What’s trending in window and door innovation, energy efficiency, and style? Experts see several developments gaining even more traction and a few new ones emerging. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect throughout spring and summer of 2016 and beyond.
Outside In, Inside Out
The trend to seamlessly integrate open interiors with spacious exteriors continues its run across America. “Large sliding glass doors are, for all intents and purposes, a moving transparent wall,” observes AIA Fellow and acclaimed residential architect Manny Gonzales of the Los Angeles-based KTGY Group. Large casement windows or direct-glaze options offer homeowners new levels of unobstructed outside viewing. Multiple window assemblies create large “window wall” effects. The interior/exterior trend can embrace traditional or contemporary designs. In short, designers and home builders are aggressively responding to buyers’ desires to blur indoor/outdoor distinctions.
New home and major remodeling projects reveal another trend: more scenic doors. No longer viewed as an energy conservation liability, a new generation of lift-and-slides, multi-slides, and bi-fold scenic doors have rewritten the book on home energy savings. In fact, more and more homes now showcase multiple scenic doors. “Not so long ago, you might expect to find one door for every eight or so windows in a home,” reports Christine Marvin, director of marketing for Marvin Windows and Doors of Warroad, Minn. “Today it could be a few to several times that amount. More doors mean even more connection to nature.”
The Color of Character
Why not add a dash of color to the window presentation? That’s a question designers are answering by specifying metallic window and door exteriors, often in stylish grays or “coal colors.” In the interior, darks are trending hot, with black interior frames and sash, says Marvin. She also notes hardware is going through a color trend cycle as well. “The most popular hardware finishes are the satin nickels and satin chromes for a more contemporary look. Oil-rubbed bronze and dark bronze remain core selections,” Marvin says.
“Universal design isn’t just for an aging population. It’s for people in general,” states Gonzales. Designers like Gonzales and home builders nationwide are taking that view to heart by adding multi-generational features into homes, especially windows and doors. “It makes sense to create a living environment that is easy to engage with, regardless of age or ability. Who says universal design can’t be well-crafted and good-looking?”
Or superbly functional. The motorized multi-slide scenic door is just the latest innovation on the universal design front. Now a handheld remote or a home automation system app is all it takes for homeowners to quickly, quietly open and close a multi-slide door with a tap of a finger. “Thoughtful automation is the ultimate in universal design,” Marvin says.