Like any other home element, window styles go in and out of fashion. There was the narrow horizontal ranch house window, the plain double-hung Sears kit house window, the curtain-challenging towering palladium window of the '90s. The latest trend is less about style and more about energy efficiency. From triple panes to solar insulation, homeowners are choosing windows that reduce the bottom line on electric bills while preventing ultraviolet ray damage to furnishings.
In June, Green Hills homeowner Ilsa Krivcher redecorated her dining room. New drapes went up, old blinds came down. She loved the look but didn't enjoy the heat penetrating the now blinds-free picture windows. She wanted to block the glaring rays while keeping her garden view. After researching options, Krivcher chose to have solar insulation installed in the windows. The results were so impressive that she had all downstairs windows and those in the south- and west-facing upstairs rooms done as well. "All summer it was so terribly hot," Krivcher says, "and my friends were saying, 'I have to keep the blinds closed.' Not me!"