Like its “cousin” the bay window, the bow window is a unique design element that can add more than just good looks to your home. It can add a special functionality that can transform any room where it’s featured.
As with a bay window, a bow window extends outward from the house and creates an additional space in a room that can be used in a number of ways – storage, decoration, seating, etc.
But a bow window differs from a bay window in that a bow window is almost always curved – or bowed – outward. Where bay windows can occasionally be angled with straight lines, bow windows feature a gentle curve that bellows outward.
Bow windows were first developed in the United Kingdom in the late 18th century and arrived in the United States a short time later, in the late 1780s. These windows were popular in that they allowed homeowners a wider view of their gardens (popular at the time) as well as the streets outside their homes.
Bow windows are usually made by joining together three or more casement windows, then creating the “bowed” look by placing a curved molding over the joined windows, giving the illusion of one continuous curved window. The smooth curve of a bow window can result in a stunning look on almost any home.
While the look of a bow window can be different than that of a bay window, the unique ledge feature of the bow often serves the same purposes as the one in a bay window. The extra space is often utilized as a shelf, a modest greenhouse (the abundance of sunlight serves this purpose well) or extra seating. Simple add a long cushion or several individual cushions and the space becomes an inviting place to observe the world outside.
The configuration of a bow window can include three or more panels and can be opened in a number of ways: like a traditional window (vertically), opened on a smooth track that permits one pane to slide behind another or cranked open like a door with quiet, smooth-running crank handles.
Those seeking replacement windows and are considering bow windows have the option of selecting the type of arch that best meshes with their home design. They can select from traditional, casement or double-hung windows, as well as the color and finish. In addition, homeowners can select the type of material, screen and window hardware that will compliment their home.
Finally, adding a special UV coating to the window can protect you and your possessions from the harmful rays of the sun and keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, resulting in additional savings.
Bow windows are an exciting home design feature that can provide not only style and comfort but can save you money as well. Consider replacing the windows on your home with bow windows and open up your home to new possibilities.