When it comes to home building or home renovations, there is no shortage of decisions to make. This part of the process can be fun but also very challenging. One of those decisions is whether or not to go with black windows. And when I say black windows, I’m obviously talking about the window frame, sash, and grilles – not the glass.
Black framed windows have become very popular over the past few years. This has some people thinking they might just be a fad that will go away at some point. We’ll discuss this in a bit. On the flip side, anytime something starts to trend, it causes more people to jump on the bandwagon. I never recommend that people follow trends without doing research to make sure that what they are choosing is right for their home. So in this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about black windows to help you make an informed decision.
Although black framed windows have become very popular over the past few years, they actually date back to the early twentieth century. Black steel windows were originally installed in warehouses and factories. These original black steel windows can still be found in industrial buildings that have been renovated. Black steel windows are also a modern-day construction option, although they are quite expensive. That’s why black-painted windows were invented – to give people an affordable option for this industrial look.
Are Black Windows a Fad?
As we are seeing black framed windows used more frequently in new construction and home renovations, some think it may just be a fad. I disagree. I think black windows are classic, and considering they date back so far, they convey a sense of character and timelessness.
Black framed windows can be used in all different design styles. The one we probably see the most is in modern farmhouse design. When people see a white exterior with black framed windows, they instantly think “farmhouse”. But they are certainly not limited to modern farmhouses.
Black Windows Exterior
Using black framed windows on the exterior of a home is a great way to create contrast and curb appeal, especially if your home will be painted a lighter color. If you do go this route, I recommend choosing SDLs. This stands for simulated divided lites. This means that the window grilles are on the outside of the glass instead of in between. This creates a more authentic look and adds depth to your windows. This is especially important for black windows since the grilles can get lost visually during the day.
Black Windows Interior
If I had to choose between black framed windows on the exterior or on the interior, I would probably choose the interior. I love what they do for a room. The black sash of the windows almost acts like a picture frame, where what you see through the glass is the artwork. If you choose black windows for your interior, I recommend painting the window trim the same color as your walls. This creates a cleaner look.
Black Vs White Windows
In the home design community, there is a huge trend with black framed windows. Does this mean white windows are out? Does this mean black windows are just a fad? The answer to both of these questions, in my opinion, is no.
Both black and white windows are great options depending on the style of home you are looking to build or remodel. When choosing a window color and design, rely heavily on two factors: what style of home you are building and your personal preference.
Modern homes also commonly have black framed windows. They are a natural fit in these types of houses considering their industrial origin.
But as I mentioned, they are not limited to one particular style of home. We used them in our farmhouse and we also used them in our current house, which is a European-style painted brick home. The black framed windows add an element of contrast and visual interest to the exterior.
Cons of Black Windows
If there is one negative to black windows it is that sometimes the grilles can be hard to see in the daylight on the exterior. They blend in with the dark glass if there isn’t something bright reflected in the windows, or if there are no curtains or blinds directly behind the glass.
Do Black Windows Cost More?
Another negative of black windows is that they cost more than white windows. They are usually about 10% – 20% more. This additional cost is from the window manufacturer. The increased cost is for the special paint and finishes used to prevent fading and additional labor that is associated with these products. It doesn’t cost any more to have them installed since the process is the same no matter the color of the window.
However, there are ways you can save some money and still have black windows. Order them unfinished on the interior, and paint them black yourself. We did this in our farmhouse, and the results were excellent.
While Henry and I are huge fans of black windows, we also love the classic white window. We seriously debated if we were going to go this route for our new build. We struggled with the choice for several weeks, but in the end, black was the winner.
White windows work well when you have lots going on within the exterior design. They allow for a subtle touch while drawing more attention to other architectural features. White windows are simply a very clean, classic design that will go with any style of home.
Cons of White Windows
One reason that we didn’t go with white windows is that we were afraid the color difference would be too noticeable between the factory finish white of the window and the shade of white (Sherwin Williams White Duck) that we painted the house. With black windows, this is not an issue since it is a drastic contrast.
Both black and white windows are great options depending on your overall look. The price of black windows is significantly more, but both are timeless looks that I feel will always be around.