f you are researching windows to install in your home and come across one called a bow window, don’t worry. It’s not a typo. Bay windows and bow windows are very similar, but not identical. If you are unsure which one best suits your space, learn more about what each has to offer.
</p><p><strong>Bay </strong></p><p>A bay window isMoro a three-paneled window that juts from your home, and typically features a window seat or storage bench below it, on the inside of the house. It is an attempt to bring the outside indoors. By creating the illusion that while in your living room, you’re simultaneously in your yard, the bay window creates a unique space in your room and eye appeal.</p><p><strong>Bow </strong></p><p>Bow windows are typically larger than bay windows, but serve a very similar purpose. Usually, bow windows have five panels, which cause them to curve like a bow instead of appearing more rigid like a bay window. The size makes them a prominent feature in your room, so it’s important that you have the wall space to incorporate them, and that you are comfortable with the light and exposure they allow.</p><p><strong>Customizing </strong></p><p>Once you have decided between bay and bow windows, the fun begins! You can customize with finishes such as:</p><p></p><ul> <li>Wood color</li> <li>Glass type</li> <li>Hardware</li> <li>Grilles</li> <li>Screens</li></ul><p>These choices will dramatically change the look of the window, so before you commit, envision the window with all of your selections. Have a good sense for the finished product before you head home. Otherwise, you may have an unpleasant surprise when the window arrives for installation. Once the window is in, you also have the opportunity to create a new internal space.
Bow and Bay Window Basics
Bay windows, or window spaces that project outward from the main walls of a building and forming a square or polygonal "bay" in a room, can add great elegance to a home.
They are usually associated with Victorian architecture and can give the illusion that the room they're in is larger than it actually is. This type of window can also increase the flow of natural light to a room and provide views of the outside that would not normally be available with an ordinary window.
However, while having its advantages, you may have trouble trying to figure out how to dress them up and make them more of an integrated part of the rooms they're in, being that they essentially "stick" out from the rest of the room. Here are some ideas to help you bring your bay windows "back into the room."
If you wish to emphasize your bay windows with a clean-lined, contemporary style, drawing attention to each individual window with its own custom-fitted Roman shade will help to accentuate the window's linear quality. You can choose between a soft Roman shade, one which has soft, overlapping folds when the shade is lowered, and a flat Roman shade, which has no folds when lowered.
At the same time, the shade's permanent pleats help to add a horizontal element to balance the window's strong vertical linear nature. You can choose whether you want to mount the Roman shades inside the window frame to emphasize the architecture of the window or if you want to put the Roman shades outside the window frame to present a tailored look to the window.
Another way to utilize your bay windows is to have them complement, but not compete with, other elements in your room, such as your bed or furniture. You could embellish the bay windows by creating a cornice (a decorative box frame that is often made of wood and is attached directly to the wall above a window in order to conceal hardware) and cover or paint it. You could also add some short curtains that cover the lower half of the window if you wish to have more privacy and less light coming into the room.
You could also make the bay windows the focal point of the room by using a valance (a decorative panel of fabric used often at the tops of draperies and curtains to conceal hardware) to help unite the bay windows into one unified group, which makes them the focal point of a room. This is often a great idea if you have many romantic elements in a room, as the presence of the bay windows often adds to the romantic elegance of a room, especially if the valance matches or tastefully blends with the furnishings of the room.
Another way to add romance to a room with bay windows is to use accordion shades (shades that look much like accordions and can be either raised from the bottom, lowered from the headrail, or both,) and have layers of spring-colored fabric over the bay window. This not only adds more color to the room, but their soft form gives the architecture a softer appearance. The accordion shades help to control how much light and privacy the room has at any given time.
As you can see, you have many options to help make the bay windows an integral part of the rooms they are in. You can either incorporate them with the rest of the room's furnishings or make them stand out and be the focal point of the room. While they can initially be challenging to work with, with just a little ingenuity and imagination, your bay windows can transform the room they're in into a more elegant and inviting room.
An Introduction to WindowsBow windows have been around for centuries, and for good reason. Not only are they are a stylish addition or design feature on your house, but they also create space by projecting beyond the exterior wall so you can have a little nook to curl up in, and by adding one it can help give your room a sense of loftiness. They also provide a wider view of your garden or the street outside, and they will bring more light into your house. It can be a great spot for plants that need light, or for use as a breakfast nook. They are made of a minimum of four and up to eight casement windows joined together to form an arch. They are similar to a bay window, except for the fact they are curved and semi-circular.When you go to build your bow window you will want to consider having a roof built that can give a dramatic look and seal against water penetration. You can also go with architectural contoured moldings throughout, and full sized screens for ventilation. Other ways they can be built that can ease your life is to have tilt in sashes for easy cleaning from inside, having your sashes triple sealed, and neoprene bulb seals at ends to make a tight seal. Security features can include locking hardware for titling in sashes, snap in glazing inside the house, and extra security cam lock and keepers that resist forced entry.As for the actual windows themselves it is tough to argue against energy efficient windows. They will increase your comfort by reducing cold drafts and make your house feel warmer during the seasons you must heat your house. They also control condensation by maintaining a higher relative humidity. You can stop worrying about condensation as much, but no windows will entirely eliminate condensation if the humidity levels inside your house are too high. The biggest advantage they have is one for your pocketbook. They minimize air leakage and improve the thermal performance of windows. Just by adding storm windows alone you could improve the energy efficiency of your windows by up to 50%, making a noticeable reduction on your energy bill.When painting your bow window, water based finishes will not only accentuate the unique beauty of your home, but these finishes will also resist premature aging, nor will they make your windows brittle like some process are prone to do. Recent developments have dramatically improved this paints ability to perform in all kinds of weather for years to come. A good company will have hundreds of colours available for you to choose from, and will also give you colour-match options to find the perfect shade for your home.If you're looking to make a minor addition to one of your rooms to help open it up and give you a little more space and light, or if you just want more light and a quiet place to read at the end of a day, bow windows are a perfect option for you to consider.
Choosing Bay or Bow WindowsStudies have shown that natural light improves moods, reduces eyestrain and even creates the illusion of spaciousness. A home filled with natural light not only appears bigger but is more pleasant to live in. Short of building a glass house, how do homeowners facilitate as much natural light in their homes as possible?Windows are a fantastic way of allowing sunlight to in but the window design you select is key. Some window designs are better suited to the facilitation of natural light than others so it is important that you keep this in mind when discussing your plans for the inclusion of new windows in your home.Window Design StylesThere are several styles of windows from which to choose here are a few of the most popular:Bay - These large windows are traditionally made of three windows, one large window flanked by smaller windows. A window seat under a bay window is heavenly.Double-hung - This classic window design style has an outside sash that slides up and down and an inside sash that slides up. This style of window allows a lovely breeze in as well as facilitates natural light.Casement - Casement windows are usually hung in pairs and mounted on hinges that allow the sash to swing in or out (depending on what you prefer).Bow - These windows are similar to bay windows but have more than three panels which join to form a gentle curve.Tilt-turn - This window design is popular in Europe, these unusual windows tilt in towards the room at the top and also turn a full 180 degrees - excellent for easy cleaning.Jalousies - This window design is comprised of many slats of glass that open and close. Jalousies windows are extremely similar to Venetian blinds.Skylight - This window design is perfect for small rooms where normal windows would be overwhelming. Skylights are essentially windows which are fitted at an angle rather than vertically, usually through the ceiling or roof.Fixed - As these windows can not be opened their sole purpose is to allow light in.Stained glass - This window design is popular in Victorian inspired homes around the world. Patterns are made from different pieces of coloured glass and the sparkle of different coloured beams of light has a wonderful effect.Window Design ConsiderationsBefore finalising your window design ideas you need to take a few things into consideration.The design of your home - you'll want the design of your windows to fit into the overall design of your home. Rounded windows may look a little obscure when fitted into a really tall wall just as overly large windows may be inappropriate in a small home. Select a window design that can be used through your home to achieve a consistent design theme. Incorporating a large variety of window designs may be overpowering. Window design should be complimentary never overwhelming. The climate you live in also has to be taken into consideration - if you live in a cold or noisy area you may want to fit double-glazed windows but not all window designs are well suited to this type of treatment. Make sure you get all the information you'll need to make wise window design choices from your window supplier.Letting the Sun InFilling your home with natural light is easy with the correct window design selection. Another way of facilitating natural light is to always keep your windows clean. For homeowners who don't fancy spending weekends balanced on ladders Pilkington Activ(TM) Self-Cleaning Glass is a definite must. Self-cleaning glass is making life far easier and is giving home owners many reasons to use glass in the construction of their homes. What could be better than bright, open rooms with excellent outdoor views facilitated by huge glass sheets, without having to spend your days cleaning the glass?