Do these windows make my kitchen look fat?

mtnrdredux_gwDecember 18, 2013

Some of you playing along at home may recall my kitchen wall. The windows, the window placement, and everything you see in the line up is new, so it can be whatever I want.

The question is in re windows.

For my mockup, i googled images to find a window I liked, and cut and pasted it in. (below)

But my GC says that Pella (they make the best choice for an oceanfront location we are told) cannot make the window above (it has to be exactly 60 inches wide, like my sink) with three sections, unless it is double hung. I think casement is better, no? More light? More air? (no A/C on this floor*)

But ... if I go with casement, it will look like the mockup below. I think the two across looks kinda ungainly, fat, or squat? Is it just because in one case I have pretty photo, and in the other a spec drawing?

What do you think? Do the 2 across windows look bad?

* for those of you who really wanted me to put in whole house central air, we have partially caved. To get a/c to the 3rd floor will entail going right past us on the 2nd, and the walls are all open on most of that floor anyway. So we will have central a/c on the second and third floor.

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In the first mock up picture the window is white and the second mockup the window frames are black that could be what is throwing you off. It did me. But after looking again, I think the second set of windows would be just fine. And I've not heard good things about Pella and their customer service.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:59PM
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I think a better question might be, "what do these look like from the outside, in relation to the other windows?".

I have Pella casements (crank style, not the French style) in pairs in several rooms. I think my LR might be 60". The larger windows actually let in more air and light, because there is less frame than in the narrow windows (I have some narrow ones as well and think it would have been better to go with the larger). The larger panels actually can act like giant "scoops" to pull in the air -- we angle them in the summer to catch the prevailing breeze. Take care to pay attention to the way the mullions will look on a larger window.

BTW, I've had no problems with the windows, which are Architect series clad wood. I have them everywhere but a wet area, where I've gone with fiberglass. I'm not in a rigorous climate, however.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:05AM
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We have Pella windows also, the Architect Series, wood clad. We've had them about 12 years & no problems. We used them to replace cheap builder grade windows that were only 7 years old.
I like pic #1, but it could be because the mockup is white.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:29AM
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First of all consider what your other windows look like throughout the house. I happen to like the second set better because it doesn't appear to be as busy or as crowded as the first set.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:38AM
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Windows make your place looks bigger, but what you have to do is to choose one from them if I were in your place will go with black one which some tiled work in mind as you need window where you have more water use in the kitchen. But if you this the first one look better is just because it's so simple using good color scheme on the wall or tiled in mid and flooring you will have an idea.
Ditra Matting provider UK

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:57AM
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this is the 1st i've seen your kitchen...

i think the triple windows look alittle 'fatter' than the double to be honest--- i do think the black is throwing you off even tho it's supposed to be slenderizing-lol!

love the sink (tho not sure about the 'sink curtain')... i keep thinking the range shoud be centered somehow, but that might just be the psing...

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Also consider the amount of force and leverage needed to open different types of windows. The crank-open casements are easier to open over a sink or counter, are easier to open by someone with limited strength, and are easier to open if you are short.

Double hung windows may open more fully to bring in a larger amount of air. But will you need to stand on a chair or ladder to open them over the sink? If so this can be a pain, and as one ages a safety risk.

My parents in their early 70s replaced all of their double hung windows with Pella casements so that they would be able to open them easily. This after my mom had a health incident after trying to shove open an old double-hung window.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:56AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree that the outside view is at least if not more important than the inside does it work with the rest of the exterior structure? How does it look with the other existing windows?

From a functionality pov, casements are more energy efficient because they close tighter and as gooster said, they act like fins on the house capturing breezes and bringing them in. They are also far easier to open when you have to lean over a sink or a counter to reach the windows, esp as you get older. Poor Mom had not enough upper body strength to lift the DH kitchen window in her house. Even for me, I ended up crawling on top of the counter to open it. They can also have a finer appearance than DH as there is less wood framing needed in the middle of the window.

But they do get exposed to the weather when they are open. Also the interior screens can capture bugs and things when you shut the windows. They are also harder to crack open for a little bit of air than a double hung. We have had difficulty shutting some of ours tightly as well...don't know if it's a window quality issue or an install we shut some of them down tightly only when we are through opening them for the season...DH has to work hard at it. Other windows seem to operate fine.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 7:11AM
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Elraes Miller

I'm in love with your kitchen every time it is posted. Now that my "mouse hole" is finished, my kitchen has taken on a new feeling....which means more details as yours and finishing the little drawer element.

No answers to windows, other than cleaning. But know you have this taken care of.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 7:31AM
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I like the double casement windows as long as they look balanced and appropriate in the context of your exterior fenestration.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Love the title of your thread! I won't comment on the look, as I stink at visualizing, but I did want to mention something about screens. We have Windsor push-out casement windows, which we love. My favorite thing about them is the integrated screens. They roll up out of the way in an unobtrusive housing. No dust/bug catcher screens inside, and no permanently obscured view! (Other brands have integrated screens available, not sure about Pella.)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:44AM
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The doubles seem more appropriate to the overall house, from what I know of it, and generally with regard to the colonial revivals I am familiar with.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:45AM
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In re the EXTERIOR view --- no worries, one of my biggest pet peeves is random window placement that is done for maximizing the interior but leaves the exterior fenestration discordant.

The house it a Dutch Colonial. So the windows on the 2nd floor side elevation do not line up with or perfectly match or echo the first (unlike let's say a Federal or Greek Revival or Center Hall colonial, where they often would). The windows in the house are all 6/1, hence the grill pattern. The PO has just replaced all of the windows in the house. They chose vinyl clad wood to stand up to the oceanfront environment, and they chose all casement. So even though it is not the window I might have chosen, I am matching what is there (down to the skimpy grills, alas). I also think 6/1 casements look funny open, but what am I to do when they are all over the house...

So, from the exterior either is fine. Not to mention it's not really an elevation we would spend much time looking at, being on the side. There would, for example, be no reason to ever sit there when the view is to the front, rose garden in the back, verandah wraps around the front and the opposite side, pool in front, etc.

It only now occurred to me I should just resize my cut and paste window. Now how about this?

PS In re other items in the layout, they are just for mockup purposes. For example, I know I want that sink, and I want it skirted. I just cut and paste the best image I could find of that style sink that was head-on and had a skirt. Although I have kind of gotten used to the colors now!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Pal, Thank you. I always feel more confident in a choice when you ok it!

Fouram - Yes, I was amusing myself! Thanks for the tip in re screens. I will look into that!

KSWL, Yes, they do.

Technicolor - have you posted photos? Id love to see.

Julie, Annie, Yes, I agree that double hung windows, especially behind something like a sink or table, are hard to operate. And that's something I should prioritize more for a summer house.

Busy, BL, Romy, Gooster, thank you

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Caution: biased personal opinion ahead. I don't care for casement windows at all, especially on an historic home such as yours, and the casements with the muntins/mullions (I can never remember which is the correct term) ain't fooling anyone into thinking they are really double hung. Again, just my biased personal opinion.

Regarding the two vs. three ganged windows, I like the three, but I am a light freak and prefer odd numbers of things, but I do feel the "squat" thing. Have you considered cottage windows? They are double hung, but taller than average and with a higher lower panel. Here are a couple of 6 or so year old pics, should give you a sense of how cottage windows look. For computational purposes, our ceilings are 10'.

Love your proposed kitchen (and, in fact, entire house).

Good luck-


    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:20AM
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My sister's (Sears) Dutch colonial revival had casements in the attic (quarter rounds) bathrooms, and over the kitchen sink (Diamond pattern in the bathrooms), my Great-aunts (Aladdin) "dutch"/romantic revival, had casements in the bathrooms and over the sink. (Diamond in bathrooms)

I think its a matter of practicality and being able to open them. Or really close them. Having to stand on a chair to get enough leverage to close a double hung window over a sink gets tedious.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Ok, Sandy, you are killing me, especially because I have always loved, loved your aesthetic.(oh and that photo in the snow!)

I totally agree with you on casements with muntins, but most especially 6/1 design! Ridiculous! But, unfortunately, as I said, the PO just installed these in the entire house. I cannot justify, morally or monetarily, replacing them (altho I was so tempted as the old ones were in the garage still!). They are only being replaced in 3 cases:

1. kitchen North wall, since the whole wall is being reworked
2. MBR, one set of windows being replaced w French doors to new deck
3. 3rd floor, floor level fan light but be replaced with tempered glass

In selecting these three, I am trying to make choices that mimic those just installed, as I feel I must do .. though it pains me. For example, the more expensive line within Pella has more pronounced trim and mullions ... but I dont think we should do that as it will make them too prominent, yes?

You are killin' me with three-across envy. Especially since I just told the GC ok on 2-across casement!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I think the double windows look fine.

Just a thought. If your sink is centered under the window, the 2 windows will put the mullion right in your face whereas the 3 windows will have a window in front of your face. This bothers some casements over the sink are 2 with the mullion in the middle, but I really don't notice it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:44AM
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well, of course, now, Annie I will always notice it, and always think of you! : )

i will have to use the sink in the butler's pantry!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Holly- Kay

No opinions at all but the title of your post tickled my funny bone and I laughed until tears were streaming down my face!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Oh, mtnrdredux, so sorry about the casements, I missed that the house has new ones, that's what I get for cruising the HD forum whilst on a webinar, not paying enough attention to either, obviously.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:42AM
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geez... true about the mullion... i would have to get the sink version with holes for 2 faucets just for that reason....

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:50AM
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If you really care about the look of double hung, you can get the look from Pella in a casement style. I have these for egress windows on the 2nd floor.

I second the endorsement of integral rollup screens. I have them on my Pellas and they are very nice on the casements. They are not available on the double hung.

I will note that with three skinnier individual planes you will get a lot more obstructions than two larger windows. The mullion may end up in the middle but you will have a lot more glass area overall.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:17PM
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I am not a fan of casement windows from the standpoint of security, and I don't like having screens inside my home next to my window treatments. I like double hung windows because you can open the top at night for air & still secure the window.

I would prefer three windows over the sink for the sight lines. If you go with casements perhaps there is a picture window/casement combo that would fit your opening

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Maybe my discernment is off but I never notice if there is something like a mullion right in front of me or not, if there is larger areas of glass on each side. I look "beyond" it. We discern things in three dimensional space, not two flat dimensions, and your eyes are 24" away from the mullion, not pasted to it directly. I don't understand what the big deal is.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

ineffable, as with most things, if it's not a big deal to you, it's not a big deal. But that doesn't mean it isn't a big deal for someone else.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Eh I think it's getting into princess and the pea (or prince) territory, myself.

You'd seriously have to go cross-eyed to focus on it.

And before someone who *is cross-eyed speaks up, I apologize in advance.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 17:22

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Fwiw, we put a triple casement window in a newly remodeled room we use as our office. I don't remember the exact measurement, but if it's not 6', then it's real close. I kinda hate them. Each window is too small and just doesn't look right. I wish we had done two together or even two larger windows, separately. I think the doubles will look great in your space.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 6:57PM
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I know all the arguments made for casements are valid, but I just hate them. We had them on our cottage growing up and they never worked properly. We kids were always screwing off the handles and losing them, the spiderwebs got inside and looked spooky, and I always felt that even when they were fully open, that the outside was somehow closed off. However, I agree that the first pic looks slightly better, I'm not sure if that will translate in real life.

As for the AC, my in-laws have a huge old house and were only able to install AC on the 2nd floor. It keeps the rest of the house very efficiently cool without that annoying feeling of being chilled to the bone (I'm also not a fan of AC).

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Daisy, thank for the info on your a/c experience. We have mostly casement windows in our CT house and they operate perfectly (Marvin). My biggest pet peeve is not operational but form, especially using a casement to mimic 6/1 just looks wrong to me.

Hlove, thanks! That is helpful.

Pal, Ha!

Annie, I don't think it'll be a big deal to me, but I do appreciate in the vein I think you intended, which is as *one* consideration in the decision making process. Thanks

Beverly, I'm not the slightest bit concerned about security. We have never even locked any of our houses, including one 12 miles outside NYC. I don't even know where I'd find a key. I'm not sure the options you show would look period.

Holly- kay , Oh im glad!

BusyBee --- no, it is a vintage sink that used to be ArlosMom's! That is a given!

Sandy, It's ok. I will get over it. Eventually. : )

Gooster, these are Pella's double hung "look"

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:00PM
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Good Advice in the link

Here is a link that might be useful: A window where it ought to be.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 8:55AM
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So funny ineffable, thanks for the laugh!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 12:30PM
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    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 12:51AM
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LOL in effable. I think I need to me more assertive with my GC!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Geez I love her coat ensemble!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:10AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Ineffable, great link. Makes me recognize how unfair it was of me to judge her so negatively.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:27AM
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Gorgeous mock up as always mtnrdredux! I know nothing about windows but know that a mullion in the middle of my immediate line of site would bug the heck out of me. I always wouldn't notice it until it was too late and the window already installed. Not know stuff like this is probably why I always bury my head in the sand and do nothing.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 12:50PM
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