Ideas to address a big bow window with no panes that open for ventilation?

the design of house with typical bow window that adrienne is looking atAdrienne is looking to buy a midcentury modest house and is seeing a lot that have big bow windows in the front. While these are beautiful and original, they do not have panes that open to provide ventilation. Today: She asks for our ideas how to address this situation when and if she pulls the trigger and buys a house with this feature. What a great question for readers to help answer, based on their experiences. I even have the uploader in place if you want to share a sketch or photo idea. Adrienne writes:

Well after being under contract and waiting 90 long days on a short sale for an average colonial house. I realized it just wasn’t the fresh start and style of house I really wanted. So I began my search again. I work in an Architecture firm, and being recently divorced I wanted something completely different than the house I recent sold with my former husband…. For the past several months I have been searching on websites and blogs like yours compiling lots of photos of inspiration to bring into my new home

I am stumped as to what to do with the windows in the houses [that I am looking at]. [For example, shown above is]: A 60s style custom ranch that has a fabulous bow window on the front of the house. With it being the only real window in the space, what would I do about ventilation? How would I replace it with a “like” design. [This type of home is] the most appropriate [for me right now], but I don’t want [to have to install a] $10,000 window.

I am also curious about what your readers would think about my painting the brick exterior of the house to make the stone stand out.


1960s house with a bow windowOkay, readers, bring the ideas on! I’ll pipe in at some point, too, but invite you to get the party started.

  1. Melissa says:

    I have the exact window in my house. I love the light it brings in but I have a school across the street from my house and struggle with needing privacy and allowing the light to come in. What kind of curtains or decor for the interior would you suggest? Curtains flat against the wall or curtains that bow? We’ve lived in our home for 8 years and I cannot figure it out! Thanks!

  2. Beverley says:

    My house has that bow window. I have custom made indoor shutters that can be opened in several ways to let in light or block it out. I don’t like that the windows don’t open for ventilation, but the dining room windows allow for air flow, especially with the whole house fan on. Another note on the bow window: mine are framed in aluminum which I painted white many years ago. They caused a large amount of “sweating” when the weather changed, until we had 5 single vertical panes made that attach on the outside of the windows. They are not noticeable unless you know they are there. They can be removed for cleaning (though that doesn’t happen real often.????). I didn’t like the bow window at first, but I have grown to like them!

    1. Michelle Vazquez says:

      Hello what are the measurements of your bow window? I have a bow window that measures
      80 X 135 and it needs work and I’m coming replacing it with a custom vynil but I would live more ideas on how to preserve it if possible

  3. Mary says:

    I have this same 5 across paned window. My 2 end windows roll out by a handle, adequate ventilation coming in and out the posterior window of the house

Commenting: Information

All comments are moderated, generally within 24 hours. By using this website you are agreeing to the site's >> Terms of Service, << which include commenting policies, and our >> Privacy Notice. << Before participating, read them in full.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.