Window Styles from Traditional To Modern | Read Our Style Guide

Window Styles and Design

From Casement to Palladian, All About Window Styles

From traditional to modern, your windows help define the style of your home. They allow natural light to flood in your home during the day and let in fresh air to keep your home fresh and dry. There are many different types of windows and you can even customize them to meet your needs and style. Here's a guide to the many windows styles available!

First, The Basics!

All window styles fit into one of two categories, fixed or operable. A fixed window can't be opened, is often decorative, can be custom built to almost any specification and shape. An operable window has moving parts that can open. There are many style variations within these two categories.

Window Panes
Windows can contain one, two or three panes of glass. This can improve their heat retention to keep your home warmer in the winter. The spaces between the glass can be filled with various inert gas like argon to improve the efficiency of the window. Specialty glass, for example, Low-E glass, or tinted glass can even reflect the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can help to prevent fading of carpets, drapes, and furniture.

Single or Double Hung
The two most common operable window styles are single-hung and double-hung. A single-hung window consists of two stacked window sashes, but only the lower sash opens. The top sash is stationary. On a double-hung window, both the upper and lower sashes move up and down within the frame.

Some other basic information to know...

• Sliding Windows – also called gliding windows, these open and close by moving the sashes horizontally.

• Patio Glass – is a type of sliding window. Patio glass also acts as a door as well as a window and extends all the way to the floor.

• Storm Windows – are an extra window affixed to the outside of the inner window. They provide an extra layer of thermal insulation during inclement weather and come in two styles. An “add-on” storm is suspended from hooks and held closed with a gate hook and eye. They can be exchanged for screens during summer. A combination storm is fixed to the exterior trim and has a sash and screen which slide in tracks and can be raised or lowered to fit the season.

Window Styles

There are many different window styles available. While the shapes and openings can vary, they all still fit into the categories of fixed and operable. Some even combine both fixed and operable sections so they function as both decorative, and functional windows. Here are the most common.

Awning Windows

These are operable windows that are top hinged. They're opened by pushing the bottom of the sash up and out. They are easy for anyone to open and close and usually use a crank mechanism.

Bay and Bow Windows

Bays combine three or more windows in a single unit. Most have a larger center window flanked by two smaller windows at 30 or 45-degree angles to the wall. The smaller sections may be operable while the larger center section may be fixed. A bay window projects out and away from the exterior wall so it is usually capped or has its own small roof. Some larger models may also include an interior window seat.

Bows are similar to bay windows but the consist of four or five window units sitting at 10-degree angles. Bay and bow windows can give you more interior space.

Casement Windows

Are similar to awning windows except the are side hinged. They often use a crank mechanism to open outward to the left or right. Casement windows are versatile and offer improved energy efficiency.

Clerestory Windows

This window sits above other windows or doors and is often used for venting.

Cottage Windows

These are operable windows that are similar to double-hung windows, however, the two sashes are different sizes, usually, the upper sash is shorter than the lower one.

Palladian Windows

These have a large arched window with smaller windows on each side. Palladian windows can add architectural interest to your home.

Picture Windows

These are large expanses of glass and are fixed windows. They're perfect for homes with a great view or in homes with vaulted or extremely high ceilings. Because they are fixed windows and use no mechanical parts they may be less expensive than similarly sized operable windows.

Your window styles are a major element in terms of defining the design style and comfort of your home. With the many types of fixed and operable window styles available you're sure to find the perfect style to meet your needs. Speak with your Toulmin designer to learn more about energy efficiency and construction. This can vary by manufacturer and prices can vary widely depending on the style, materials used, and construction.

Additional Articles on Windows


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.