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  • Writer's pictureDmitriy Kuleshov

Top 11 Modern Custom Window Designs To Inspire Your Next Big Project

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

Table of contents:

(!) 4 things to keep in mind when you plan to add a custom window to your house
#1 Corner Windows
#2 Round Windows
#3 Large Format Windows
#4 Triangular Windows
#5 Picture Windows
#6 Skylight Windows
#7 Sliding Windows 
#8 Awning Windows
#9 Large All Bevelled or Stained Glass Window
#10 Bay Glass Windows
#11 Smart Windows 

Recently I’ve disputed with a friend of mine who suggested that contemporary architecture is boring.

Boring was the word he used to describe the tasteless construction of the homes in our neighbourhoods.

He was ranting about how the houses have become so identical that sometimes even homeowners themselves experience difficulties with identifying their properties.

It’s an extreme example, but his key point was about the builders who apply the same template to build up the new houses.

Building a unique house is an expensive pleasure.

A ballpark cost per square foot can vary between $250 and $400; however, the price may rise depending on the materials and services, for instance, demolishing the old house.

For this reason, not every homeowner is willing to deal with the complexity of the building process; also the lack of finances to design and build the custom home may be the biggest hindrance.

Though, my friend kept insisting—the identical architecture of the houses in our communities creates monotony on the streets.

Interesting that boring architecture takes an emotional toll on the people forced to live in and around it, according to one piece of research.

In a book, Cognitive Architecture: Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment, an urban policy professor Justin Hollander and an architect Ann Sussman review scientific data to help architects and urban planners understand how people respond to built surroundings.

People, they argue, are healthier when they live among variety — a cacophony of bars, bodegas, and independent shops — or work in well-designed, unique spaces, rather than unattractive, generic ones.

Puzzled by the question of how to revitalize the boring architecture in our neighbourhoods, I realized that there’s one element that can drastically change the appearance of any house -- your windows.

They make the house look so unique and modern.

An image below sums up the point above.

Custom windows are perhaps the most accessible way to transform your house from boring to unique and modern.

Keep on reading to see the top ten window designs that hopefully will inspire your next big project.


(!) 4 things to keep in mind when you plan to add a custom window to your house

  1. Understand the local Building Code requirements for adding a new window. Usually, this information is available on the city council website. For residents in Calgary, you can refer to their website for more information.

  2. Think about the area you want to add a new window. Does it ruin the balance between exterior and interior appearance? Does it decrease or increase your energy consumption? Does it bring more natural light?

  3. The most important point is to determine the type of window. There are 18 common types of windows that you can find on the market. Each comes with its list of pros and cons.

  4. Avoid any interference in electrical wiring, plumbing and ductwork by calling in a professional technician who can locate these problem areas for you.


#1 Corner Windows

Corner windows use clean lines, narrow frames and large expanses of glass—ideal to make your house look modern.

They can be added in narrow spaces and installed in different variations, such as fixed or tilted windows.

Since these windows located in the corner of your house, they admit lots of natural light into a room.

#2 Round Windows

Round windows can be designed in many sizes and placed literally anywhere in your house, be it a flight of stairs, bathroom, ceiling or garden house.

What I also like about the round windows is that they don’t take up much space or disturb the balance in the interior of your room.

Their edges smooth, and additional elements like french grills, or ornamental stained glass patterns make the design well-balanced.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

#3 Large Format Windows

Extremely difficult to realize unless you’re building a new house, the multilevel large format windows are usually made of high-impact steel that is used in the design to give the living area a sense of expanded space.

Even in small rooms, these windows extend the living space beyond the actual room size.

Glass-on-glass connections and shifts in shapes and sizes create a minimalistic, rigorous modern design.

This design requires a larger investment, but the end result will not disappoint you for sure.

#4 Triangular Windows

Triangular windows are not only easy to build, but they help to maximize the room space and the amount of natural light.

Especially if you’re limited in space, you can have your window designed in different styles and shapes that will be perfect in terms of functionality and comfort.

The triangle windows may be designed in many shapes, including the right or left angle, isosceles, trapezoids or pentagons.

One thing for sure—triangular windows installed in your house make other houses look monotonous.

#5 Picture Windows

The main principle of minimalism lies in every big and small detail that should inherit simplicity, practicality and aesthetics.

In a window design, this means large or small windows, straight lines, neutral colours or unobstructed glass panels.

This is where the picture or fixed windows holding the lead. They're one of the most versatile types of windows on the market.

They can be designed as large as the entirety of a wall, or as small enough to place above the sink.

#6 Skylight Windows

Unlike in Europe, skylight windows are not commonly found in Canadian homes, especially here in Alberta.

The twin fixtures work best and are perfect for those who want to add more light into their office or studio space, or someone who’s looking to build one in the attic.

The advantages of the skylight windows include a bigger stream of light, more ventilation, and increased comfort.

Given that a lot of us are working remotely these days, a facelift to your home office makes perfect sense.

According to a 2017 research published by the Cornell University Professor Alan Hedge, workers who are exposed to high levels of natural light in an office space reported an 84% drop in symptoms of eyestrain, headaches and blurred vision symptoms, which can detract from productivity.

#7 Sliding Windows

Sliding windows are a very popular style because they’re practical, affordable and stylish.

A movable sash makes it easy to open a window for cleaning and ventilation.

However, if the budget of your project is big, then you may consider installing similar sliding windows designed by an Italian architecture studio Bergmeisterwolf. They were commissioned to design window glass panels for a modern wing in a 17th-century villa in Italy.

Their solution is indeed innovative. With a touch a button, the sliding windows can disappear into the ground, creating a true indoor/outdoor living experience.

#8 Awning Windows

Due to affordability, durability and amazing energy efficiency, awning windows are one of the most commonly installed types of windows.

They’re great for areas prone to high levels of humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.

However, awning windows can also be designed as modular units with many size and shape options.

They can be used as a complement to large size picture windows, making the house design more versatile and modern.

#9 Large All Bevelled or Stained Glass Window

We have mentioned above that the fundamental principle of a modern house is simplicity in design.

Although, if our goal is to revitalize boring architecture in our neighbourhoods, then bevelled or stained glass windows can transform a typical house into a dazzling place.

This affordable modification will cost you a fraction of what you will typically pay for the new windows.

Also, it will help you create a unique environment inside any room.

An artist can paint the windows in minimal and simple or bold and glaring styles.

Calgary is lucky to be home to many established stained glass artists. For instance, a local studio called the Twist has been working with stained glass for over 18 years and counting.

Fun fact! 😃

There’s an entire movement of tourists who travel the world in quest to find unique stained glass paintings. So, who knows, maybe your window will be the next iconic landmark for stained glass art tourists?

#10 Bay Glass Windows

Bay windows are built to expand the living space and increase the amount of natural light.

One thing about the bay windows is that they’re alike in their design.

So full glass bay windows bring an extra dimension to your room and add a sleek modern look to your house.

They create an illusion of being outside.

They maximize the space in your room.

#11 Smart Windows

By the end of 2025, there will be 64B devices worldwide connected to the Internet.

A big portion of these devices will comprise the home accessories, which include home assistants, home security systems, smart appliances, smart HVAC and soon smart windows.

Even though the UPVC windows with advanced hardware that offer maximum energy efficiency are already on the market, it’s only a matter of time when we see the first smart windows connected to the broad network of other smart devices.

But let's talk about less known innovations that soon will transform our houses.

For example, the liquid crystal windows, the primary technology of which is borrowed from the LCD devices like digital watches, enables the windows to switch between clear and translucent.

I think the most amazing future glass tech is called the photovoltaic glass (PV glass) -- which enables the conversion of light into electricity.

the glass incorporates transparent semiconductor-based photovoltaic cells, which are also known as solar cells. The cells are sandwiched between two sheets of glass.

PV glass can produce its own electricity through the windows which is considered 100% green. Because the sources of this energy is renewable, it doesn't cause any pollution.


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