What do old country cottages and contemporary Craftsman homes have in common?
The front windows.
Windows are the most recognizable features of Craftsman and cottage style homes. So recognizable that their window designs are commonly known as both cottage windows and Craftsman windows.
From the curb, the design looks distinct. But look a little closer and you’ll notice common styles and features that architects used in unique combinations to create a style all their own.
Characteristics of a cottage style window
They’re the windows you fondly remember from fairy tales or admire on drives through quaint, historic neighborhoods. They may even be the reason you bought your home. Once you get up close, you’ll see that cottage windows can be just double-hung windows. They have two sashes — one hung atop another within the same frame — that operate by sliding up and down. But there are two stylistic differences that make a cottage window different from a double-hung window.
Asymmetrical sash split
Traditionally, cottage windows have a 40/60 sash size ratio split. The upper sash is smaller than the bottom sash, like in this Western New York renovation.
The smaller upper sash may also contain grilles, which gives the appearance of multiple individual window panes. Cottage windows have either a four-over-one or six-over-one design, meaning there are four or six panes on the top sash and one on the bottom sash. In some cases — like in this Buffalo, New York, window replacement — both the upper and lower sashes are divided by grilles.
Reasons to love the cottage look
The two distinctive features of cottage style windows add architectural interest and preserve the classic charm of cottage and Craftsman style homes.
With the traditional four-over-one or six-over-one design, the divided upper sash delivers character inside and outside the home. The multi-paned look brings curb appeal to the exterior and delivers divided light in the interior. The unobstructed lower sash maintains a clear line of sight.
The asymmetrical split further enhances the look by making it appear as if there are two, five or seven different windows used in combination.
Whether you live in a cottage, original or contemporary Craftsman home or just want to incorporate that style into your house, you can accomplish it with one project. Upgrading to double-hung windows in the classic cottage style gives your home the old country charm with modern window functionality and efficiency.