As we continued with Phase Two: Rebuild, we were approaching one of the biggest transformations our apartment would see, and that was the replacement of the windows. This part I was really excited about!
From day one we knew the old windows would need replacing. While they were actually of a pretty good quality, they didn’t fit the frames properly and part of the upper sections were even blacked out (for which we never understood why). What’s more, as we had knocked the first floor bedroom mezzanine down to create one large room, we were left with a split window with a top opening and a bottom opening. Needless to say it now looked strange having a large window effectively cut in half.
When we began window shopping we had fixed a budget, and knew we were working with a set amount we had allocated for windows. After a few consultations and after announcing our budget range, we quickly understood our only option would be PVC frames. As we wanted to keep within the rustic theme we were creating with our beams and stonework, we had imagined wooden frames, so it was looking as if the PVC wood imitation option would have to be the next best thing.
However, no matter how many different options we looked at, there was something about them that just didn’t seem to fit. On a whim, we asked to see the ‘real’ wooden frames, just to compare the colour with the PVC options. As soon as the wooden samples were brought out, we both looked at each other and knew we had found just what we were looking for. With the exposed beams, the lime wash and the stonework all looking so in place, it really felt wrong to now throw PVC amongst the mix.
Of course the price of PVC and wood is significantly different, so now we needed to reshuffle some of our budgets lines and decide if it was worth placing such a large chunk of our total budget on one feature. (When I say decide, I think our minds were already made up – rather it was necessary to now justify this choice to ourselves!) Considering that the windows make up a large proportion of the entire back wall, they would be one of the first things you notice upon entering the apartment. As they also give a great view out onto the shared garden, naturally your eyes would be drawn towards them day in day out. For these reasons, automatically the wooden frames would become a real feature of the whole apartment.
As part of the package, (and another justification for us to spend on them what we did) the old windows would be removed and new ones fully installed by the professionals. What’s more, we were working with the window company Clair de Baie, who had actually been recommended to us by a friend whose brother worked for the company. After explaining our renovation story to them, and highlighting that we wanted to make a real feature of the windows, they kindly decided give us the family discount on the wooden frames, which (if I remember rightly) was 25% off the normal sale price. I think you could say that sealed the deal! Wood it was.
We had a hugely satisfying day’s work with the installation men, and it showed just how big a difference one day’s work can make to a project. With the windows fully installed, it’s safe to say that we definitely made the right choice. Wood has such a beautiful natural, cosy feel to it, and it just fits perfectly with the other elements and the feeling they give to the apartment.