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Real Estate / Houses

Windows To Another World

Stunning Vacation Homes Show Off the Power of Customization

BY // 08.03.16

It’s second-home season in Texas — the time that mountain, beach or countryside escape becomes invaluable. It’s often not only about fleeing the heat, though. Instead, it’s more about retreating to your own comfortable getaway sanctum, the place that makes you smile no matter what time of year it is.

When built right, a vacation home becomes the best part of a vacation, the place you daydream about during your most draining workdays.

A few things set great second homes — and great homes period, really — apart. One of them is, unquestionably, windows. Windows don’t just provide your view of the world, they also largely determine the aesthetic and energy efficiency of your home. No wonder why they, a once-forgotten stalwart, are hotter — and more debated — than ever. “Windows have become one of the biggest features on any home,” Houston luxury homebuilder John Leggett says. “Finding the right windows for your space can become a major debate for the homeowner.”

This makes high-end, custom windows even more invaluable. Rather than changing your vision of what your vacation home should look like to fit existing windows, you can make the windows fit your dream. Instead of shoehorning your home into pre-set parameters, you’re allowed to create. It’s the difference between being able to be the Steven Spielberg of your second home project and being some nameless third-rate director with very limited power to achieve your vision.

More and more discerning home buyers are turning to custom windows — and Andersen E-Series windows and patio doors up the ante by offering complete freedom of vision. Every E-Series window is made to the exact specifications of the homeowner. This allows for more dramatic sizes, much more interesting shapes, and more exotic materials. Imagination is practically the only obstacle.

This becomes particularly valuable in vacation home projects. After all, who wants their dreamy getaway home to look ordinary?

Let’s look at how Andersen E-Series windows can give homeowners the power to achieve their dreams in all kinds of different settings.

The Beach House

Andersen E-Series Double-Hung Windows with painted white interiors and transoms enhance oceanside views.
Andersen® E-Series windows double-hung windows with painted white interiors and transoms enhance oceanside views.

What about a tropical escape? Dramatic windows that let in tons of light — and work to keep your vacation escape energy efficient — make quite a statement in these type of settings. Whether it’s a mansion or a contemporary beach “cabin,” the windows set the scene.

Or go with E-Series double-hung windows. These fully customizable windows glide vertically, allowing full top-to-bottom ventilation. After all, what good is a beach house if you can’t smell the sea breeze? The look of a home’s windows is important. But how functional your custom windows are is vital.

The City Home

Andersen E-Series Auxiliary Casement and Picture Windows with white interior and pewter hardware open up a world of opportunities in this city dwelling.
Andersen® E-Series casement and picture windows with white interior and pewter hardware open up a world of opportunities.

Windows are just as important in the city — if your second home or retreat from the world happens to be in the heart of it all, you need to see it all. A city vacation home needs to offer an escape from the hustle and bustle, all the while keeping the best of it all close.

The best city homes tend to be dotted with distinctive modern furniture — and Andersen E-Series windows can help make these pieces pop even more by fitting right into a streetscape scene.

Modern Cottage

Andersen® E-Series French patio doors with painted interiors add character and enhance this cottage style modern home.
Andersen® E-Series French patio doors with painted interiors add character and can enhance a cottage-style modern home.

Cottages needn’t be small, or quaint, or old looking, to be romantic. This look at a modern cottage setting — the perfect second-home retreat — shows how custom windows and patio doors can bring out both the striking colorful furniture and the great outdoors.

It’s modern rustic with all the right touches — and plenty of room for an extended family or a large gathering of friends.

Countryside Living

This E-Series Auxiliary Full Circle Window in maple with a golden hickory finish and custom grille pattern makes a statement and expresses personality
This Andersen® E-Series full circle window in maple with a golden hickory finish and custom grille pattern makes a statement.

Not everyone wants to vacation in the city, however. Sometimes a renovated farmhouse in Round Top or an out-there West Texas ranch retreat sounds like heaven in a way that a slick skyscraper in the clouds never can. For that type of countryside vacation or second home, getting creative with the windows offers a touch of whimsy. As powerful statements go, it doesn’t get much more interesting than a window in a one-of-a-kind design.

You may be surrounded by trees that are hundreds of years old — or a have a herd of working cattle down the road — but your countryside manse need not look like a tired relic of a bygone era.

A Cabin Getaway

Andersen® E-Series windows with custom grilles turn heads in an otherwise classic cabin getaway.
Andersen® E-Series windows with custom grilles turn heads in an otherwise classic cabin getaway.

Second homes that leave it all behind still need to be comfortable enough to qualify as a retreat. As NFL star J.J. Watt has shown with his own highly-publicized luxurious retreat, log cabins come in all shapes and sizes. The windows that make them pop should as well.

This is where the complete customization that Andersen E-Series windows provide can make a difference. One you and your visitors will notice every day. Whether it’s the custom grilles shown here or a window shaped like a sailboat, there are as many possibilities as there are trees in the forest outside your dream “log cabin” retreat.

The Modern Retreat

Andersen® E-Series awning and picture windows with dark bronze exteriors complement this modern, contemporary home
Andersen® E-Series awning and picture windows with dark bronze exteriors complement this modern, contemporary home

Look at the way E-Series windows fit in seamlessly — and can add a bit of eye-catching pop — to an ultra-dramatic modern vacation home look. With custom windows, almost any look is possible. This striking look shows how dramatic Andersen E-Series windows can be. There is nothing like a vacation home that breaks from the norm. Your regular home may need to fit into the conformities of a city or a suburb, but your second home often provides an avenue for much more creativity. Especially if it’s a contemporary modern home.

Show-stopping windows do not just bring in the outdoors to a vacation home. They also bring a home together. In the photograph above, Andersen E-Series awning and picture windows infuse this modern retreat-style living room with light and life. It’s all about creating a great space — and making it pop.

Andersen® E-Series awning and picture windows with Pine Andersen E-Series Picture Windows with pine interiors are right at home in this woodsy retreat.
Andersen® E-Series awning windows and patio doors are right at home in this woodsy retreat.

This look would be great from Aspen to the Adirondacks. If you’re on vacation or taking a longer second-home retreat, you want to welcome the outdoors in ways you don’t in everyday city life. These fully-customizable windows don’t swing outward, making them a good fit for a spot like this that looks out right on a deck.

Where does the outdoors end and the indoors begin? Who knows? That’s the point of this dream look.

For more second-home inspiration, click through the photo gallery at the top to see some striking looks — and difference-making windows on the world.

Home, chic home.

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