All The Details of Our Large Arched Window From Pella

March 11, 2020

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Our large arch window has been the talk of the house pretty much since we bought the home last June. The shape of the original window inspired us in so many ways, but the style and the fireplace blocking the view of the back yard just didn’t feel right for the home we are trying to create.

So when we were planning our phase 1 renovation and decided to remove the fireplace from within the large arch window, we wanted to make sure we still honored the original shape. We met with an architect, our contractors and a Pella consultant to go over options. We looked into just adding a window where the fireplace was, but we still didn’t love the pane design or the layout of the individual windows themselves.

So we knew the first step in creating the modern cottage we see in our minds, was to bring the windows up to date with cleaner lines and beautiful, substantial trim.

But let’s rewind and talk through the steps of this process, because the this window was one of the first things they started working on (they tore down the brick in August!) and they just finalized it yesterday. Yesterday!

Keeping the same outer footprint of the window may seem like it would make the process easier, but really the entire inside had to be restructured to ensure each of the individual panes was stable. A big concern with a window this size is the wind making the windows flex, possibly causing them to break (especially in our region which has high frequent winds). The window is about 13’x13′ so it took quite a lot of engineering to make sure it could withstand our high winds and be sound.

So in early December, the entire insides of the window were completely stripped out to make room for the new panes.

We also needed extra reinforcement that standard 2x6s couldn’t provide. So our contractors wrapped them in 16 gauge, galvanized steel studs to span the height and make the frame more rigid. Building the frame for the individual window panes took almost the entire first day, because they had to be exactly on the money, or it would be nearly impossible to get the final window trim to look straight and even.

And even though it would still be a long time before the window was finished, we’ve been able to enjoy them these past few months nonetheless.

We were so grateful for the guidance we received from our Pella rep and his team. They talked us through all of our options and helped us understand the engineering considerations for a window this large, and we’re so happy where we’ve landed. In our first meeting, we saw so many finishes and options and decided on Pella’s Architect Series in Modern Wood which really made our black window dreams come true…and stay true.

Here’s a sweet before from this angle:

And the after:

Okay, almost an after. The baseboard needs another coat, the plugs need to be installed — we need some life back in here — but we have gained so much of an amazing view!

We went with Pella’s Architect Series, because it provides:

  • Sleek designs and expansive glass
  • Unique contemporary styling
  • EnduraClad® exterior finish that helps protect your window from the elements, ensuring our new windows will last a long time and look beautiful and rich, too

I know we have shared a lot of progress throughout this process on Instagram in real time, but behind the scenes, our visual team has been recording time lapses and install progress of this baby (this window really does feel like a child at this point)  to share RIGHT NOW!

It’s been such an amazing experience watching it come to life and the best part is, we now can see our beautiful yard and the girls playing outside. It’s definitely not the last you’ll see of this view.

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What do you think?

  1. Vicki says:

    Looks phenomenal! Your visual team did a fantastic job with the video. I have been following along but this really brought it all together and illustrated the amount of work that went into installing this beautiful architectural window! Bravo!

  2. Andreea says:

    Window might be the most amazing window I’ve ever seen. The quality of Pella windows comes through in your photos.

    My only “but” is that the cost of even one Pella window for most people is prohibitive. I asked them to quote ONE window I wanted to enlarge in a client’s kitchen to bring in more light. I love that they can even do work on historical homes, but the cost was a shocker.

  3. Danna says:

    It’s so freak’n beautiful! I love it…and want one!

  4. Laura says:

    Do you think you’ll share a mood board of your living room plans soon? *crosses fingers hopefully*

  5. jordan says:

    Stunning!! I’ve always been a square girl when it comes to trim, windows, home interiors, etc. The 90’s just killed any love I would have had for arches…..until now. I mean, y’all have showed me that clean, sharp lines like your killer fireplaces + arches can really live happily ever after and not trigger me with the 90’s memories. the square beam, square checkered floor pattern, square french doors and fireplace mixed with the huge arched windows, door ways and bigger door…this is changing the game and the “rules” in the very best way. Can’t wait to keep watching your vision come to life…this is a delight to watch!

  6. Carmen says:

    Absolutely stunning! The repeated arched doorways, the scale, the simplified color scheme and lines. So pretty.

  7. PJ says:

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! I think this is my favorite change so far! Coming from someone living in a space with not enough light, this is glorious!

  8. Meredith says:

    BEAUTIFUL!! I love it so much!

  9. SG says:

    I’m continually impressed with the progress shots and almost finished/finished shots you’re sharing – everything truly looks like it was always meant to be that way! It’s been so fun watching your vision come to life. Great work, and thank you so much for sharing the process (and the ups and downs!) as you work through it.

  10. Sara says:

    Stunning, so so stunning. The space is utterly transformed.

    Off topic questions, but if you put in research, as I’m sure you did, into “recessed” lighting, can you share? I am redoing my kitchen and wanted to use no recessed lighting since I live in an older home, but am realizing it will be too busy or too dim to go with only decorative lighting. Looks like you found a nice option–are they the Phillips Hue ones? Would love a roundup or modern or least conspicuous recessed lighting.

  11. Julie says:

    I love the before pictures next to the now. It just proves how fantastic your vision was. I am surprised at how busy looking that old fireplace/window wall was before. The transformation is absolutely stunning. I was one who was hoping you’d not do the book shelf to the left of the fireplace, so glad you did the archway, it makes total sense and looks like it was designed like this always. Also, I am in shock how many rude comments people make to you guys. Who even thinks that is EVER appropriate?

  12. Wow, I could not love the “after” more. Big windows like this just MAKE a room! So so so beautiful!

  13. Patricia says:

    Wow! I wouldn’t have had the vision. This whole house is such a change in tone from your last home. Both are stunning in very different ways. It’s been so exciting to watch these rooms come together slowly. And so many good things still to come.
    Plus the real treat of seeing Andi’s home change to suit her family. Yours is amazing but hers is more relatable to what I’ve done and can do. Love having both. And you’ve got more sisters right? More remodels?

  14. Katie says:

    I think the window is absolutely stunning!! I bet it would be a jaw-dropping moment seeing it in person. The sleek black lines are so clean and I’m obsessed with how it looks with the beams and fireplace!

  15. Kelly says:

    I think it turned out great!

    FYI – I was curious how the window would look with the central protruding black trim pieces (not the window frames, but the chunkier portion of the grid) were painted the same soft gray color as your baseboard. So I rendered that in Photoshop (I do this all the time with my own house lol). It really gave the window a much softer look overall. Not saying it’s the direction you should go, but might be an option in the future if you ever feel like switching things up. Great work!

  16. Jill says:

    SWOON!! Your new windows look stunning!

  17. Hedi says:

    I thought in the first place that instead of the arched shelves there should be a doorway because of the balance and the flow of the two spaces. Also, if there will be 20+ people hanging in this dining area, then only one and a rather narrow doorway to the living space/kitchen area would not work – there would have been some heavy “traffic”… I know that there is another doorway to the music room, but that is leading to the other direction of the house. Anyway, although I love every single feature in this space if you look those separately and I am curious how all this comes together, but at this point, it feels like maybe too many awesome features have been put together that the focal point is getting missing. That is the main interior designer’s advice that You should not add every single great idea and design feature into one space. Like all the beams, awsome fireplace which is “fighting” with those beautiful windows. I mean there are many black and different sized squares and arches in one area making it very busy to the eye – there are grids everywhere! But I know that you are probably somehow going to tone it down with your furniture choices. Can’t wait!

  18. Carrie says:

    I can’t believe that some of your other readers are making negative comments. This window and room are amazing and I can’t wait to keep watching the progress on your home! Thanks for sharing so much with us.

  19. Gina says:

    I literally gasped when I saw this! It is breathtaking! I can imagine the impact is even greater in person! It is what window dreams are made of! I can’t wait to see the room fully furnished in CLJ style!

  20. Traci says:

    I love the window! Out of curiosity, I’m wondering if you have any regrets on that second arch? I think it looks good but wish you had stuck with your original plan rather than going with the second arch due to reader’s comments. Your vision was so much cleaner and better thought out. Having those two arches so close together, Not so much. Those Shelves there would’ve been amazing! Not criticism, just an honest question.

    • Julia says:

      We literally have NO regrets about the second doorway. I think it would have been a HUGE mistake to put shelves there. And it actually wasn’t reader driven. They had the doorway opened to build the shelves and we fell in love with it instantly!

  21. Meredith says:

    I think it looks fabulous! Bravo!

  22. Anon says:

    I really hope that you do love this window and your home, but this is a huge miss for me. If I were buying your home without any backstory, it would be a feature I would want to fix. The grid pattern makes it look as though it’s an accident that the window is arched. I think a pattern similar to the big arched door you kept would look much more unique and beautiful. It almost looks like you were trying to cut costs with this design, which is a shame since it is such a large feature and doesn’t sound to be the case.

    • Rebecca says:

      You’ve got to be kidding! This is such a beautiful modern take on an arched window. I drool when I look at it. Also curious to know if you’d appreciate anyone walking into your house and telling you something you spent tons of time, money, heart and soul on was a “miss.” So rude. Julia — it’s gorgeous and the CLJ squad knows it.

      • Anon says:

        If I built a business off of anything at all, including my home design choices, yes I would expect people’s feedback as a part of that. It’s their home but it’s also the commodity they’ve chosen to sell us and profit off of. Not exactly like going over to someone’s house for dinner and offering unsolicited opinions.

      • Kristin says:

        That’s probably why she doesn’t have a public blog she makes money from. This isn’t a personal blog anymore. It’s a business, and businesses are open to critiques, reviews, etc.

      • B says:

        It’s not rude to have a different opinion, and Anon’s was thoughtfully stated. Frankly I agree with them.

        If Chris and Julia love it that’s what matters in the end, but the rest of us read and comment on this blog because we like thinking and talking about design. And those discussions would be boring if we all had the same opinion!

    • Janice says:

      I agree! I think this is an eye sore and doesn’t look anything like what they envisioned.. or at least what I think they were originally envisioning? What does it matter though when they got 100k + for free in Pella windows + doors.

    • Hanah says:

      Unfortunately, I agree. This window is probably my least favorite feature of the house. I typically LOVE all the design choices so it surprised me. I get the smaller windows saved on costs but I think all the thick black trim really detracts from the view. I guess the view is supposed to be the window instead of the outdoors.

    • Mirror says:

      I think it’s hard to tell just how big this arch is. Each square is around 3ft by 3ft. That’s pretty substantial even with thick trim! The trim may be obvious in photos but I bet the view of the outside is a lot more awesome in person. The season and the overexposed lighting doesn’t help with that right now.

      I’m not a fan of gridded windows in general but I still think this is an amazing feature for the house. It’s beautiful. CLJ inspires me every day, even though my design sense doesn’t match theirs.

  23. Emily says:

    It’s beautiful! Are you able to share rough costs?

    • Chris Loves Julia says:

      Our arched window was around $27,000. If it had been one big window (rather than 16 smaller pieces), it would have been at least double!

    • Liz says:

      The arch and thick grid remind me of a portcullis (not in a bad way). It’ll be nice to see everything softened up with furnishings. I bet that view is pretty all year long!

  24. Mara says:

    Happy days! Looks great!

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