Saturday, October 16, 2010

French windows

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Over the past year, I have learned a lot about the little details that go into designing a house.  As it turns out, one of the details that is of fundamental importance are the windows.   In the book Get Your House Right, the chapter on windows begins with this statement:
“Windows are more than a means of providing light and ventilation.  They are the ‘eyes’ of the house.  They connect to the world around it, framing a view from the inside and offering a glimpse of interior life to the passerby. Windows, more than any other single element, will determine the character of your home”.


Given that we are building a French style house, we are using casement windows.  Casement windows are hinged on the side and swing open (as seen above), either inward or outward depending on the design.   Traditionally, casement windows in Europe open inside and fold in against the pockets of the thick walls – which is the origin of the term ‘French door’ as these windows would often come all the way to the floor and operate like a door (source 1, source 2).

I am certainly no expert on casement windows, but most of the casement windows that I have personally seen swing out; this seems to be the preference or style in the U.S.  Here is a picture of outswing casement windows, which typically (although not always) use cranks to open and close.

In some spaces, like the kitchen, it often makes more sense to have outswing casement windows so they don’t open over counter space, and don’t interfere with the kitchen sink (which is frequently placed under the window).  Joni of Cote de Texas has a beautiful outswing casement window in her kitchen.  In my future kitchen, we are debating whether to make the casement windows swing in or swing out, but we are strongly leaning towards having them swing out.

These windows (in picture above) would be perfectly charming with an inswing, but the structure of the window and the cabinets that surround it makes the whole thing work better with an outswing.  Also, it allows for the roman shade window treatment, which an inswing window would prevent.  Image via Traditional Home.

My ‘favorite house’ has casement windows that open out.  If you look closely, it appears that there is a screen and a window, the screen also with the ability to open or close (I love seeing new things in a picture I have looked at so many times!).
The doyenne of French-Texas decorating, Betty Lou Phillips, has many examples of casement windows in her books.  Most of them seem to be outswing.  Image from Inspirations From France and Italy.

More outswing casement windows in a lovely family room decorated by Betty Lou Phillips.  Outswing casement windows seem to be more the norm in the states.  I have heard that it is actually hard to find window companies in the States that make inswing casement windows. Image from Inspirations From France and Italy.

However, my architect tells me that in authentic French window design, the casement windows should swing in.  I emailed the Sharon, author of the wonderful blog My French Country Home (Sharon was born in England, but has lived in France for many years), to find out her opinion on casement windows.  Sharon told me that she has never seen an outswing casement window in France, although in Britain they are very common.  Here is a picture from Sharon’s home – note the hardware mounted on the center mullion.

The windows swing open to allow for an expansive, unfettered view of the outside – isn’t Sharon lucky to get to gaze upon this scene every day?

Here is a picture from a magnificent home in France  featured in Sharon’s latest post…of course, I immediately noticed the inswing casement windows! (Click here to visit Sharon’s blog).

Greet from the blog Belgian Pearls (a designer who lives in Belgium)  also confirmed that traditional European casement windows swing in – as seen in this window  in the library of her home.

La Vie en Rose, a charming book on French homes that beautifully depicts the French way of living, is full of beautiful images of inswing casement windows (and no outswing that I could find).

In a post a few years ago, Cote de Texas posted on authentic French elements in homes, Joni notes the importance of casement windows that open like doors.  These clearly swing in.

The tall windows swing inwards, in a beautiful dining room in a home in France.

Take a look at the window on the right – it opens inward.  Often the walls in old French homes are several feet thick, and the windows are recessed into deep openings.   Image via Cote de Texas.

A charming casement window opened wide to let in the sun and air.  Image via La Vie en Rose, by Suzanne Lowry.

With inswing windows, more consideration has to be given to the placement of furniture – for windows that will be used frequently, it might not make sense to place furniture with lamps near the window (apparently this lamp has just enough clearance!). Image via Belgian Pearls.

A charming dormer window, that clearly opens inward.  I am especially enchanted with the even tinier dormer window on the right.

Although I saved this image for the picture of the window, I am enamored with the idea of a settee underneath a window that is wide open. Image from  The New Eighteenth-Century Style by Michele Lalande, via Trouvais.

Stephen Shubel’s beautiful apartment in Paris – the dining table is set just far enough away from the inswing window to allow each their own space. Image via Trouvais. (See her gorgeous post on his apartment here)

place de voges
A beautiful building in Paris, saved in my inspiration files.  This time I am looking for casement windows, and find evidence of an inswing in the upper right windows…

place de voges
Two windows, clearly opened, and clearly inswing.  I love the scrolls in the detail surrounding the window.

Thank you to the stylist who opened the upper left window for the photo shoot – it was very useful when searching for pictures of inswing casement windows!  Image via Cote de Texas.

I went through some of my favorite pictures so I could analyze the windows, and see how homes that are in the US (that are in my files!) have inswing casement windows.  The best clue that a casement window is inswing: the hardware can be seen from the inside, like the window on the right side of the fireplace. 

The window on the landing of this beautiful French style house in Atlanta has inswing casement windows. Architecture by Pak-Heydt.

Based on the design of the hardware seen on the window in the family room of the same house, I feel quite certain that these windows are inswing as well. Architecture by Pak-Heydt.

One of my favorite houses featured in Veranda has inswing casement windows, although based on the location of the concrete planters, they probably don’t open these windows too often! Interiors by Betty Burgess, image via Veranda.

Beautiful inswing casement windows seen on the house tour last weekend – I was already formulating this post in my mind, so I took a quick snapshot.

I think I have made a very strong case for the fact that inswing casement windows are quite traditional in French architecture!  My architect certainly prefers them for my house.  Truthfully, I have never really been the type who has the windows wide open (maybe because of the bugs and mosquitos that are part of life in Georgia), so perhaps whether they open in or open out is not really a huge factor (except in the kitchen).  Inswing windows would certainly be easier to clean, and I do think that they are charming, and would make my house very special.  Decisions, decisions!

The whole subject of windows has been interesting to investigate.  It seems that sash windows are much more common in the states than casement windows.  Readers, what kind of windows do you have?

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  1. I remember the year we spent renovating our home and all the small details that we had to decision on a daily basis. It takes so much thought and care and some ten years later I am benefitting from my research and careful thought. Personally, I like the windows to swing out, especially in the kitchen but you should also consider how windows that swing in will interfere with window treatments.

  2. Is your concern authenticity? It seems like it makes a lot more sense to have them swing out, because a big window takes up a lot of space.

  3. Although pondering it, I can see how if you used a screen that didn't swing, opening the windows in would be easier. That said, we have screens we can push up or down, so if you had movable screens, I'd prefer opening out.

  4. We have had both and when you mentioned bugs I remember how easy it was to put screens on the inswing and how impossible on the outswing!!
    The inswing windows were narrower, even so there were some bruises as we tended to bump into them more.
    We currently have double hung windows and lots of French doors as they are called in OZ.

  5. I agree that the window decision is one of the most important if not the most important decision to make when building a house. I studied a lot and looked at a lot of windows when picking mine. The other important factor is in the architect's court - the scale of the windows to the house - the correct scale makes all the difference! I have 42 windows in my house - a lot. The light is fantastic and our architect got the scale just right.

    Here's a post about my windows from my house building blog:

    Enjoy this great weather!

  6. One thing I notice is that many of the windows is the French homes have the space for the windows to swing in because they are recessed. Are you doing this? I think the inswing are so charming.

  7. When space allows, we like to use triple casements at the kitchen sink so when standing at the sink, your view is centered on a window instead of a mullion.

  8. Thanks for sharing - I have had indoors on my mind lately for our new house reno.

  9. Well Holly, you must have put alot of time and research into this post, but its worth it - very interesting.
    I would just like to stick up for inward swing windows. In all my years living with them, I don't remember anything being knocked off a table by an open window. Especially in an old house where the walls are very deep, so the window, when opened, doesn't extend that far into the room.
    Glad to have been included in this post, thank you.
    My French Country Home

  10. Beautiful inspiration post! We have inswing casements in the attic of our 105-year-old home. It was previously unfinished space, so they were probably just for ventilation and are not very pretty in their current state. When we had our quote for replacement ($1600 for four 1'x3' windows - yikes!), the window guy indicated that an outswing was the only choice. I don't know if it's a code issue or if they just don't make them swing in or what.

  11. I adore casement windows ~ so charming! I have the outswing casements over my kitchen sink and I love opening them and getting a fresh breeze off the patio...heavenly ~

  12. We are putting casements in our soon to be renovated English countryside style home. We are planning on them swinging out and are now trying to decide on hardware. Would love to hear a continuation of this discussion to incorporate hardware. Cranks, slides, recessed cranks (shown in photo #2 above).

    Love your post, BTW!

  13. Holly, this was a very interesting and informative post! This is a hard choice--pros and cons for both. One thing to consider is whether windows which open out would interfere with a walkway or patio when open, just as those which open inward can interfere with furniture placement. We have the same dilemma with our "french" doors as people call them here. Most of the back of my house opens to a large deck, and we have 5 french doors in the family room, dining room and living room. Since the doors are quite large I need to leave a great deal of space for them to open, and furniture arrangement is quite difficult as a result. If I could open them out I would. (But they are not so bad that I would ever consider sliders instead!!) Good luck with your project. Linda

  14. there is a reason for the difference between northern european (british, scandinavian) and southern european (greek, italian, french) windows and that is to do with climate.

    In france italy greece etc many windows are shuttered on the outside. The glazing is on the inside and opens inwards so that the external, usually louvred, shutters can be closed, blocking out light for sleeping and heat control and maintaining security, while the glazing remains open allowing cooling breezes through. The glazing therefore HAS to open inwards.
    In the UK any shutters would be on the inside and made of solid wood, as they fulfill insulation (and security) functions in our colder climate. Accordingly the glazing is on the outside so the windows can be kept shut, while the internal shutters are opened and closed from the inside to help keep the howling drafts out, as well as blocking light at night and being good security.

    Shutters were common on 17th - 19th century houses in the UK but have pretty much vanished from later houses now that we all have central heating. Whereas in southern europe external shutters still have an important part to play in blocking the sun/managing heat/managing light etc and so are still commonly installed on most residential properties today.

    Maybe that helps you decide?!

  15. Oh,my, we have a 100 year old tudor and just replaced the original casement windows. Authenticity is one thing...convenience quite another. I LOVE my new outswing casement windows (we have lived in our home 40 years) so I've dealt with both. franki

  16. We just placed our window order last week for our own home and 3 others under construction. All of them have casement windows with the exception of one home that has a more modern design to it, so the awning was a better options aesthetically.

    In regards to in-swing vs. out-swing I know for myself the decision is easy...out-swing. Yes there is a charm and more character to an in-swing window but in my opinion there are many reasons why I would not go for them.

    The main reason is the cost upgrade. Majority of suppliers have standard casement that swings out, so there would be an upgrade cost associate with the in-swing window (most of the time), and I know on our homes we average over 80 windows per with half of them having at least one pane that is an opener. To be honest, most people will not see the added cost associated with that as a benefit. Where a cedar roof or a solid slab marble shower would display the value more in your home.

    Another main factor for me is the lost real estate when the window is open inside the home. I wold now have to think about the little ones running around and even myself not paying attention with the sharp corners. Like you mentioned, the furniture placement, not something I want to have to worry about when I want some fresh air running though the house. As well, as one poster mentioned they are not an issue in older homes with deeper walls, but most home built in North American have 2x6 exterior walls and you being in GA might even be speced for a 2x4, so the sash is not that deep, maybe 2".

    So many factors yes, but for us with all of our homes there is no question, they all get casement and that is pretty standard in the price point of the homes that we build as well, when you are getting into the starter home market or even the mid-rage ($500K here) then the sliders.

    Can you tell windows are important to me as well, LOL. Most are not aware that the window package is the single most expensive items that you purchase when building a new home. And your quote from the book in your first paragraph is right on. Too many overlook the importance, style, and use of windows. Glad to see you have taken the time to make the right decision for your own home.

  17. None of the American manufacturers carry inswing casements, they are all outswing. Outswing windows are more weatherproof, probably accounting for their use in "rainy" England. Inswing windows have to come from Europe or be custom built, which really extends the ordering time. If you want to use screens, inswing windows require the screens to be on the outside of the house, which detracts from the appearance. We have used both, and in Atlanta where we don't open windows a lot, the decision is typically made on cost and aesthetics.

  18. Forgot to say in my earlier comment that I have casement windows in my casual eating area and they are outswing. We wouldn't have had room for the inswing windows in the space. I do love the look of casement windows. I didn't put screens on them b/c it would block the view. During the time we open them bugs aren't a problem.

  19. Can't wait to see your home when it is built. Love these images. I prefer the outward swing, but they are both beautiful.
    Have a nice weekend, Holly.

  20. Designing landscapes, everything I see in windows falls within my realm.

    Many interior decorators forget there is a view in. No matter the window type.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  21. Great post! I think Melissa's comment about the history of why windows tend to open in in France and out in England makes perfect sense. I love to be able to see what the origin/function of issues like this is. More often than not there is a practical reason to why historical things we love were done the way they were.
    Good luck with your decision!

  22. A tip for you: keep in mind that if you choose to add flower boxes to the exterior of your home, casement windows that swing out will drag across the plants and flowers, likely causing damage. It makes it difficult to water the containers. I know because I made this mistake. It's especially difficult to water the flower boxes outside the gorgeous arched casement windows in our second floor master bedroom because there's no other way to get to them.

  23. Wow - thank you to everyone who commented - I learned SO much! I tried to find out the reason why windows might be inswing or outswing, but couldn't locate a good explanation - so Melissa's comment was really interesting.

    Also thought Vern's comment was interesting. I thought that Kolbe made inswing windows too? Vern is right, though, we don't seem to open our windows much in Atlanta, except for a brief time in the spring (when there isn't pollen everywhere - our city is coated in pollen in March and April, and it is best to keep all windows closed), and the fall when there are those rare days in October/November when it is neither too hot, too cold, or too humid.

    I love reading everyone's thoughts! Tara - my architect is always thinking about the view in....that's why he is so good!

  24. Thoughtful and thorough post as usual. Great job, your next issue will be discovering the hardware. I did my research on this a year ago during a big French project and worked with an authentic French company who did the original hardwares at Versaille. They are still in business! Bronzes de France. There is another company in South America? but the name escapes me. Drop me a line and I will get it to you. You may want to refer to Bobby McAlpine's work for more clues. I posted about him on my blog recently and he is a true autority.

  25. I love inswing casements when the walls are the traditional thick walls (as in that fabulous Betty Burgess room with the tv above the fireplace) and the casements fold back against the interior! I don't think I would like them in a house with 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 walls. They would jut too far out into the room, taking up space, requiring moving furniture and a safety issue when open. If your house has the thick walls, I say go for it. Otherwise, I would personally prefer the outswing.

  26. Holly, yes, all the windows in France (including ours in Burgundy) are innies. One of the reasons for this is that the volets or shutters are on the outside as well. You can open the windows and close the volets and so block the sun but still have some light and air and privacy. Both on the outside wouldn't work and would be cumbersome. Most homes in the US seem to have decorative volets, but in France, they are indeed in constant use! Our 1920's house in CA has French door & window outties; the 1930's addition has windows have pull down metal mesh mosquito screens. Thanks for all the lovely photos!

  27. I have casement and sash style windows in our home. I love my outswing casement windows in the kitchen, but in So. California we keep our windows open a lot. The double hung sash style win my vote since they have screens (which I know aren't as pretty but are so practical). Good luck with your home---I'm certain it will be amazing with all the homework you're doing.

  28. I love your posts. Always so informative and thorough. I'm in love with theses windows as well. I can't wait till you finish your house and we get to see. It's going to be amazing!!! Have a great weekend.

  29. Melissa explained it well; the French inward swinging windows allow for real shutters to be utilized effectivly. I lived in St. Cloud, France for one year and the only thing in the entire apartment that had been renovated was the casement windows. Great to have a breeze in August when you have no AC, but there were very few bugs! I have outswing ones over my kitchen sink now, and really like those; very handy.

  30. Holly,
    Congratulations with your this post! Very interesting!
    And thank you so much for including me!

  31. Those beautiful windows in Parisian apartments could not be anything but inswing - because of the decorative balconies. It allows the biggest, tallest windows possible. Perhaps one of the reasons that I associate French architecture with windows and light. Wonderful post.

  32. Ahhhhh those beautiful windows and views... you have me looking around and judging my own windows now! lol

  33. While living in Europe, I enjoyed fabulous casement windows in my apartment. They opened to the inside; of course there were no screens. The amazing part of these windows was the ability to change the way they opened by the switching the mechanism. Now, the windows could be opened to the top with the hinging at the bottom. Wonderful on days of pleasant weather when you really didn't want to leave the windows open, but were happy to enjoy some fresh air. I miss those fabulously-engineered windows!

  34. We mostly have sash windows, but the windows on either side of the front door are casement, as are the windows on the second story of our dining room.

    I love the A. Hays Town house also, and recently discovered its location! I did a blog post about it.

  35. I have an outswing casement like the one Joni has, but wider. It's the only window in my house I actually like. The rest are cheap builder basic sash windows and will be replaced hopefully next year! Recently, we added out-swing french doors in our kitchen and when the weather is good I leave them wide open all day!

    In-swing are so beautiful, especially the hardware! Personally, I hate screens. Ever notice they make rooms seem dim and dirty? I literally have taken them out of every window of every house we have ever lived in!

    So, if you won't have the windows wide open often and furniture placement is no issue and they won't break the bank...go for authentic!

  36. I love all these examples of casement windows. I don't know which I'd prefer - in or out. In would be much easier to clean. You are so lucky to be building a house that will include them. I just found your blog today...don't know how I've missed it for so long. I just became your newest follower and am adding you to my blog list. I lived in Atlanta for 10 years so I'm excited to follow along and see bits of the city that I miss.

  37. for what it's worth, i have in-swing windows, and i HATE them. can't put a pretty table with a lamp on it in front of any of them, and they shmush the curtains, too. come to think of it, the only spot they don't bother me is over my kitchen sink¡

  38. We have added several casement windows to our home that we had imported from a German company. The windows are beautifully made, swing in, and include the mechanism that teaorwine mentioned, the ability to open on the side or on top. I dislike the crank that is typically used to open out swing windows and I think the in-swing handle feels more authentic.

  39. This reminds me of a friend in Atlanta who was remodeling her house about 5 years ago, and she searched and searched for a company who could make traditional French in-swing windows. She ended up finding one, but it was not in the United States.

  40. I love casement windows and we had one over our kitchen sink before we renovated our kitchen but the window had to go, it didn't flow with the house or other windows. They are beautiful and may I make a suggestion and have them swing out.

  41. My windows and doors swing out. My windows have screens inside, so that when the windows open, we don't invite birds, bugs, bats, squirrels and other inquisitive creatures. Interestingly, the builders of my house alarmed the screens, so that they could keep the windows open, while they were gone. I think that's clever of them.

  42. Hi Holly...thanks for the mention! We have metal out-swing casements on our 1939 house in Northern California and have wrestled for years about whether to upgrade to energy efficient metal or wood windows..the latter requiring redoing every single header to expand the opening so we can maintain the view. Love this post.I agree that windows are the most important feature in setting the tone of the house. Though I have in-swing French doors...I personally would always choose out-swing windows. I seem to always like to place furniture up against a window and wouldn't want my options limited by the windows. The flung open windows feel like outstretched arms to me...greeting the beauty outside. Perhaps this follows a regional perspective since our weather out here allows us to leave our windows open 8 or 9 months out of the year. Though I take my screens off in the winter, I notice new windows seem to have less obtrusive screens. You are SO lucky to be starting from scratch. Good luck! Trish

  43. We are in the process of building our first home and most of the plans that I have been looking through have had less than appealing windows... Thank-you for this post - it's an answer to my quest for the perfect window! I am going to print this off and show it to our builder of choice... The search is over!
    Beneath the Acacia Tree

  44. I hadn't given this much thought actually. I have always prefered the out swing windows, but you examples here make me really think. Hmmm. Tough decision. Great post.


  45. I lived in Spain for 2 years in a new apartment with in-swinging windows and metal heavy-duty security blinds on the outside. I do agree that they were easier to clean being in-swinging, and I wouldn't have wanted the exterior blinds on the inside, but I can't tell you how many times I got hit by a swinging window or bumped into a window corner. Our place was pretty small and none of the windows were actually able to open flat against the interior wall so the open windows were always in the way. If I were building in the States, I would definitely do out-swinging windows.

  46. So lovely.... We used to have outswing windows in our old house.... So sweet.

    Warm blessings,

    PS... Thanks for sharing. I loved this post.

  47. I'm grateful for this interesting post full of information and greats images,

  48. I live in a 1920s craftsman bungalow in Southern California. We have lots of original casement windows and they all open in.

    Enjoyed your post,

  49. I've lived in old houses for 17 years now and in each, I had casement windows that swung out. In my current house, the casements are almost to the floor and have hidden hinges on them so you don't see any hardware. In the Paris apartment we stayed in this Spring, we had a whole walls of casement windows and they all opened in, so I think your conclusions of the US style vs. European is correct. I did notice that rain storms come up quickly in Paris, which might be the reason windows come in. Also, Europeans tend to have so much less stuff than we do that I think the windows don't infringe on their daily lives they way they might in the states. Your house will be beautiful no matter which way they swing!

  50. For me...if there was ever going to be little people in the home, there would be no choice but outward swing. Even adults might catch the corner when not thinking.

  51. Happy to see "favorite house" yet again. We have all builder +1 upgrade stock double-hung and fixed windows. Our one French door is an innie and probably should be, but there isn't room to open both sides. Too buggy here to open very often anyway.

    I think the best thing you have going is deep reveals with 2x6 studs plus the brick. That's the great look and gives the best modulated light.

  52. We have casements throughout the house, out-swing here in Australia. We have screens on the windows too but they are fixed. How do screens work on in-swing casements? Fantastic post on my favourite style of windows..Rachaelxx

  53. I recently finished working on a petit French style home with a client here in Michigan all the windows are tall push-out casements 77"H. We used Lincoln Windows from Wisconsin. They do a push-out with a single handle and a multi-point locking system, so you don't have to deal with or look at cranks! They look beautiful, and simple......and work very smoothly.

  54. Beware, there is sound (squeek or groan) with a stiff breeze.

  55. Holly I highly recommend having windows above your kitchen sink that swing fully open(and sit against the outside of the house. I have that in this house and it is so wonderful to have the huge opening in the middle of the kitchen on a nice day. My patio is right outside so it acts as a nice pass through to the barbecue etc as well. A previous house had a similar opening but with a window box instead that I filled with herbs.
    Jan from Vancouver

  56. A beautiful case for casements!!!!The house really drives the bus on the in or out issue... The French Basketter is right in France they usually come in because of balconies and shutters existing in the old buildings....Mine have the screens and open out........ Love them!
    Maryanne Great post by the way...

  57. Stunning images!So ingeniuos to hide the some windows that way. The soft folds of the fabric, the colors you chose and how you accessorized make the room perfectly and elegantly comfortable!a haven away from the stress of daily living.SO Inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  58. What a fabulous post!! I love the windows so much that iam considering get some intalled on my beach house in New Zealand.Simply adore your gorgeous blog,had to join so ]i can keep on coming back for more of inspirations.

  59. Having grown up in Europe I am used to casement windows, and after 25 years of living here I still prefer them over double-hung windows by miles. Still if they are nice I can live with them. But nothing is worse than cheap windows! Aluminum, vinyl, they make me cringe. My biggest pet peeve are vinyl grids inside the glass panels meant to resemble traditional moldings.

    You are right, they do determine the character of a house. Beautiful post!



  60. My parents live in a very old house with casement windows that swing in. We are in Australia, and there are two reasons for the inswing on the house: first is that in Australia, we generally have screens on the widows to stop all the flies coming in, or for exterior shutters. But the main reason why the windows swing in- we were told- is for cleaning purposes. On the second floor the house's windows are very high up, too high for a ladder. In the days before the cherry picker, it was much easier to clean the windows from inside.

  61. Holly, you are right. I neglected to mention that Kolbe & Kolbe made inswing casements and have for years. Their drawback is that the only make 3 different widths and 7 heights so that you are limited to the sizes of windows that you can use.

  62. H! I built a French House in Santa Barbara; it was in House Beautiful Sept 2010. (also in that divine blog Velvet and Linen) We have outward opening french windows with invisible copper screens that roll down from the top (I don't like looking through screens all the time) They do not have cranks; but they have an invisible thingy at the bottom so they don't sway in the wind. (I like casement adjusters, also!) Most of our French doors open in; except in the main room; we have pocket screen doors so they open out......(we keep them open most of the time)!
    I hope this is helpful!

    Hope this is helpful; I took pictures to send you!

  63. Holly,
    Which did you end up going with? Inswing or outswing? Exteriors all wood or wood clad? With center stile or not? Do you have a date for your big reveal?
    Love your posts!

  64. You have such a beautiful blog! I started a blog, I have so much I'd like to share with other women, but I am struggling with the techincial part of it. For example, how did you create this easy way to post a comment? Is there a service I could hire regarding all the technical things like hyperlink, gadgets, etc.

  65. I am building in blustery New Hampshire. I would love to have inswinging casements, but only if they can fold flat against the inside walls AND if they are just as good at sealing out those strong winter winds in a storm and outswinging casements or double hungs. Does anyone out there know??

  66. My daughter has tall narrow in-swing windows in Santa Monica,CA. She also has a cat. The apartment is charming Spanish Colonial style and the windows add to that charm.

    However, the screens were obviously more recently added and they are not well fitted. To allow for breezes, I'm concerned about privacy when the windows are open. I'm also concerned the cat might find a perch on a window sill and accidentally push the screen out and possibly fall.

    My only idea is to fashion half curtains made out of outdoor fabric on 2 tension rods (l in middle of window at top of fabric and one at the bottom) that will fit inside the screen but outside the window. She'll get light and breeze from the top of the window and privacy from the bottom. Other ideas would be very welcome

  67. I was so glad to find this thread! I am having a similar problem to the previous poster with finding window treatments for my inswing French casements with a large in-swing transom (authentic windows on Greek island home). We have added screens which sit flush with the exterior although the walls give us window recesses which are around 60 cm (25") deep. I had them placed on the outside because as at least one previous poster mentioned, those of us in hot climates use our shutters frequently throughout the day, so I need to be able to get at them. At the same time, however, I don't welcome the little lizards or other creepy crawlies getting on the shutters!

    Several of these windows, however, face a public walkway and also face the hot morning sun. How to allow for lots of air day and night, but still keep the public from peering in?

  68. Inswing casements with both outswing exterior shutters and inswing interior shutters work fine together if set in thick wall, providing adequate recess from both exterior and interior walls. Don't forget the drip molding at exterior of bottom rail of casements.

    Functional exterior shutters can't be operable unless casements are inswing.

    This type of construction requires full scale, detailed drawings to be successful.

    Double hungs are cheaper and easier to accommodate window treatments inside and out, but lack the character of casements.

    Living in the South, my compromise has been to install outswing wood casements with wood brick molding in brick veneer walls, interior screens, curtain/drapes and operable exterior shutters on cast iron shutter hinges that, although they are left open, add significant contribution to character and provide a vehicle for accent color and texture.

  69. Inswing windows in old town orange, calif. home. The three French casement windows also have transom top window features. Unique. Landlord put large mini blinds across tops of lower inswing windows. Dumb. Have to place pulled up blind on top of opened window doors. I took the mini blinds off. Put a regular window bar between transom & casement windows that had extra length out - 6 inches out, w/ rounded corners. Extended an extra couple of inches at each side. Now, we have a light sheer and heavier drape that can be opened- clear of casement inswing.

    Previous tenants never opened the windows. A true loss of great cross breeze and air, and light in the small home.

    Owner should put custom made mini-blinds on each window pane or cloth blind. It is a busy street, not smart to go w/o a window treatment of some kind. The top transom windows have decorative light color window covering. Let in light and air, and at night provides good interior protection when closed.

  70. I live in what's referred to as a "French Normandy " style house built in 1923 , in California. I LOVE it! The house sits in a historic district,and the houses around us are built in similar thinking- Tudor, Spanish,French Normandy, American Colonial. Our house style is the least common. With a 42" round front door, wood windows and original hardware( both in adobe thick walls), oak wood and flooring,and exterior iron detailing, and everything lovingly kept in good condition from the prior owners( we make just the 3rd owners since 1923). French doors, corner fireplace( outfitted with gas), and a living RM ceiling that had a design "sponged" into a circular design when wet ,subtle yet so pretty. In my book (coming from my parents box of a track house), nothing beats the history of a vintage house, or the fun in protecting a living antique....


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