Portholia: Round Windows
Image: Ian Allen on Dwell
When it comes to quirky design choices, I’m often of two minds. My design mantra is always “whatever works for you.” However, I sometimes wonder what drives a particular interior décor decision. Specifically, I often find myself pondering the reasons behind the inclusion of round windows in a home. More than almost any other design element, I believe round windows need context within the décor. Here are a few of my favorite uses of round windows—and my thoughts on why they work in these interiors.
It’s a bold decision to include small porthole windows like those shown above; bold, because this is a permanent feature of the home that is not likely to be of everyone’s taste. But here they function as a decorative element, acting as a lighter counterpoint to the built-in cabinetry.
As a Feature Element
Can you imagine the above wooden wall without that terrific round wood window? It would be interesting, but not nearly as attention-grabbing as it is with the window. This use of a large porthole improves the interest in this space considerably.
These two portholes aren’t serving the function of providing a view—that’s more than ably handled by the large glass window wall they’re inserted into—so it seems clear to me (pun intended) that they are included to allow for ventilation. It’s a plus that they also throw a punch of architectural interest into the space as well.
As One More Thing
Image: The Vintage Home
Honestly, with all that’s happening visually in this space, I have no clue why the designer chose a round window here. Perhaps the exterior elevation of the structure calls for a porthole, but the interior design is not supporting that choice—unless the concept is to bring a softer shape into the room. Otherwise, this is just one more competing element.
What do you think about round windows? Yes or no?