Earlier this year, we wrote about our own predictions for the top window trends of 2017. Some were right, (including green design trends and energy-efficient windows, since they never go out of style) but we couldn’t have predicted some of the ways in which residential windows have made waves and altered the architectural look and feel of homes as a whole. Here some of the proven top window trends for 2017—and the best part is, they’re perfect to enjoy for warm weather!
Introducing Sliding Glass Walls
Yes, you read that right—sliding glass walls. A huge movement in new building and renovations alike right now is to create spaces that seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living. And that’s steered many homeowners towards exaggerated, oversized windows and doors. Seizing on the trend, manufacturers have taken their sliding glass options to the next level, each one offering their own unique take, with the ultimate goal being to extend the surface area of windows and doors. Sliding glass walls, glass curtain walls, and bi-fold glass doors are just a sampling of some of products homeowners can now choose from—all of them offering unparalleled views of the outdoors and boatloads of natural light not just in the sunny summer days, but all year round.
Making Windows Energy Efficient and Sustainable
Green means different things to different people, but the window industry has tended to focus on energy-efficiency improvements: better insulation, innovative glazing, and ENERGY STAR rated products, for instance. None of that has decreased so far in 2017. In fact, we’re expecting to see a stronger push from window companies towards high-performing, efficient windows. However, homeowners are increasingly asking how those energy savings translate over the course of a product’s lifecycle. In response, some manufacturers now produce an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for each of their window models, a document that sets out the full effects of a window’s impact on the environment throughout its lifespan.
Residential Windows Get Smart
You thought low-E glass was cool? What about windows that you can control with your phone? Not to be outdone by other “smart” home products, windows are also getting the automation treatment, resulting in a wave of new, innovative window features to try. For instance, homeowners can opt for security sensors on window locks that detect when an opening has been compromised—and send an alert directly to your phone. On the energy front, there’s also WiFi-connected dynamic glazing, sometimes called “smart glass.” Smart glass manufacturers claim their windows can sense subtle changes in temperature and lighting and adjust window tint on the fly—perfect for sun-drenched days that call for a little more shade. Or, if you prefer, you can make adjustments automatically through your smartphone. Digital glass? That’s pretty darn high-tech.
Adopting Contemporary Lines and Natural Materials
Contemporary design, an easy blend of modern and older accents, has conquered home aesthetics this year. That translates to the windows we pick out, too. Clean lines, thin profiles, and custom designs have dominated the industry in 2017, giving homes a sleek but time-honored appearance. At the same time, the trend towards greener products has affected taste in window treatments as well. Natural, eco-friendly materials like bamboo and matchstick blinds, as well as shades made from craft materials like woven wood and textured fabric, are the perfect casual window treatments for a lazy summer vibe.
Say Hello to Today’s Motorized Shades
Remote-controlled blinds are nothing new, but 2017 is the year motorized window treatments go digital. Already on offering from several retailers, smart blinds work with existing home platforms like Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and SmartThings, allowing you to control window treatments through a voice command or a tap on your phone or tablet. At around $200 per shade, motorized options do cost a lot more than your traditional window blinds, so it will be interesting to see if window manufacturers eventually incorporate this technology into between-the-glass blinds that come built into windows, since that could save buyers from costly replacements from usual wear and tear.
Here Comes the Sun!
Natural light continues to be a big deal in homes, with wider windows and doors and open plan housing taking on a supersized focus in the coming year. Lighting with natural sun has always been a popular method for greening up homes, but this year, building professionals are taking a more technical approach. Trendsetting homeowners have been adopting a new technique called “daylight harvesting.” In these homes, automated systems monitor daylight levels in interiors, dimming or shutting off lighting when there’s enough natural light that it’s not necessary to offset lighting requirements with artificial bulbs. And naturally, warm-weather days make the most of this concept.
Homeowners have been eager to achieve not just the convenience of automation, but also a sense of innovation, green living, and natural harmony—and thankfully, these window trends strike that very balance.