When you live in close quarters to your neighbors, like Downtown Portsmouth, there are many things to consider when looking to renovate or add an addition. A key ingredient to living harmoniously with your neighbors is window location. There is nothing worse than looking out your window and straight into your neighbors private life, and then to find them staring straight back at you. This can turn into more than just one awkward moment. Think about where you spend the most time, and plan for those windows accordingly.
The kitchen sink – To me this is the most important window of the house. It’s a place you spend a lot of time at (and usually doing something you don’t enjoy) so the view out this window needs to be more than perfect. It is very expensive to relocate plumbing, so many times we do not change your sink and window location, instead we focus directly on what is outside. If there is enough space, create a small garden a few feet from your window. Layer the garden with something tall to the back, evergreens preferably for year round cover, then add small flowering shrubs or perennials for beautiful pops of color! If you cannot fit a garden outside, consider hanging a small shelf at eye level across the center of the window, then line it with potted herbs, this way you have something pretty to look at (and smell) and you also get to have fresh herbs in your kitchen!
Family room windows – This is the space where you wind down from your day and usually don’t want to show off your loungewear to your neighbors. Here you need to consider furniture layout while you are deciding on window location. Do you prefer sectionals, or are you going to focus on keeping your favorite chair in the mix? Think about how these pieces of furniture lay out in the space and then consider what you would like to be looking out at. If you have a view, maybe to your backyard or a beautiful side garden, then fill this wall with full-length windows and direct one side of the sectional or angle your chair towards this wall. Now think about the wall that looks directly at your neighbors and turn this into the entertainment unit. Add some built in bookshelves and small awning windows above, so you still have some light, but when you are sitting down and enjoying a movie you are not staring into your neighbor’s back yard.
Bathroom windows – Of course we all need this to be the most private room, but also need that morning light to help us get ready for the day. Magazines always feature beautiful bathrooms with a tub right in front of a huge window. While this might be great for someone on a remote island or in the middle of the woods, it’s not so practical to people living in tight spaces. Add small awning windows above 5’, so you can still look out as you pass by, but shield the rest of your body from view. You can also have your new or even old windows frosted.
Windows bring light and a view but just make sure that you have some privacy!