Just finishing up with window ordering for a client who hired me to review and finalize the design of the exterior of their home, a new build, in Boyne City. First I redesigned the front windows, roofline, trim package and column design - now we’re around to the side of the house.
Usually I wouldn’t worry as much about the side if it were in a compact neighborhood, but the fact that the windows/trim and siding have such a high contrast means that they will be very visible - and any strange or weird designs will telegraph through. Additionally, it is a house that has no surrounding structures - and a road which at one point makes this side very visible.
First, the Interiors people really took them for a ride on their proposed ‘edit’ to my original design - here’s what they sent:
However, when I plugged that into the actual floor plan, and where the windows were shown on their drawings, this is the unhappy result - a hodge-podge of mismatched and misproportioned windows.
So, like I always do - I wanted to get this house right.
How to do it?
1 - Limit Window Size Variations
Well we start by limiting our window ‘pallette’ to just a few sizes. No more than 2, possibly 3 per side.better
So I widened the windows in the bedrooms, I made the lower level windows match each other, and I turned the double upstairs to a single.
2 - Line Things Up
Then, we line things up - after looking at the floor plan I found that the window arrangement in the rooms was somewhat arbitrary, except for the front bedrooms which had windows on each side of the beds.
Also, I asked if we needed that double window upstairs, which is behind the tub. To me, that was overkill - a 6’ by 6’ window facing a fairly public road - may be better to do a single window there for privacy reasons, centered above the tub. That still gives a 3’ wide window, which lets in plenty of light and view.
3 - Even Spacing
I also wanted pretty consistent spacing. Finally, I created a ‘grouping’ using the smaller windows on either side of the double window in the room below (which they would not let me change to a single no matter how hard I asked).
As you can see, it takes a bit of finesse and push/pull to get things right - a bit of guess and check sometimes - but as long as you keep the compositional rules in mind it’s really not that difficult to achieve a result that looks great both from the inside, and the out. Problem is, most designers either don’t care to do it, or they don’t know what the rules are in the first place. They may not even know there ARE rules of thumb!
Ok back to work -