Customizing Your Home to Express Your Style
Whether you are shopping for windows and doors for new construction or replacing the windows or doors in your existing home, one thing will become abundantly clear to you right away — there are a lot of decisions to make! Rather than be overwhelmed, just take one thing at a time and make the choices that are right for you and your family.
Are they called grids, grilles, or muntins? And what are they?
In the 1800’s, glass manufacturing made it impractical or impossible to fabricate very large pieces of glass, so windows were by necessity either very small, or constructed of multiple, smaller panes of glass. The smaller pieces of glass were placed into a larger grid that joined the pieces together for the appearance of a larger window.
The pieces between the glass are known by different names, but they all refer to the same thing — they are called grilles, grids, muntins, mullions, or sash strips. Maybe you’ve even heard them referred to by something else. Whatever you call them, these grilles began as a purely functional element of a window, but evolved to be more of a style choice.
We now have the ability to fabricate very large pieces of glass for windows and doors, so the decision to add the decorative element of grids is entirely subjective. Certainly, different grille patterns lend themselves to specific architectural styles, so it’s a good idea to consider the style of the house in addition to the objective and the preference of the homeowner.
Grille Types and Styles
When we refer to the grille “type,” we are referring to the way the grilles are constructed. Are they on both the interior and exterior? For more information on grille types, or grille constructions, (grilles between the glass, removable interior, simulated divided light, etc.) see our post on types of grilles.
When we refer to the style of your grilles, we are referring to the pattern, or design of the grilles. There are some standard styles from which you might choose or you could come up with something completely custom and unique to your home. The style of grilles is limited by little more than your imagination.
There are, however, some general suggestions you may wish to consider based on the architectural features of your home. Some homeowners are overwhelmed and not sure what style is best, so these general concepts might help narrow the choices and select a style that compliments the style of your home as well as your own taste and style.
Colonial Style Grilles
Colonial is probably the most common style seen in Indiana and the greater Indianapolis area due to the prevalence of colonial and traditional-style home. Colonial grilles are a balanced grid pattern of perpendicular vertical and horizontal grilles. The sections of glass are referred to as “lights,” so if there is one horizontal grid and two vertical, 6 sections, or “lights” would be created. The number of lights is determined by the size of the window or by the homeowner’s preference. In a double hung window, the top and bottom sashes could be the same or different, but the classic style is six lights in the upper sash and six in the bottom sash.You may choose the number of lights in your window.
Colonial Grilles Complement These Architectural Styles
- Cape Cod
- French Eclectic
Farmhouse Style Grilles
A farmhouse style describes a pattern that leaves either the upper or lower part of the window without grids to maximize view. The other part of the windows would be divided equally by only vertical grids. Don’t let the name influence you — you do not have to have an 1890’s farmhouse to choose this style. The clean, but no overly plain look appeals to many and looks great on several styles of home.
Farmhouse Style is an excellent choice for the following home styles:
- Cape Cod
- French Eclectic
Prairie or Modified Prairie Style Grilles
Again, don’t let the name fool you — the prairie pattern can be beautiful in almost any style of house. The style is comprised of two vertical and two horizontal grids placed near the perimeter of the window creating a “frame,” which adorns the window, but leaves a large area open to maximize the view. The design can take up the entire window or on a double hung window, just the upper or lower sash as shown in this image.
Prairie or Modified Prairie Style Grilles Beautifully Complement These Home Styles
- Mid-Century Modern (Frank Lloyd Wright inspired homes)
Diamond Pattern Grilles
A diamond pattern grille is much as it sounds — a grid pattern that intersects to create a diamond pattern.
Diamond Pattern Grilles Beautifully Complement These Home Styles
The choice to have no grilles on any or some of your windows is a very popular and intentional design choice. To some, the clean, minimal appearance is very appealing. Another reason this might be a good choice is when the homeowner seeks to maximize the view.
Windows with No Grilles Beautifully Look Great on These Home Styles
- Spanish Colonial
Custom grille patterns are just that — customized to your style and design. Andersen offers custom grille patterns limited only by your imagination. If you can imagine it, we can probably do it! So, if you don’t see a pattern that suits your style in our catalog, talk to one of our sales consultants about your options. So far, we haven’t been presented with a grille pattern or design we couldn’t create. We tell customers, “Your options are only limited by your imagination.”
Things to Consider When Customizing Your Grille Style
- When designing a custom grille style, consider how the grilles of each window relate to or line up with one another.
- Are there existing sight lines in your home that you might want your grille style to follow?
- Should you use the same custom grille style or pattern in all of your windows or doors or is there one that you want to showcase?
- Is your grille style or grille pattern restricted by any homeowner association regulations?
While these guidelines can help you determine the style of grilles that best compliments the architectural style of your home, ultimately, the decision is based on a number of factors, not the least of which is your own personal taste and preferences. When considering your options, take a good look around your neighborhood — notice the grilles (or lack thereof) in homes of similar style to yours. What do you like or dislike about them? Look at pictures on the Andersen Home Style Library for ideas and inspiration. Consider how your view will be affected by the grid pattern you choose. And keep in mind that, in addition to the style of grids, you also have options about the construction. You could choose removable grids in case your style would change.
And finally, we are happy to help you select and implement the look of your dreams — schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today with a no-obligation, in-home consultation and measure.