we’re going to look at Feng Shui theory and how it relates to windows in particular.

What is Feng Shui?

Before we go any further, let’s quickly define what it is. As we touched on before, it is an ancient philosophy originating from China with roots going back over 6,000 years. It is a system of laws that governs over buildings, particular the way they are designed to allow for a healthy flow of energy (or ‘chi’). It’s not just the building itself, but also includes the interior too. Some of it is based around superstition that certain things will bring you bad luck, but overall is part of a wider philosophy that emphasises balance, harmony and minimalism.

So what does Feng Shui have to say about the way we use windows in our home? Let’s take a look.

Getting the Right Balance

As with most things in the world of Feng Shui, obtaining the right balance is critical. Windows that are too large will seem overwhelming; windows that are too small will make everything seem dingy. Good Feng Shui practice for windows might mean casements or sash windows, provided that they aren’t too tall and narrow – as this will limit the opportunities which enter the home. With that said, the top of your window should still be taller than the tallest person in the home.

What Shape Should a Window Be?

Either casement or sash windows can sit right with the rules of Feng Shui. However, there’s a rule against inward-opening windows. Outward opening windows are thought to improve your career, increase the amount of fresh air and releases any foul air once opened. Angular windows are, according to the rules of Feng Shui, best for workplaces and public buildings, while rounder ones are more peaceful, and therefore better for the home.

Beds Under Windows?

The bed-under-window superstition is perhaps one of the most well-known Feng Shui guidelines. It’s inconvenient, particularly in smaller bedrooms – but we have to consider that these rules were composed before the invention of double-glazing, and thus there was always a chance that something might have fallen onto the sleeping person from outside. Nevertheless, if you want to stick by the rules, it’s worth moving the bed to the opposite side of the room – that way you’ll be able to put a radiator underneath the window and give the warm air a chance to properly circulate.

Window Placement

If windows and doors are directly aligned, then energy will tend to ‘rush’ through the home. This is especially so when the doors and windows are just a short distance from one another. So, ideally, you don’t want to be stepping out of one room to be confronted immediately by a window. When doors and windows are placed so close to one another that they actually touch when opened, this creates an effect known as ‘arguing’ – this will spell trouble and conflict for everyone living in the home.

Kitchens and bathrooms are considered important from a Feng Shui perspective, and thus deserving of more than one window. In modern homes, which come with extractor fans, this isn’t much of a practical concern – but it’s still worth thinking about if you want to be comprehensively Feng Shui.

Plant on a window ledge

Window Treatments for Autumn 2019

A great set of windows deserves the right treatment. Modern homeowners can avail themselves of an unprecedented range of options: there are half a dozen sorts of blinds to choose from, along with curtains of varying weights and colours. You might even decide to go for one set of each!

Types of Window Treatments

Given the variety of window-dressings available, it’s worth taking the time to acquaint ourselves with a few of the more popular options. We’ll start with blinds, and then move to curtains.

Roller Blinds

A rolled up tube of fabric that unfurls from the top of your window and retracts into a small space. This won’t entirely cover your window, but it is lightweight and practical.

Venetian Blinds

These are the horizontal strips which can be rotated to adjust the amount of light reaching the interior. They can be wooden or metal, with the latter offering a little more flexibility.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds work in the same way as Venetians, except that they hang in vertical strips rather than in horizontal ones.

Roman Blinds

Romans function a bit like roller blinds, except they’re heavier, and not on a roller. You’ll need a bit of space at the top of your window to accommodate them, otherwise they’ll prevent light from getting inside even when they’re fully open.

Voile Curtains

Voile curtains are made from an extremely lightweight, usually white, fabric. This means that it can ensure your privacy while still allowing natural light in. Voiles are often used in combination with other sorts of curtain.

Blackout Curtains

Some curtains come equipped with a layer of thick fabric sewn into the rear, called a blackout lining. This prevents sunlight from getting in. This is ideal if you’re looking to enjoy a film during the day-time, or catch up on some sleep. Blackout linings will also reduce heat loss, making them the energy-efficient choice.

Window Treatments Trends

So what’s in vogue in the world of blinds and curtains in autumn 2019? As ever, homeowners are concerned about the financial cost of heating their homes – but, to an unprecedented degree, they’re also concerned about the environmental cost. As such, blackout curtains are just as popular as ever they were.

When it comes to curtains, mustard yellow is a bold choice but a popular one this season, and works best with matching accents in throw cushions, and otherwise neutral-toned walls and furniture. On the other hand, you might go in the opposite direction: if your walls are already looking on the loud side, you can tone things down by going to black, white or grey curtains, which we’ve seen cropping up a lot on our design feeds.

If you’re looking to do something with blinds, then a set of Roman blinds with a busy pattern is on-point at the moment, as are the wooden Venetian blinds, which work well for kitchen spaces where fabrics don’t work so well.

Your taste in window dressing will be as individual as you are. Moreover, those tastes are likely to change over time – so if you’re going to go bold, be sure that you appreciate that doing so is inherently risky. Having said that, you won’t achieve the interior of your dreams without taking a little bit of a risk!

Aluminium windows

Choosing the Right Colour Window Frames

There are now more options than ever when it comes to windows and in particular, window colour.

The colour of your window frames can help you achieve many different effects, and when done right, can add a new dimension to the facade of your home.

Before we go into choosing the right colour window frame for your home, here’s some advice: try not to go for whatever’s hot on Pinterest right now, or what’s ‘in’ – unless you’re absolutely sure you’re going to love it years down the line, or have the means to keep up with changing trends.

Windows will be a fixture of your house that last many years, so simply choosing what’s trendy right now is bad practice since if you change your mind, you’ll be stuck with your decision for a while.

Why Does Your Window Frame Colour Matter?

Windows are a vital feature of any home or building, but what do different window frame colours achieve, other than being a colour that you like? Think of the window as a whole and what impact you want it to have.

Dark colours create a sleek and smooth feel. Black window frames, for example, will give the feeling that the window is blending into the frame, for a uniform smoothness.

Bright colours, like a white window frame, make the window stand out, bringing in colour contrasts and vibrancy to the facade.

Glossy window frames will accentuate the frame, giving it a deeper colour and a more distinct look. A matt window frame, however, is much subtler – ideal if you don’t want to distract from the rest of your home’s exterior.

Think about how you can contrast colours against the facade to create truly striking windows. A dark window frame on a bright facade creates that colour contrast, and gives it its own personality (not to mention that bright houses with dark windows are always really striking).

These are all extra facets of design that can be achieved through the colour of your window frame, and as with lots of houses, everything is in the details.

Things to Consider When Choosing Window Frame Colours

So, how do you choose the right window frame colour for your home?

Most people will opt for either black window frames, white window frames, or neutral grey windows. These are strong colours and they’re a safe bet. At least one of those three will complement the colour of the facade and particularly works well if the facade colour is relatively subdued compared to the strong window frame colour.

If you don’t want to play it safe, there’s plenty of other colour options. Bright blue window frames set against a bright, white facade gives you that nautical, dreamy beach house look. Or how about a deep red if you have a wooden facade? This will combine well with nature and your garden.

Similar principles apply for the interior colour of your window frame. Bright colours, like white aluminium windows, will add a softness to the window when observed from the inside, whilst coloured upvc windows can be deployed in a number of different ways so you can realise your vision for the house.

Shop our website for a fantastic range of Jeld Wen windows including sash windows, casement windows and our handmade bespoke range. Free shipping is available to anywhere on the UK mainland – get in touch and order today!

Victorian windows

Is Your Home Edwardian, Victorian, or Georgian?

Not sure whether your home is Edwardian, Victorian or Georgian? In this post, we’re going to look at how you can classify the period your home was built in. Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian homes have a particular style and aesthetic that’s unique to the period.

First, the Georgian period. This ran from 1714-1837.

All of these eras get their name from the monarch or monarchs that presided over the time. The Georgian era reflects the monarchy of King George I, George II, George III and, you guessed it, George IV.

This period saw a boom in culture, social reform, enlightenment values, political upheaval and of course, The Industrial Revolution. An example of quintessential Georigan architecture is The Royal Crescent in Bath.

Royal Crescent Bath

After the Georgian period came the Victorian era, running from 1837 to 1901.

This was named after just one royal, the now second-longest serving monarch, Queen Victoria. Historically, the Victorian period is a mixed bag. There was lots of social and technological advancement during this time. Education and literacy grew massively but the period is also associated with repression and general stuffiness. Some classic Victorian architecture examples are The Royal Albert Hall (pictured below) and King’s Cross Station.

Royal Albert Hall

The Edwardian era succeeded the Victorian period and is a brief epoch lasting from 1901 to 1910.

It lasted just nine years, but during that period there was massive reform. Culture, fashion and the arts flourished, the fight for women’s suffrage had just begun, and Britain was sailing blindly towards The Great War, after which life would never be the same again. The London Palladium is a good example of Edwardian baroque architecture.

London Palladium

After that brief history lesson, let’s look at some of the defining features of the homes of each period…

Is Your Home Georgian?

Let’s start from the beginning. The Georgian era is when British houses started to really stand out. Tudor and Stuart era homes definitely have their own charm and appeal, but Georgian architecture brought Britain on to an even keel with continental Europe. Inspired by the symmetry of Renaissance architecture, the classic Georgian house can be identified as a three or four storey townhouse, with stucco-fronted external walls. Think Islington, Marylebone and Regent’s Park.

Example of a Georgian Home

The expanse in wealth saw a desire for more space and comfort. There was more emphasis on higher ceilings and natural light, as previous homes tended to be cluttered, cramped and dark. This was the era of Enlightenment, culture and money – homes had to reflect this social change.

A quirky feature of many Georgian era homes are bricked-up windows. These Georgian windows tell a story of 18th Century tax avoidance. The ‘window tax’ was implemented in 1696 as a form of income tax. The more windows on your property, the more tax you pay. If you look at stately Georgian homes, you’ll see they are fronted with many symmetrical sash windows. An easy workaround was to just fill them in! After the window tax was lifted, many just stayed filled in.

How to Spot a Georgian Property:

  • A stucco-fronted ground floor, with exposed brickwork for the higher storeys.
  • Sash windows – the top floor windows will often be much smaller, as these were traditionally the servant quarters.
  • Symmetrical exteriors.
  • Often townhouses, but country manors would also be an exercise in symmetry and incorporated other features like Palladian columns.
  • Ornate front doors.
  • Spacious interior rooms with a balanced layout.

Is Your Home Victorian?

The full effects of the Industrial Revolution created a wider and more populous middle class. This meant buying and owning a house became a realistic possibility for many (not just the landed gentry), and as a result, Victorian era houses were built on a mass scale.

Terraced housing was a big feature of Victorian homes, as they were in the Georgian era. However, Georgian terraces were typically opulent multi-storey townhouses with grand living spaces.

Example of Victorian Houses

Victorian terraces reflected the Industrial era. More worker’s barracks than Georgian townhouses, these terraces popped up near factories all over the country. Known as ‘back-to-backs’, this style of house eventually became illegal to build, but were the most common poor Victorian house.

Victorian houses for the wealthy typically featured pitched roofs as well as high ceilings and large windows. Internally however, there was a big shift. Houses had a narrower footprint to compensate for a rapidly growing class of homeowners. Cheaper terraces had the typical ‘two up, two down’ internal layout, whereas more expensive homes would be much grander with gothic features and ornate detailing.

How to Spot a Victorian Home:

  • High pitched roofs.
  • Bay windows. The quintessential Victorian feature.
  • Multiple fireplaces – often in every room.
  • Ornate detailing – frequently found on a porch or around windows. Brickwork porches were also a common feature.
  • A narrow hallway with rooms for entertaining off to the side.
  • Wooden floors.
  • Gable trim.
  • Patterned floor tiles inside and coloured brickwork outside.
  • Elaborate lighting.
  • Stained glass windows.

Is Your Home Edwardian?

Edwardian and Victorian homes are very similar in design. In fact, the era of ‘Victorian architecture’ will often include the entire period of Edwardian architecture too, as it is only nine years long.

Edwardian style reflected a change in attitude as simple, thoughtful design was preferred over ostentatious and superfluous features. In a world where everything was becoming mass-produced, there was a shift towards using more artisanal and hand-made features.

Example of an Edwardian House

After filling urban areas with Georgian and Victorian townhouses and rows and rows of terraced houses, the Geogian era saw the idea of the suburbs emerge.

This gave way for more emphasis on privacy, so houses were built a short distance back from walkways. Edwardian interiors also had more emphasis on light and space with wider rooms, extra windows, and spacious hallways.  Houses also adopted Edwardian bricks, and red brickwork became a common feature of Edwardian properties.

So, what are some other common Edwardian house features?

How to Spot an Edwardian Home:

  • Front gardens.
  • Small sloping roofs.
  • Wooden porch.
  • Mock-Tudor features.
  • Parquet and polished wood flooring.
  • Lots of natural light.
  • Sash windows.
  • Lighter colours and floral wallpaper.
  • Art nouveau glass.
  • Decorative fireplaces – not in every room.
  • Wicker furniture.
  • Georgian throwbacks.

Looking for new windows for your home? Our handmade bespoke windows can be designed to complement homes from any era. Talk to us about your requirements today.

child sat in bay window

How to Decorate Bay Windows

Window arrangements that protrude from the side of a building are, by and large, known as bay windows.  They offer several advantages:

  • They look great.
  • They’ll allow more natural light into your home.
  • They provide a pleasant space for you to bask on a summer’s day.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of a bay window however is its versatility.  It can be arranged just about however you’d like, and you won’t be as limited by the room’s existing dimensions as you would be when installing a flat window.

Styles of Bay Windows

The term ‘bay window’ can be applied to a wide range of structures.

  • There are traditional bay windows, which consist of three windows arranged at 90, 135 or 150 degrees to one another.
  • There are ‘bow’ style windows, which consist of a longer, shallower arch of four or more panels. There are ‘oriel’ style bays, which typically sit on the first floor, where they hover above the porch, supported by brick corbels.
  • Then there are ‘circle’ bays, which protrude up to six feet from the building to form a large glass cylinder, often capped with a little cone-shaped roof.

While the more traditional design is by far the most popular, there is tremendous scope for variety within it.  Different styles of bay window will benefit from a different style of decoration.  Generally speaking, if you’ve got more space to play with, you can risk grander decor without overwhelming the room.  If your window is smaller, then subtler styles will generally be better suited.

What Are the Best Uses for a Bay Window?

When you’re thinking about how to dress up your bay windows, it’s often best to think about how you want to use the space.

Working

You might install a home office into your bay window.  You’ll have a little space for a computer and a chair, along with a few drawers in which to keep essential supplies.  From a health perspective, natural light is a godsend when you’re staring at a screen all day, and a bay window will provide plenty of it.

Eating

Tucking into your morning eggs in a breakfast-nook is a great way to start the day.  All you need is a small table and a few chairs.  Colour the area in pastel shades for best results, and keep a supply of salt and pepper to hand.  A bay window of this sort also makes an excellent place to keep potted herbs, particularly if it’s near to the kitchen.

Relaxing

As we’ve mentioned, bay windows offer a fantastic place to unwind.  If the sun is in the right position, it can function as a miniature conservatory – and you’ll have plenty of natural light by which to read, write, or do a crossword puzzle.  Using colours that aid relaxation is a good idea – consider incorporating pale blues and greens into your décor.

Bay Window Treatments

The treatments you choose for your bay window will, of course, influence the way it looks.  Choose the right set of blinds and curtains and you’ll have a fantastic centrepiece for the entire room.

Unfortunately, choosing window treatments for a bay window offers something of a challenge.  By their nature, they are larger and more complicated than ordinary casement and sash windows.  If you’re prepared to spend a little time hunting for the right options, and to dig into your pockets when you find them, the results can prove well worth it.

Curtains

It’s difficult to find curtains capable of sliding across an entire bay window.  A single long rail that follows the curvature of the window will be expensive.  A better solution comes in the form of a succession of smaller curtains, each covering a single panel.  Thick curtains have several key advantages:  they’re able to retain heat and repel noise, and they’ll keep light out of the room when drawn.  As such, they’re great in bedrooms.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are a popular choice for bay windows for good reason.  While the panels that make up the window might be at slightly different angles horizontally, they still allow you to pull a vertical bind down over each one.  This will remove the need to have curtains bunching at every angle of each window, which means more light will be able to enter into the room.

Venetian Blinds

By the same token, venetian blinds make an excellent match for Bay Windows, particularly in office spaces.  They can be collapsed into the top of the window just as easily as they could be on a traditional window; the only problem is that you’ll need to draw them panel-by-panel.  Wooden blinds offer a unique aesthetic that curtains can’t replicate.

Valance

A valance is a purely decorative curtain designed to cover the very top of a window.  They can be used in isolation where privacy isn’t a concern, and they can be used in conjunction with venetian blinds where it is.

Considering getting new bay windows for your home? Talk to us about our bespoke range.

Want to know more about bay windows? Read our other articles ‘What’s the Difference Between Bay, Bow and Garden Windows?’ and ‘The Pros and Cons of Bay Windows’.

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Timber windows

How Often Should You Paint Timber Windows?

When it comes to windows, timber is a practical choice that looks stunning, too – provided that it’s given the right finish.  This finish might consist either of a transparent coat of oil or wax that’ll seep between the fibres of the wood and ensure that moisture can’t penetrate or cause rot.  On the other hand, it might consist of an opaque layer of paint that’ll do much the same thing while at the same time changing the colour of the frame itself.

In order to get the best from your wooden window frame, you’ll need to ensure that the finish is periodically refreshed.

When should I paint timber windows?

When painting your timber window, you’ll need to first do a little bit of prep.  This might mean sanding down the existing surface, and giving it a gentle (but thorough) wash.  Of course, between the time you wash the wood and apply the first coat of paint, you’ll need to allow the surface to dry – once you paint the wood, you’ll trap any moisture inside, where it can do damage.

As a rule, then, it’s best to paint exterior windows on hot, dry days where this drying can occur naturally and quickly – and so summer is often the best bet.

What paint should I use on timber windows?

Your choice of paint will depend largely on the style of the surrounding building.  White is a classic choice.  One considerable advantage of brightly-coloured windows like this is that you’ll be able to easily see when it’s time to break out the paintbrush again.

After you’re done painting, you might wish to apply a protective coat of varnish.  This’ll protect the paint from minor nicks and scratches.  Varnishes are available in various levels of glossiness, and you’ll be able to apply several coats to achieve a more enduring finish.

How often should I paint timber windows?

The lifespan of a coat of paint will depend on the stress that a window is expected to absorb.  If it’s in constant sunlight, and exposed to lashing winds and rain, then we can expect it to deteriorate more quickly.  Your best bet might be to keep a photographic record of what the window is supposed to look like, which you’ll be able to refer to later, when you suspect it might be time to apply another coat.

As we’ve seen, many factors can influence how often a timber window requires repainting.  In general, it’s best to check the frames closely once a year – make a note in your diary and find five minutes to do it at the same time each year.  You might find that some windows will demand a fresh coat every few years, while others can last for almost a decade without the need for attention.

Looking for new windows for your home? Browse our sliding sash or conservation windows or find out about our handmade bespoke windows. If you have any questions, contact our friendly team.

Windows with external shutters

How to Paint a Sash Window (without it sticking)

While sash windows offer a particular look and feel (to the point that they’re an almost indispensable feature of period properties), traditional wooden sash windows can be somewhat tricky to maintain.  One particular problem arises when you come to paint them – do it wrong, and you’ll end up painting over the edges of the window and sealing it shut. Learn how to do it properly in our simple guide to painting sash windows.

What if my sash window is stuck?

If your sash window is stuck with paint, don’t panic – there’s an easy fix.  All you need is a blade that’s thin enough to slice through the paint without interfering with the surrounding wood.  A Stanley knife is an obvious candidate.

Run the knife slowly along the edge of the frame.  If the paint proves too resilient, then your next step should be to use a steel scraper, and failing that, a hammer and chisel.  You might find that any resistance offered by the window will vanish quickly, so don’t be tempted to risk damaging the window with too much force.

How to paint a sash window

Of course, it’s better to avoid the problem in the first place than have to fix it.  By taking a little bit more care the next time you paint your window, you’ll be able to avoid having to break out the Stanley knife.  Let’s run through how to paint sash windows so they don’t stick.

1.      Remove the ironmongery

First, you’ll want to get rid of the ironmongery on your window.  You’ll also want to clean up the existing layers of paint. If you don’t they’ll build up each time you paint the window, and eventually, the window will get stuck with paint.

To do this, simply sand down the wood and thoroughly clean up any dust you leave behind (since you really don’t want to paint over the top of it).

2.      Paint the mullions

You’ll need to reverse the sashes in order to access every part of the window.  The sash you’ve pushed to the top should be painted first, from the mullions (the elements that divide the window – as seen in the photo) outwards.

sash window with mullions

Paint one side and then the other, building up coats for a smooth finish.  Repeat the procedure on the lower sash.

3.      Paint the frames

Next, return to the topmost sash and paint the frame, along with the rebate into which the topmost sash will slot.  Push the sash upwards but not so far that the painted surfaces meet (this is where sticks can develop).  You’re almost done!

4.      Paint the remainder of the window

Lastly, you can paint the casing and cill. You can then use a window-scraper to clean up any splatters you might have left on the windows.

Looking for new windows for your home? Browse our sliding sash or conservation windows or find out about our handmade bespoke windows.