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Black Window Frames and Trim: All You Need to Know

Brass hardware, colorful stoves, and interiors draped in wallpaper — design trends for homes are leaning away from the expected and tapping into the bold. The same goes for our windows, as homeowners and interior designers are bringing back the look of black window frames. 

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Like most design trends, black window frames are not a new idea. You’ll find them in older architecture dating back hundreds of years — that’s because iron, a darker material, was readily available. When builders switched to wood, they were still painted a dark color to keep the design aesthetic. In fact, painting window frames to lighter colors like white wasn’t en vogue until the 1840s, according to Coastal Windows & Exteriors.

Today, black window frames are a deliberate design choice. They create clean lines and contrast with many materials or paint colors for both home exteriors and interiors. Architects and designers are particularly drawn to them as a way to add drama in a subtle way. 

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What Materials Can Be Used for Black Window Frames?

Aluminum

A strong and affordable material, aluminum is the most inexpensive option. It’s best suited for homeowners who live in a milder climate, as aluminum is not a great insulator. This could impact your HVAC costs.

Wood

Wood is not only a durable material but it adds a natural touch to the home. The best part? You can always repaint the frames down the road if you decide black is no longer your cup of tea.

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Fiberglass

Strong and durable, fiberglass is also an environmentally-friendly option as they are energy efficient. With a coating to protect fiberglass from scratches and fading, this window frame material also requires little to no maintenance for the homeowner.

Vinyl

The most affordable of the materials, vinyl window frames are not going to last you as long as other options. However, they are energy-efficient, so in addition to saving money up-front, you will also save money on utilities.

Steel

This is going to be the most expensive option for window frames, but it’s also the most durable. When purchasing steel window frames, be sure that it has been treated to avoid rust.

  • Pros

    • Curb appeal
    • Interior aesthetics
    • No added cost
  • Cons

    • Absorbs heat
    • Best for mild or cold climates

Benefits of Black Window Frames

Black window frames are going to add instant curb appeal to your home while still being relatively subtle. They are a great way to stand out without having to dip your toe too deep into bold design choices. 

Choosing black for your window frames will also match with lots of aesthetics. If you’re a minimalist, they’ll look great against a white or gray wall paint. If your historic home has a lot of vintage charm, it’ll play right into the time period when black window frames were most popular. Even bohemian, nautical, or contemporary styles will pair well with dark window frames.The color can be pulled into rooms with ebony countertops, shelving, light fixtures, or accent pillows. Or they can be the singular black color in the home and contrast with the rest of your decor.

Because they are so beautiful on their own, you can skip the window treatments. Looking through these window frames is almost like a frame for the outdoors, making your home a living art gallery. If you love the idea of black window frames for the exterior, but not so much for indoors, there’s a solution for that. Companies like Pella offer customers the opportunity to choose different colors or finishes for the inside and outside.

Finally, having a frame purchased in black won’t greatly impact the price, as it’s a standard color choice. The biggest impact on price will be the window frame material you choose – not the color. 

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The Downside of Black Window Frames

There is one big drawback with black window frames: they absorb heat. 

For those who live in sunny, hot climates, be aware the heat can potentially transfer to the glass, degrading the integrity of the window as a whole, and, in severe cases, causing the glass to crack. The amount of heat absorbed will depend on the material you chose for the window frames. For example, steel and aluminum frames will get hot very quickly and could lead to burns. And although all window frames are treated to protect them from extreme weather, the exposure to heat could damage the frame or cause it to lose its color.

Black window frames are best suited for places with a cold or mild climate.

If black window frames are something you’re interested in adding to your home, find an experienced and knowledgeable contractor from the Modernize database.

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