A client of mine recently came in to get my advice on black windows. She really loved the look of them, but she had some concerns that this trend might come to pass and soon they would appear dated.
Believe it or not, this is a pretty common question for our design firm from our clients that are building a new-construction home. Since windows are pretty permanent and can be expensive to replace if you change your mind, it’s often one of the most difficult decisions that’s made throughout the entire construction process!
If you’re building a new home and looking to choose new windows, or are replacing your existing windows and debating a new look, here are a few things I tell clients who are trying to decide between black or white windows.
When to Choose Black Windows
You want to make a bold statement
There is no question about it: black windows make a statement. They create instant curb appeal by drawing your eyes and demanding attention. By creating a high level of contrast, they lend a modern and sophisticated feeling to your home’s exterior – allowing you to keep all of the other design elements simple, since the focal point is the windows. This contrast is amplified on white or lighter coloured homes, so you’ll be making an even bigger statement.
You’re Looking for a Modern Update for a Farmhouse or Traditional-Style Home
If you’ve bought a fixer-upper farmhouse or traditional century home, black windows can be the perfect trick to bring a modern touch on an older home. The combination of an old home and strong, black windows looks harmonious and natural on century homes. This is largely because black windows were commonly used in the early 1900’s in factories and warehouses, so using them on a home doesn’t look jarringly out of place with the time period.
Take this home designed by Ray Murakami for the Princess Margaret Lottery Dream Home as an example. It was designed to be an interpretation of a modern take on the traditional Ontario farmhouse that was built in the Canadian countryside in the early 1900s. The black windows look perfectly in place, even though the rest of the home is rustic.
Black windows are nothing new. We have just brought them back with a bold statement!
When to Choose White Windows
You have other ideas for a focal point
Black windows make a big statement, and if you’ve got other plans for home’s exterior focal point the two ideas might clash.
Take this exterior as an example. Here, the homeowners had invested in some incredible landscaping around the house. Since the exterior design of the house is neutral and low-contrast, your eyes are immediately drawn to the lush gardens – it really puts the spotlight on their hard work! This house would still look good with black windows, but the gardens would no longer be the stars of the show.
If you have another focal point in mind, whether that’s a jaw-dropping garden or a pastel paint job, white windows are a great neutral choice that will let your vision shine.
Your style can best be described as “timeless”
Although black windows are very popular right now, that doesn’t mean that white windows are out of style. White windows have a charming familiarity. They’re a classic, versatile choice that’s always in style.
If your usual décor philosophy is to stick to what’s tried and true, white windows are a natural choice.
Budget Doesn’t Need to be a Factor
Working with a budget is never easy, but it’s possible to get the look of both white OR black windows on a budget if you’re savvy. Black windows have a reputation for being expensive, especially when you’re looking at ultra-beautiful and durable steel windows. But, you can find pretty affordable vinyl or aluminum clad options in both black and white, so working with a budget doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your black-windows dream!
Both black and white windows are well suited for many architectural styles, which one do you like best, let us know!