How Windows Define Design

A structure’s fenestration (the application of windows and doors) can be a major factor in the design style of the overall building. In other words, by simply modifying the types of windows or the individual componentry used, a colonial can become a Tudor, a Cape, or a Contemporary. Many architects, builders and homeowners consider these walls to be a canvas upon which the windows define the style. Tower Windows & Doors is readily able to assist in providing products that define the intended style of any house.

Window Type

Window types have always helped categorize a home. For example, Colonials have primarily double hung windows; Tudors mostly casements. Some designs incorporate many different styles of windows, which can lend an “Eclecticism” to the structure. It is also important to avoid destroying an aesthetic with an improper window type, whether that be in the original design or as a replacement window. For over two decades, Tower has assisted our customers in steering clear of any window type that robs a building of its charm or intended appearance.


Have you ever noticed that Victorians have tall, thin double hung windows? Or that a short, wide window makes an entire building look shorter? Round-top windows, Gothic tops and picture windows all have their places but should never be used on the wrong type of building. The overall shape of any window must not only adhere to the intended era of the building, but can also accentuate the feel and authenticity of that structure.


Window grids, also known as muntins, can divide any window into panes that will (or will not) work with the intended design. Many manufacturers are insensitive to this aspect and provide a “standard” grid pattern that they believe fits all. The placement of the muntins, as well as the size and shape of the panes, the width of the muntin bars, and the actual profile and depth of the grids, conveys a specific aesthetic on any window. The easiest way to create a Queen Anne, Prairie or Colonial building is through the use of proper muntins, and many other designs rely on the pattern of panes within a window to define that building’s style.


The materials used in the construction of a window also convey the design. Certain species of wood (Douglas Fir, Oak, Mahogany, etc.) can quickly steer an aesthetic, while other materials (aluminum, plastics, and fiberglass) can an easily destroy an intended look. Materials also used in casings, hardware, screens, etc., can adhere or vary from an intended look, and are often overlooked in the grand scope of availability or cost. Tower Windows & Doors is sensitive to these desires and needs and will always work with the customer to assure that the proper, specified materials are used in all of our door and window sales.


Everyone knows the rule that Colonial homes have white windows, but what is the appropriate window color for a Victorian? The added impact of varying the colors and finishes on such windows can be huge and can add to/detract from the authenticity of any building in profound ways. Black sashes in white frames is a current design trend, as well as varying the color of casings and sills from the body of a window. Seaside windows are often teal green, Tudors are usually black or bronze in color, and an antique white can add years to the look of any historic structure. Tower has provided windows in fascinating color schemes to blend with and accentuate any design. We will always assist our customers in finding the right manufacturer for their standard, or custom, color choices.


If you ask any architect or designer, they will always say that the windows on a building are an essential element in conveying the intended design, or era, of that structure. Think of your favorite home….what do the windows look like? Odds are, factors such as the shapes, colors and muntins used on the windows have influenced your impressions. Because of the guidance, advice and resources we offer, Tower Windows & Doors has been the favorite source for many of the area’s finest architects and custom home builders.