Photo credit: Kolbe Windows and Doors

Windows are one of the most important features of a building in terms of both looks and functionality.  With styles and options always changing, these 13 window designs are some of the most popular right now.


Window Frames

Clean, bold and elegant sophistication are echoed in the timeless characteristics of black window frames. This trend is in contrast to the stark white and neutrals of the past decade. Using various shades of black and other dark tones to frame windows can work with nearly any home decor and architectural design. The simple, black frames give a home a dramatic look both inside and out.

Read our blog, “Design Trend Alert: 6 Reasons Window Frames Are Back In Black” for more information on why architects, builders and remodelers creating new spaces, or helping their customers with a home or building redesign, should consider black window frames.


Photo credit: Marvin



Monochromatic schemes are no longer the only choices for windows and window trim, experimenting with contrast can open up new possibilities. For customers seeking more options for customizing their space, architects, builders and remodelers can recommend trying mixed finishes.

The mixed finish look is often achieved by using a dark paint or stain on the window sash, while the surrounding framing is painted to match the walls around it. The window sash is the part of the window that houses the glass, and it’s also the part of the window that moves with the glass if the window opens and closes. The frame or casing is an additional layer of stationary trim that frames the window opening to provide a finished look.

“Trends come and go, but homeowners will always seek personal touches that are a reflection of their style,” says Jackie Schneider, vice president of marketing at Marvin, “Mixing finishes offers a new look for window styles.”


Photo credit: Marvin 



The demand for more natural light in both residential homes and commercial buildings isn’t slowing down anytime soon. When it comes to customer preferences for windows, bigger is better. This desire for larger windows is consistent with the desire for more daylighting, a technique by which the amount of natural light in a space is maximized.

“People have a desire to simplify their lives and homes, along with forging a deeper connection with nature, the surrounding environment, and each other,” says Brenda Pellund-Brunk, product profile strategist at Marvin, insight the company derived from recent consumer research.

To let more light in, architects, builders, and remodelers are choosing bigger windows spanning the entirety of a wall. Floor-to-ceiling windows open spaces to the outdoors and create the opportunity for impressive views.

For a more functional approach to the floor-to-ceiling look, opt for combining windows with large sliding glass doors.


Photo credit: Kolbe Windows and Doors

Narrow Stiles

and Rails

A more minimalist aesthetic has been gaining steam in recent years. Not only do homeowners crave larger sight-lines, they want an unobstructed glimpse into the outdoors.  Thinner stile sand rails can help create a modern and clean statement by diminishing visual clutter.

“Contemporary designs continue to be a big trend with requests for products that have narrow stiles and rails along with crisp, clean lines,” says Nick Pesl, the Product and Market Specialist at Kolbe Windows & Doors.


Photo credit: Pella Corporation


Window Seating

Space- saving, intimate and stylish, built-in window seats are on the rise. Soaked in natural light, these intimate nooks offer practical flexibility for storage and comfort and add a cozy focal point for any room. Window seats work in almost every architectural style, from colonial to contemporary, and their renewed popularity speaks to their form and versatility. Double-hung windows in the kitchen, beautiful bay windows in the living room or fold-away cranks with insulating, dual-pane glass provide enticing areas for relaxation in any season.


Photo credit: Pella Corporation



“Outside noise can be a major distraction that hinders the comfort and happiness within a home.  Whether it is a homeowner living in a large metropolitan area, near an airport or railroad, or near major roadways, people are always seeking a solution to drown out the noise in today’s hectic world. As more and more people continue working remotely from their homes, I believe the industry will see an increase in these types of requests.” Nick Pesl, the Product and Market Specialist at Kolbe Windows & Doors.

The level of noise within a space plays a key part in overall wellness, making acoustic windows and sound-proofing options an important element in the growing health and wellness trend.  High-quality and high-performance windows an effective and high-value way to create quieter indoor spaces. Builders, architects and remodelers can evaluate the acoustic performance of a window by understanding its Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating.


Photo credit: Kolbe Windows and Doors



Corner-unit windows capture panoramic views and light from multiple directions. Providing a clean aesthetic with minimal visual disruption, wrap-around, 90-degree corner-unit windows are a design focal point from both interior and exterior perspectives.

When modern materials and manufacturing techniques are coupled with, dual-pane glass, homes are gifted with larger sizes that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor scenes. Bigger options provide more expansive views while still offering energy-efficient comfort year-round.


Photo credit: Kolbe Windows and Doors



As consumers look to host and entertain at their home, a newer style window that has been emerging is a window place above a countertop, sometimes known as a party window, that connects the interior of the home to the exterior of the home. When the windows pocket into the wall, slide out of the way, or stack to the side, the counter can be used to place food, beverages, and more for guests to enjoy.


Photo credit: Pella Corporation



Those seeking to create a more inviting and welcoming entryway into a home are shining a spotlight on sidelights. Perfect for upgrades or new builds, these narrow vertical windows sidle up to a door to let in much more light and create a sense of space and openness.

Traditionally, sidelights are fixed within frames flanking a door, but today’s trends call for more functional offerings with windows that can let in the fresh air. This provides a security element as well. Front doors can be closed and locked, but the sidelights can be open to still catch the breeze.


Photo credit: Marvin 



Mid-Century Modern architecture was at the height of its popularity in the United States from 1945 to 1964. Mid-Century Modern designs provided a clean break from classical architectural practices, focusing less on ornamentation and more on function. They utilized post and beam construction techniques and were built with industrial materials like aluminum, steel and concrete.

Many millennial homebuyers are showing a renewed interest in MCM architecture for many of the same reasons it became popular in the first place – designs with open spaces and spectacular views through enormous expanses of glass.

However, according to Marvin, “Today’s homeowners are less willing to embrace a vintage design if it results in higher energy bills and wasteful practices. There’s an opportunity to restore key features and replace others, applying green technologies like closed cell foam insulation, 98% AFUE furnaces, and new windows and doors with super-efficient glass packages to bring these relics into the current day.”


Photo credit: Pella Corporation



Juxtaposed against the strong lines and functional décor of the modern movement, you’ll find the mercurial feel of contemporary design. Stark contrasts, such as those found in black window frames and white walls are sought after. Function often gives way to form and current trends, allowing for more ornamental elements such as curved lines and additional windows.


Photo credit: Marvin



When replacing or installing windows, builders, time was that architects and remodelers used to be limited to buying a standard-size and then modifying the opening to make it fit. Now, they can order specific window widths, heights and depths to fit the exact opening size required. Custom sizing means a much better fit to the home’s look and reduced installation time.



While historically white window trims are still popular with homeowners, many people are looking for ways to make their homes stand out. One way to do that is with a unique trim color.

For adventurous homeowners, bright, unexpected colors, such as red or turquoise are popping up on trim. This can add a distinctive, head-turning look in homes. This trend also includes making the trim and casings blend with the surrounding walls. To accomplish that, architects, builders and remodelers can encourage customers to paint the woodwork the same color as the walls.

By: Michael O’Brien

President and CEO of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association.

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