The homify guide to windows

Lily Cichanowicz Lily Cichanowicz
homify Modern style study/office
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Windows are essential features to any home. They are defining physical attributes of the façade and the beacon for natural light to enter the interior. Natural light, in turn, makes the rooms of your home more welcoming and helps to regulate your circadian rhythms. It’s important to give your home ventilation, and fresh air is good for the mind and body. There are many benefits to having the right windows in your home, but choosing between different kinds in terms of aesthetic and functionality can be a tricky endeavour. It’s important to educate yourself on the technical terms for popular types of windows and to understand the benefits associated with each. This way you can make more informed decisions when building a new home or renovating an existing one. Here is our guide to 8 common window varieties.

picture window

Essentially, a picture window is a window consisting of a large pane of glass. They are great for creating a plain view of the outdoors because there are no windowpanes to get in the way. With this, there are fewer parts involved in the window to need maintenance or replacement. Therefore, picture windows can be a cost effective option. You can be sure to get plenty of natural light with the addition of a large picture window to your home. Many claim that picture windows help to channel heat from the sun into the home, which makes them useful during winter months. Picture windows may also be used as the centre element of a bay window. One thing to keep in mind with the picture window, however, is that they don't offer much ventilation as they typically cannot be opened. 

bay window

Window Bay Seat homify Living room

Window Bay Seat


Bay windows are large, 3-sided windows with a 3-dimensional character because the windows on either side connect to the one in the middle at an angle. They are largely associated with Victorian architecture and can be seen protruding from the façade of Victorian homes. Bay windows are ideal for welcoming more natural light into your interiors and make for a great view of the surrounding landscape. As we can see in this room by Sigmar, they work well in a living room or bedroom because they naturally create space to add a small window seat for reading or sunning. In fact, it is this space created by the adjoining of 3 windows that is called “the bay.” In the kitchen, it can be nice to place the sink in the bay.

bow window

Advanced Bronze Casements on Staircase Architectural Bronze Ltd Windows & doorsWindows Metal Black
Architectural Bronze Ltd

Advanced Bronze Casements on Staircase

Architectural Bronze Ltd

Bow windows are quite similar to bay windows except that they are round in shape rather than angular. Originating as part of 18th century architecture, the bow window’s intended purpose was also to jut out from the façade in order to give a better view of the yard. Particularly, they look nice when included at the corner of the home. The bow window is usually a combination of vertically oriented casement windows, which are arranged in an arch shape. In addition to making additional space in a room for a window seat, bow windows are great for enclosing spiral staircases. Some would also argue They are most commonly seen in the United Kingdom and the United States.

casement window

View through window to kitchen Mustard Architects Industrial style houses
Mustard Architects

View through window to kitchen

Mustard Architects

A casement window is often used as part of larger window arrangements. You can even see them in bay and bow windows. They are essentially vertically oriented windows with hinges at the sides. The windows open and close like a door with the help of a diagonal metal sash. They are ideal for ventilation as the door of the window effectively channels the breeze indoors. Plus, casement windows can often open completely to allow the maximum amount of air to pass through. The screens are easier to clean because they’re located on the interior. You can get casement windows with a hand crank to allow for more control when opening and closing them.

slider window

Slider windows allow for a more unadulterated link between your home’s interior and the outdoors. Often sliding windows are also large and even extend from floor to ceiling. Because they are simple in design, slider windows also require little maintenance and are easy to clean. Slider windows are glazed, which helps boost their quality of insulation and therefore makes them more energy efficient. They often last longer than other types of windows because they don’t rely on mechanics like string pulleys to function. As long as the frame is unobstructed, slider windows are quite easy to use.

hopper window

A hopper window is similar to an awning window except that the hinges reside at the bottom of the window frame. They are often horizontally oriented rectangles that are located at the top of the ceiling in the form of clerestory windows. Clerestory windows can help to increase the presence of natural light in the home. Another distinguishing element of the hopper window is that they open inward rather than outward. This means that if it rains, you ought to shut the hopper windows to keep the precipitation from getting inside. They typically open and close with a hand crank, which gives them a strong seal whilst shut. Hopper windows also offer great ventilation.

bespoke windows

Descender Fronts installed at an Events Venue homify Event venues

Descender Fronts installed at an Events Venue


Bespoke windows are windows that are customized to fit a given space. They often come in sets to include multiple bespoke windows within the area. Using bespoke windows in a renovation is a great way to ensure you can have the kinds of windows you’d like while also not having to compromise the dimensions of the new design. This is because bespoke windows are ideal if you’re looking to incorporate windows into a space with unconventional dimensions. For instance, the entire length of the wall in this interior is quite large with the help of bespoke windows the designers were able to cover the entire thing in windows. Plus, they were able to make windows that can slide up and down to create large openings to the outdoors.

single & double hung

Aluminium Clad Wood Sash Windows Marvin Windows and Doors UK Wooden windows
Marvin Windows and Doors UK

Aluminium Clad Wood Sash Windows

Marvin Windows and Doors UK

Double hung windows are the most traditional form of window. They rely on springs or pulleys to open and close. Double hung windows slide up and down on the frame in order to provide ventilation. Since they’ve been around so long, they work well with most styles of homes and come in many varieties. If you rely on an air conditioning unit that sits in the window, double hung windows are a must. Double hung windows are also easy to clean, and most consider them to be energy efficient. Single hung windows are more popular in newer homes. The difference between the two is that single hung windows only allow you to open the bottom part of the window. This makes them a more cost effective option as well.

If you found this guide useful, check out these tips for increasing the natural light in your home. Happy decorating! 

These are just a handful of the styles of windows available today. We'd love to know your favourite window varieties. You can tell us in the commen...

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