Any opening in a wall, roof or within a door that lets light in and provides air circulation.
From pierced, non-glazed openings to the most elaborate and complex shapes, windows are they eyes of a building, an integral part of the architecture. The pattern and scale of windows dictates how the world sees a building and how the world is seen from within the building. The size and number relates directly to the architecture, and in turn to the locality and its climatic conditions–whether light needs to be increased or kept out; the level of rainfall or cold all suggest the size and how well insulated the window needs to be… Alongside a less formal way of living, the advances in modern technology for heating, wall construction and glass have moved the traditional parameters and are changing both the relationship of window to wall and our notion of how it should be.
When it comes to making furnishings for the window there are no hard and fast rules, but the overriding message is to keep it simple, and in proportion to both the window and the room. However, when the window is ugly, ill portioned or ill – sited, then we can use furnishings quite cleverly, to compensate and redress some balance. To make windows seem higher, or wider, or lower… whatever is needed to make the window area friendly and comfortable in it’s place.
Curtains, blinds, and shutters, whether solid or louvred, or pierced screens, all have a part to play at the window, either separately or together. Once a decision has been made on the style of furnishings, the design and detail should consider all good architectural elements with any shapes or edgings. The best position for fittings – how far above and how far away, again many options but in proportion to a good window or to re-balance a poor one.
The other thing to bear in mind is that fabric can’t do much harm to a building. So if you fancy something elaborate or that might be architecturally inappropriate then, whilst it might be against best advice, if that’s what you want, it’s your house.