February 24, 2014

The Great Bedroom Window Debate

This April will be coming up on three years living in this house.  THREE YEARS.  It seems like just yesterday we were crossing our fingers for the short sale to to come through.  Then again, when I think about all the projects we've completed in that short time (3 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 1500 sq ft of wood floors, a new staircase, etc...) it feels like a lifetime.

But there's still one big project that we need to do, that we've been avoiding really, and it's a pretty big one.  
 

 

Yes.  You are looking at 3 gaping holes from our Master Bedroom into our Living Room.  No glass, just holes.  Which means no sound privacy, no light block and overall weirdness.  When we first moved in these holes sported some pretty awful planters filled with rocks.
 
 

Other than removing the rock boxes however, we have done little to fix this big problem.  I hung some "temporary" curtains that have been up now for nearly two years, which is embarrassing really.  The problem is that we just can't decide what to do.  And we've been using that excuse for years.  So I've decided that the best way to get over this hump is to ask for your help.  I need you guys to tell me the best solution.  Here are your choices:

1. We fill in the holes partially and install modern horizontal windows about 5 feet up.  Something like this.
 
 
(Forgive the really bad mock ups.)

Pros: 
  • Leaving these interior windows (that can tilt to open) will allow the air to circulate through the house as originally intended, allowing a place for all that hot air that rises to the peak of the Living Room to escape, making the house more efficient. 
  • Placing windows here will give something interesting on this long skinny wall of our room, and also something interesting on the long, tall wall from the Living Room.  Otherwise both of these walls might feel expansive and bare.
  • These higher windows will let in a lot of light (the Living Room has a craaazy amount of light that floods in) but still provide us with privacy as you'd never be able to see more than our heads.  It would be easy to install blackout shades on them.
  • We can still look out them to keep an eye on our kiddos- which is a strange benefit we've come to love. 

Cons:
  • These windows will cost a good chunk of change- and is it worth it to pay for windows that don't even go to the outside?  Will future buyers (if we ever sell) want to buy a house with windows from the Master to the Living Room?
 
So that leads us to choice numero dos.

2. We drywall in the interior windows entirely, and instead knock out windows on the wall with the bed out to the backyard.  Like this:
 
 Or this:



Pros: 
  • Windows to the outside will allow for light and some great cross ventilation from our slider, bringing in more fresh air to this room.
  • How beautiful would that bed wall be- huh?
Cons:
  • A lot of money, (at least double the first plan,) as we're talking about transforming 2 full walls. We'd need scaffolding to drywall in the Living Room, and again to put in windows to the backyard.  Remember when Bath Crashers did that before?
  • We'd have two really long blank walls.  The bedroom is long and narrow, so I'm not sure that we could put any furniture against this wall.  And at 20' long, we'd need a pretty good plan to fill it with art, (that would be one massive gallery wall.)  The Living Room wall would raise up two stories to... nothing. Would that look weird? 
 


So that's where we've been for two years now... stuck.  I can't take it anymore, and we need your opinion.  Would you choose:
  1.  Modern horizontal windows to the Living Room, or  
  2.  Modern vertical or horizontal windows to the backyard? 
Why?  Any other suggestions that I haven't thought of?  Please do me the favor of leaving your comment below and helping us through this two year road block.  I need all the help that I can get!

19 comments:

  1. #1 - that solid wall appearance in Living Room is a little overwhelming. More economical. As kids get older you will REALLY appreciate being able to check on them when you are upstairs.

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  2. I actually prefer option 1. I think the light transfer between the two spaces is important, and you're right, it visually works better for both rooms. It's a bonus that this is the less expensive option. Ultimately this has bugged you long enough (and it would make me nuts, too) that it will be worth the expense, nevermind that the windows won't face outside. At that height, privacy will be a non-issue inside the bedroom. And you can better use that wall for furniture if you like.

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  3. #1a: the modern horizontal windows to living room, but without the actual windows; just empty rectangles for now. It might cut down on noise transfer enough, and the ventilation would obviously be good.

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  4. Option 1. Would it be an option to leave them the size they are (if there's a $$ benefit) and put in opaque glass, at least part of the way up? (Blocks the noise, gives the privacy, but still lets you check on the kids.

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  5. I say option #1 or leave them as they are now.

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  6. Can you do both? I always hate walls to the outside that don't have windows, why wouldn't you put windows up if you can? But I also think there are benefits to having the windows that go out to the living room. Maybe start with making the living room windows smaller, then later on down the line add new windows facing outside, you might find that the bedroom is darker without the big holes so you'll want even more windows.

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  7. #1...the big blank walls in #2 are just not attractive, especially from the LR side. Doing both 1 abd 2 would be perfection but way, way expensive. I'd do #1 first and maybe down the road #2.

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  8. I would get rid of the windows into the living room altogether, because it makes sense that there should not be windows from your bedroom to the living room. Just my two cents, but it looks as though option 1 is the favorite with your other readers.

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  9. You have got a wonderful home and nothings compare it. I have never seen a plan as yours, but I love both. I can choose one, right? And I think I am glad to say I choose 1. Cool!
    Sebastian Chuter

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  10. I like both plans, and since #1 is less extensive that's the way I'd lean if it were me.

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  11. I think you should add plantation shutters

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  12. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that if you close off that wall completely you might be inviting some unforeseen problems due to the airflow issue. Would the trapped air bring moisture to that high peak? Would the whole system become much less efficient and increase your heating/cooling costs? Since you have the knowledge that the openings are important for airflow, I'd say use that knowledge and don't close it off. The high narrow windows might turn out to be very easy to live with, and they do look nice from both sides, I think.

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  13. I kind of prefer option 2, actually, but I really think you can't go wrong. Either is good, so no need to stay paralyzed!

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  14. Option 1 .. cheaper and with the benefits you already listed. The living room wall does look a little weird for #2, though I've seen it in other houses and basically thought, "That'll be a pain to decorate."

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  15. I'm really leaning on the first option. I think it gives more sophistication to the room to have interior windows on the long wall. Interior windows are not a very common sight in most homes, so I think it'll add to the house's charm significantly. But whatever you choose in the end, I'm pretty sure it'll still end up quite lovely. Creativity is limitless!

    Blake Bennet @ WindowPro

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