“In any given room there’s a point in the day when the light and the view are especially beautiful, and you can plan for the time when you celebrate that special space,” says Jay Libby, a design expert at Andersen Windows. “You can design for when the light comes in, when the woods are lit so beautifully. It takes understanding about what time you want to celebrate. It could be dusk, it could be the time of year, the angle of the sun, a view that’s really beautiful at a certain time of day.”
Windows can break down the separation of a cabin’s interior and exterior spaces, but that takes attention to detail and some assessment of its structure, says Libby. You may already appreciate morning light in the bedroom or evening light in a shared space, so take a closer look at how light plays to see if adding or enlarging windows might heighten that experience.
Many cabins are so tucked away that privacy isn’t much of an issue, but if it is, you’ll want to think about how new or larger windows affect that.
“The reality is – as much as many of us would love to live in a glass house – it’s often just not practical, especially where you may have an existing home,” he says.
If a cabin’s walls can’t structurally take the addition of a big window or sliding glass door, you may be able to create a sense of light and openness with a series of smaller windows instead, Libby adds. And removing moldings can help existing windows feel less intrusive.
“Sometimes it’s about minimizing the window itself and maximizing the opening by using minimal trim,” Libby says. “You’re trying to draw the eye to the exterior rather than to the window.”
Finally, adding or enlarging windows these days can be an energy-efficient option, considering that many windows have double panes that provide more insulation than older windows or even some walls.
“Take the time to really look at what it is you want to do with your home, what you are trying to accentuate, and what you are there trying to celebrate,” he says.