The black and white decisions in my life have always been the easiest to make. When in doubt, I always throw on a little black dress. When uncertain about family beach picture attire, white is always an amazing choice. When it comes to dinnerware, I adore white dishes! My fingernails and toenails are painted black or white over half of the time. When deciding what color of Hunter boots I wanted, the glossy black was my obvious choice. And wearing my favorite white jeans after Labor Day undeniably makes me feel as if I’m on top of the world. Life in black and white is just always easier! Am I right?
So you can imagine what happened when I was forced to decide between the TWO- BLACK OR WHITE? AHHHHHHHhhhhh!!! This is the dilemma I was faced with as I had to decide whether I wanted to use BLACK or WHITE window frames in our new construction. #thelaydenlegacy
Windows. Windows. and Windows. If you’ve ever built a custom home or plan to build someday, there is no amount of preparation that could prepare you for all the decisions one must make regarding the window decisions for a new home. The windows and doors made up approximately 15 percent of our new construction costs, so this was not a decision I wanted to make lightly! Our new house has about 23 large windows! I lost sleep- actually nights of sleep laboring over the windows. Maybe a few months of sleep. Ha. How did I arrive at my decision? I’m about to spill all the details.
Unless you are living on another planet, it’s not a secret that black window frames have been all the rage over the last few years in new custom home construction. Just take one look on Instagram, search Pinterest for home inspiration, or watch your favorite home shows– and you’ll see that most designers and architects are quick to use black window frames in every level of new construction! My biggest question when I made my decision regarding black vs white window frames was this– ARE BLACK WINDOW FRAMES JUST A TREND? and MORE IMPORTANTLY, WILL THEY GO OUT OF STYLE IN A HOT MINUTE?
I did a little research and found out that black window frames have actually been used since the 19th century by architects- mainly for industrial design in factories and warehouses, and were also used some in high end construction. I admit I became very obsessed with observing window frames everywhere I went. I did indeed notice immediately that black window frames have been used for years and are timeless and classic– as long as they fit the architectural style.
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As with any decision in the home building process- one must chose what she loves– regardless of the trends. I really love black window frames, but I also love white window frames. Ugh! I was on the window frame merry go round for months. It wouldn’t stop! LOL! Can you feel my pain? My interior designer proposed two exterior designs. I revealed those in this post. Of course, one had white frames and the other black window frames. How would I ever decide? I had already made up my mind that I wanted a white exterior. I have always loved white homes and I feel that they never go out of style. With that decision already being made, I then had four more questions I needed to answer in regards to the window frames!
What is the overall feel and look I’m trying to achieve?
Working with a designer for our new home construction has been such a wonderful experience for me, and I’ve learned so much! Since I’ve never had any formal education in architecture or design, I had a lot to learn- as up until this process I never really realized why some homes just look amazing and pulled together while others just fall flat! The designer is the key!
I’ve been dreaming of building our house for years, and I have learned I love the elements of a few different types of design! I love some modern elements, and I love some french elements…. I shared some of my home Exterior Inspiration in this post. I really have always dreamed of a Legacy style home, thus why my hashtag is called #thelaydenlegacy !
The look and feel I’m trying to achieve for our home is a transitional style home! What is a transitional style home exactly? A transitional home is basically the marriage of traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials, and fabrics equating to a classic, timeless design. The lines are simple, yet sophisticated, featuring either straight lines or round profiles. Sounds easy to achieve, right? Lol!
The direction of the design depends on the architectural style of your home. Overall, it determines the look and feel of the new construction project, and this is where my interior designer has been a tremendous help!
Should I use black window frames or white window frame for the home exterior?
The question you’ve been waiting for! I’ve always loved neutrals, but what I didn’t know until recently is that BLACK is a neutral! Gosh! No wonder I own 50 Black Dresses! It’s the safest choice in my wardrobe, surely it could be a safe choice for my new home! By definition, in the context of interior design, neutral means without color. Neutrals appear without color and include beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray, and shades of white.
Since we decided on a white limestone color of stucco for our home exterior- the black windows would pop and add major curb appeal. Black windows just make a statement! Since our house sits on a hill, the black frames would add drama and elegance, stand out and provide contrast. Black frames would add that modern element to a classic design. Because of our home’s position on the hill, the black window frames could fade over time. Black frames are also considerably more expensive than white. White frames probably show dirt easier, but are also cheaper and seem like a safer choice overall. Would white frames blend seamlessly with a white exterior? Would black window frames be able to softened so the home didn’t have an industrial or too modern of a feel? These are all the thoughts I pondered while trying to arrive at a decision!
Should I use black window frames or white window frames for the home interior?
I never knew when choosing a window frame color, that one must choose window frames for the interior and the exterior! As if making one decision wasn’t hard enough. One of my biggest concerns when building a home was the transition of the home from the exterior to the interior. I wanted everything to be pulled together and the home to have a cohesive and uniform look.
I’m about to share a designer secret- but one I so strongly agree with! Ooops! When building a home, I think it almost always works best to use the same color on the exterior as the interior- as in 99 percent of the time! It just pulls the entire home together- especially if you chose black windows on the exterior. Using white on the interior would not pull the entire home together. Again, this is just my opinion. This was one of my major concerns when building because I wanted everything to look cohesive! The windows being the same color on the inside and outside is a major factor in achieving this goal!
I’ll be honest though. I was really worried if I chose black exterior windows on the outside of my home, that the interior could feel cold. I learned though that black can be softened. Also, it’s proven that black interior window frames provide a shadow to the naked eye, so the frame actually disappears and in turn provides an uninterrupted view. Our home overlooks a gorgeous pond and sits on a hill! Would the black interior frame open up the entire home to the outside view?
Obviously if you built a home and didn’t use uniform frames on the inside and outside there’s nothing you can do now! I’m just saying that I probably would never make that choice in a home I would build. After examining every single home online with an eagle eye, I have only seen a few instances where it works well to use different colors on the interior and the exterior. I strongly feel that using the same color on the interior and exterior does indeed make the design seamless- so keep this in mind when choosing window frames for your own home!
How will the window frame choice translate to the doors in our home?
When I was thinking about the color of interior and exterior windows, what I never imagined was that I would also have to consider another huge decision! DOOR COLORS! Our home has one main entry door, 5 sets of French doors, 2 side doors, and 3 garage doors! The windows all must blend with all the doors in our home so deciding this was no easy feat!
The window frame color I chose, ultimately determined the direction I would go with the doors. At times, I couldn’t imagine so much black in my home. Would it pull too modern? Are black doors more expensive? Would they fade over time? These are all things I drove myself crazy over when deciding on the color of window frames!
As you can see- I DID IT! The verdict is in!
BLACK WINDOW FRAMES IT IS- on both the interior and the exterior! I’m so excited that I arrived at a decision after months. I am beyond excited with my decision, and now that the windows have arrived I honestly can’t believe this was a dilemma! I labored and labored over the decision for months, and as soon as the windows arrived in our new home, I was certain I made the right decision!
I remember I stumbled across a blog post in my research on windows where a famous interior design blogger posed the question to her 1 million followers whether they would chose black or white windows in new home construction. I read through every comment on that post, and had my husband do the math. About 98 percent of readers said black windows are definitely the way to go. There were 1000’s of comments on the thread, and I went through each one. I added this to my post, just in case you are concerned about the resale value of your home and wonder what other people feel about black windows. I found the answer to be an overwhelming YES! I also wanted to say that after seeing my windows arrive I’m so happy I chose black for both the interior and the exterior. I had tossed around the idea of doing white on the interior, and I am so happy my designer advised me not to do that! I am 1 million percent confident in the decision I made, and I can hardly wait to show you the windows once they are installed! I hope this post helps you if you find yourself in the same predicament I was in! Feel free to email me at anytime with your comments or questions!
What I didn’t know was that after I chose Black Window frames- I would be forced with a host of a thousand other questions to answer about windows! Grille or no grilles? Casement or double hungs? What brand of windows? What kind of window frame profile? Which direction should each window open? What color of hardware should the windows have? Should the windows have screens? Oh– the decisions one must make when building their dream home! It’s not an easy process but I’ve loved every minute of it… does that sound odd?
As always, thanks so much for following along and I hope you all come back soon to see our new home unfold!
Thanks so much for following along and be sure to visit my other new custom home construction blog posts below!
We’re Building Our Dream Home!
I’m Starting a Home Blog Series!
Part 1 – The Architect/House Designer
Part 3 – The General Contractor
Part 4 – The Interior Designer
Production Built Homes vs Custom Built Homes
Exterior Design Concepts for #thelaydenlegacy
These window designs are awesome, thanks for sharing.
Love this post! We are custom building as well and I’ve had the same dilemma on windows. I know 100% I want black exterior windows, but have been leaning towards white on the inside to keep things light and transitional…and to offset the dark wood floors we are planning. Of course now I think I need to look at more photos! Can’t wait to see how it turns out for you.
Thank you so much! I have tons of updates on my insta stories of our new construction! Would love for you to follow along! @jessicalayden
I was very nervous about black on the inside and trust me— it looks amazing and so bright! I am so glad I did it on inside and outside. Good luck!!!
Hi Jessica great post. My wife and I are in the early stages of designing a custom home in the mountains of NH. We both love black windows inside and out. First got the idea after seeing the 2018 ideas house that the “This Old House” show built in RI. After reading your story I’m convinced black is the way to go. Thanks again.
Hi Barry! I am so happy my post was helpful! I love my black interior and exterior windows, and you will love yours too! Good luck with your custom home and come back soon to see ours unfold!
Found this post by chance during my own black/white window dilemma! Sleepless nights struck a chord! Many thanks really helpful. I had no idea window choice would be so difficult. We are currently having an extension built so part new part existing 1930s (half brick half render) house. Looking at black aluminium windows. Now you are so passionate about black internal windows do you think it would work equally as well not just in a new build? Thanks
I’m so happy my post was helpful! Yes! I think black internal windows would work equally as well in yours. It really makes the transition look lovely. I have seen people not do black interval windows and you can see the black grids on the inside. It looks kind of odd. Good luck with your project! Let me know if I can help you in any other way.
Many thanks. Windows ordered. Fingers crossed!
Thanks so much for your comment. I am so happy I could help! You will LOVE your windows.
My wife and I are going through the same dilemma, but have decided to go with black framed windows with black grills. The other big dilemma is what color of exterior trim(coiling) around the windows, black or white. The exterior of the house is white. Any thoughts?
Thanks so much for your comment. You will love the black window frames and the black grills! Are you doing a white siding or is the white another material like stucco? I ask this because there are so many shades of white and you will want the white coiling to match if you do choose the white. Just a thought that could help you decide…. whereas black is black. Hope this helps.
Thank you for your post. I am currently having the same dilemma. I disagree with you though about having one color or the exterior and another for the interior. My Spanish Colonial had the exterior window frames painted red, no way that would look good in the interior. Makes no difference whatsoever IMO. It’s like saying your exterior color should match your interior color.
Thanks so much for your comment! In your situation, I agree that the red probably wouldn’t look the best inside. I do think with the color black however it looks very nice on the interior as well as exterior. I was super afraid of it at first, but it provides a very cohesive look. It looks so elegant and I get compliments often! I am so pleased with my selection and don’t think I’ll tire of it…
Good luck in your project.
We are building our forever home and I love black windows and doors on the exterior. For the first floor I also love black interior window trim, which I think will go nicely with cream walls and light warm wood floors throughout. For the second floor, I thought perhaps to do the interior window trim white so I can paint the bedrooms different soft colors and have more flexibility in the interior decorating. I am just a little worried about whether it would be too noticeable that the two levels are different in this way. I would love to get your thoughts. Thanks so much!
I would probably do a cohesive look so do the same for both levels. The good news is, that you can always paint trim if you decide you don’t like the look.
I am at the same point on making a decision with our windows. I may have missed it, but did you share which series of Pella windows you went with? The windows are beautiful! We are also using Pella 🙂
We went with the Architect Series. Casement Windows. I love them.
Feel free to reach out with more questions!
I just happened to come across this from goggle. We are fixing to build a white farmhouse and I love the black windows but we’re both scared of the fading that may happen. Have you had any issues with that?
Thanks for your comment. I have not experienced any issues with fading but they are not even 3 years old yet. I did go with the Pella Architect so they are an upgraded window. I can only tell you that I am so happy I chose black windows and I have gotten so many compliments on them. They look so beautiful. I love black windows with a white farmhouse. Good luck with your decision. Feel free to reach out with any more questions!
i’m about to sign a Pella contract coincidentally for the same windows and grille design. would love to see any photos it you have them post installation.
Hi Joan! Please follow my on instagram @jessicalayden to see more views of the windows. I show lots on my stories that might interest you! Thanks for reaching out.
I have a very small ranchers. Beige siding. Right now Windows are all white. I am replacing all windows and my husband wants black. I’m afraid it will make the house look smaller. Just not sure about the black inside and out. Do you think black windows on a tiny 2 bedroom rancher would look awful ? And what about the resale factor?
I think if you go black, you should do it on both the inside and outside. The resale factor would not be impacted… black might even increase it as it’s so popular right now. Black windows are timeless and I realized that when I started looking at very old architecture in cities, etc.
With that being said, I currently live in a small brick rancher and we have white on inside and out and I can’t imagine this home with black windows.
Good luck with your decision. Reach out anytime on Instagram for more questions. Good luck!
Informative tips you have shared with us! Thanks