Best Garden Windows - Top Styles & Materials

Best Garden Windows - Top Styles & Materials

January 22, 2024
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door

Garden windows are a unique and enchanting feature for any home, combining the charm of outdoor greenery with the comfort of indoor living. These functional and decorative windows create a cozy nook for plants and herbs or a sunny spot for your favorite decorations. With the ability to enhance natural light and offer extra space, garden windows transform ordinary rooms into vibrant, lively spaces. This introduction will guide you through the allure and practicality of garden windows, highlighting their benefits and the distinctive features that make them an ideal choice for homeowners seeking to add a touch of nature and elegance to their living spaces.

Milgard Garden Windows

What is a Garden Window?

A garden window, often found in kitchens or living spaces, is a unique style that extends outward from the house. This protrusion creates a box-like enclosure reminiscent of a small greenhouse. The design typically includes a fixed glass panel at the front, with operational side windows that provide ventilation. This architectural feature brings in abundant natural light and offers a panoramic view of the outdoors. The main allure of garden windows lies in their ability to create a mini-indoor garden. The extended sill area is perfect for nurturing herbs, flowers, or small plants, thus allowing homeowners to cultivate a green space within their homes.

Having this space is particularly advantageous for those with limited outdoor gardening space. In addition to their functional benefits, garden windows contribute to a home's aesthetic appeal. Their unique design is a focal point in any room, adding charm and character. When decorated with plants, these windows transform an ordinary space into a tranquil, green oasis.

Advantages of Garden Windows

Garden windows offer several advantages that make them a popular choice for homeowners:

Enhanced Natural Light and Space: Garden windows capture more sunlight from multiple directions due to their protruding design. This natural light influx brightens the interior space, making it appear larger and more inviting. The additional sill area provided by these windows is perfect for placing potted plants, herbs, or decorative items, effectively utilizing what would otherwise be unused wall space.

Improved Ventilation: The operational side panels on most garden windows allow for increased air circulation. This feature is particularly beneficial in areas like the kitchen, where proper ventilation is essential. Opening these windows can help reduce cooking odors and maintain a fresh environment indoors.

Energy Efficiency: Modern garden windows often have energy-efficient features like double glazing and low-E coatings. These enhancements minimize heat loss during colder months and reduce heat gain during warmer seasons, contributing to a more comfortable indoor climate and potentially lowering energy costs.

Aesthetic Appeal: Garden windows add a unique architectural element to a home. They can serve as a visual centerpiece in a room, offering a charming and picturesque view of the outdoors. Their distinctive design can complement various home styles, from traditional to modern.

Incorporating a garden window into a home improvement project can significantly enhance the living experience by offering functional benefits and aesthetic charm.

Uses for Garden Windows

Innovative Uses of Garden Windows in Home Design

Garden windows open up a realm of creative possibilities in home design:

Culinary Delight & Miniature Greenhouse: A garden window can be a miniature greenhouse for those with a green thumb. Grow small plants, flowers, or even a tiny vegetable garden, regardless of the season. The garden window's abundant light is ideal for growing various indoor plants, especially those that thrive in sunlight, like succulents or certain flowering plants. Transform your kitchen by using the garden window as a herb garden. Fresh herbs at arm's reach enhance your cooking and bring a refreshing green touch to your kitchen. Just remember that dual pane windows with UV reduction may alter what plants will grow well in this spot. 

Cook Book Shelf: Since many install garden windows in the kitchen, it's a great place to store your cookbooks for easy access. Just be aware of how excess sunlight could impact the print or colors of the books placed within. Even with UV reduction, they could fade over time faster than not being exposed to that amount of sunlight. 

Thematic Decoration or Art Display: Use the shelf space for a rotating display of decorative items, including seasonal decorations, small sculptures, or a collection of unique glassware to catch the light. The natural light of a garden window is ideal for highlighting art pieces or cherished photographs. The shelf space can create an ever-changing display that reflects your style. You can also utilize the garden window for seasonal decorations. It can be a focal point for seasonal cheer in your home, whether it's spring flowers, summer beach themes, autumn leaves, or winter holiday decor. Just make sure the material placed here can handle the impact of additional direct light. 

Bird-Watching Station or Aquarium: Place a bird feeder outside the garden window to create a bird-watching station for endless entertainment and a way to connect with nature. You can set up your aquarium using the garden window if you love fish. The betta fish, for example, loves both darkness and light. They have sleeping patterns that are similar to that of humans. Your garden window can give your fish the right amount of sunlight it needs. It can also provide the right amount of shade depending on the window's location on the building. But before you install your aquarium tank, you need to understand that some fish have a more challenging time adjusting to drastic changes in temperature.

Additionally, direct sunlight can cause the water to heat up, creating an environment full of algae. Make sure any animals in this space have evolved to fit the environment these windows create, such as direct sunlight and a wider range of potential temperature variations. For the aquarium, make sure you speak with an expert to control for changes in the tank that may occur under these conditions. Additionally, ensure you don't alter the window in any way that voids the warranty while attracting nature to your home. Each of these uses enhances the space's functionality and contributes to the overall aesthetic, making garden windows a versatile and valuable addition to any home.

Why Milgard Garden Windows are the Best Garden Windows

Milgard windows include exceptional design and functionality. Energy efficiency is a hallmark of Milgard's design philosophy. Their garden windows come equipped with features like double glazing and advanced insulation technologies, which help maintain a comfortable indoor environment and contribute to reduced energy costs. This attention to thermal efficiency is particularly beneficial in areas with extreme weather conditions.

Durability is another crucial aspect of Milgard garden windows. Built to withstand the test of time, they require minimal maintenance, making them a practical choice for busy homeowners. The side vents incorporated into the design ensure adequate ventilation. This feature is handy when you install these windows in kitchens. Milgard's blend of aesthetic appeal, customizable options, energy efficiency, and durability makes their garden windows a superior choice for those looking to enhance their living spaces. For more detailed information, you can visit Milgard's website on garden windows.

Selecting the Best Garden Window for Your Home 

When selecting a Milgard garden window for your home, it's essential to consider the vinyl frame material's unique features and benefits. Milgard's vinyl is known for its durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance requirements. Garden windows don't come with quite the same variety of sizes and styles. So, ensure this is the perfect fit for your home's needs in that location.

Considering proper installation is crucial. Milgard's reputation for quality suggests that their garden windows are designed for longevity. However, they still require professional installation to avoid problems that may occur during improper installation, even with the best products. A well-chosen Milgard garden window can transform your space, offering a blend of practicality and style that complements your home's architecture.

Milgard Window Installation

Installation and Maintenance

Professional installation is essential for garden windows to ensure optimal performance and aesthetics. Experts like those at US Window & Door have the skills and knowledge to correctly position and secure the window, providing it is watertight and insulated against air leaks. Adequate installation is vital for windows that project outward, like garden windows, as they must be adequately supported and balanced. 

Unlike other standard windows, garden windows are only available for new construction installations and are not retrofitted. Install garden windows into the frames of the opening, which often means cutting into drywall or siding, such as stucco, to expose the frame during replacement. So, new construction in this setting means extra labor, not that it is only available when first building the house or room. As long as the local regulations allow for it, you can place a garden window in nearly any home. Just get ready to paint or match the material to the interior and exterior of the house due to the new construction installation process. 

In terms of maintenance, garden windows require regular care to retain their appearance and function. Proper maintenance includes cleaning the glass to maintain clarity and brightness and wiping down the vinyl frames to keep them looking fresh. It's also important to check and clean the window's tracks and lubricate any moving parts to ensure smooth operation. We recommend regularly inspecting the seals to prevent any moisture ingress or drafts.

By adhering to these maintenance practices, garden windows can remain an attractive and functional home feature for many years. Regular care enhances their longevity and ensures they continue providing aesthetic and practical benefits when considering new windows.

Embracing Elegance and Practicality with Garden Windows

In summary, garden windows are a superb addition to any home, offering a unique intersection of beauty and practicality. Their design not only enriches the aesthetic of a space but also serves functional purposes like enhancing natural light and providing ventilation. The versatility of garden windows in home design—from being a kitchen herb sanctuary to a display for cherished items—adds a layer of personalized charm. Milgard's garden windows, in particular, stand out with their energy-efficient features and durable vinyl frames, ensuring they fit seamlessly into various architectural styles. Proper installation and easy maintenance further solidify these windows as a wise and enduring investment. Garden windows, therefore, are not just an element of home decor but a lifestyle enhancement, bringing a slice of nature indoors and transforming ordinary spaces into areas of tranquility and inspiration.