I was leafing through one of the main home interest magazines that crossed my desk this morning and something struck me, no matter whether the content was about baths, kitchens or dining tables the light in the room plays a massive part in creating the overall atmosphere and ambience. I admit I am looking at these pictures through my own specific prism but a high proportion of these advertisements also feature an impressive window, one that opens onto a vista of manicured gardens or breathtaking rugged nature. So how important is the design and material of the window, and where does form over function become the priority?
At its most basic level a window is a functional object that allows light into your house while protecting you from wind and rain; however, it plays a much more emotion role in how we feel. There seems to be great debate over the origins of the phrase: “The eyes are the window to your soul”, it being attributed to Shakespeare, Da Vinci and many others. In the world of human attractiveness facial symmetry and eye shape are said to play a significant role on how we gauge beauty. The proportion and symmetry of windows also play a pivotal role in this subconscious attractiveness. I won’t bore you with the formulas but for some reason we all know when it looks right and when it doesn’t! So let us we agree that the window plays a more significant role in how we feel about our homes, whether looking form the outside in, or the inside out.
Asking an architect friend on how she would advise a client on window selection she replied that, first and foremost, the windows need to be durable
and secondly, they should reflect the character of the house.
Choosing high quality timber windows will always address the first point; we see windows in historic buildings hundreds of years old performing perfectly well, but more specifically a recent study by Heriot Watt University confirmed that the average life span of a well-maintained timber window is in excess of 60 years, while uPVC might make it to 30!
Reflecting the character of your home and, by association, your character too, timber cannot be beaten. Whether you assess this from a carbon footprint and sustainably perspective, or the flexibility and capacity it allows in design, or the warm tactile feel of a well detailed and manufactured window.
How many times have you stood in front of a traditional, well fitted sliding sash window and been unable to resist opening and closing it a number of times; this is something that touches the soul. It could be the gentle clunk of the weights traveling in the hidden box, the unmistakable swish of the sash as it slides effortlessly up and down, culminating with the reassuring tightening of the mid-rails as the well fitted catch secures the window.
For me, and I confess I’m far too close to the process of creating fabulous timber windows as to be slightly biased, even geekish probably, but the overwhelming need to touch, stroke and operate a timber window of outstanding beauty is quite overwhelming. Visitors to our showroom are undoubtedly impressed at first sight and enthusiasm soars as they repeatedly open and close the windows, peering at the elegance of fine detailing, the smoothness of finish and the historical accuracy of period design.
Not too long ago our CEO, a much revered personality in the timber sector, and whose opinion counts, was astonished when friends arrived and admired the recent refurbishment work he and his wife had commissioned on their much loved country house. After the usual congratulations and compliments, and in reference to the beautiful, perfect finish of the timber box sash windows, they were amazed to be informed that the new windows were in fact made from timber, as one would expect.
It remains that beauty plays an important role in our lives, our homes, our families, and if the addition of a beautifully designed and manufactured timber window, a piece of fine furniture in itself, can enhance these sentiments then our job as designers and manufacturers, makers of light and promoters of well being, is indeed making an impact.