Meet the modern wood window

We love a black window, but it’s not the only way to create a contemporary look. Find out how to create a modern wood window through your window selection choices.
White oak windows in a living room frame a canyon view outside.
If you've been searching the internet for modern window inspiration, chances are you’ve come across lots and lots of black windows. And while they’re absolutely beautiful, they’re not the only option! If you’re looking for a contemporary look that’s a little bit warmer, it’s time to get acquainted with white oak windows.

When to choose natural wood

California-based builder, Dagan Koffler of Dagan Design & Construction, Inc., recently completed a “mid-century coastal” style home in Encinitas, California. “The intention was to create a high design home that’s also warm and livable,” Koffler said. To that end, the home features clean lines, lots of glass, and natural materials with interesting textures. White oak was a part of the plan from the start, as the material of choice for the ceilings and floors. It was key to warming up the bright and airy home and avoiding the cold feeling that can sometimes characterize modern spaces. When the owners and designers decided to also go with white oak interior doors, Koffler suggested they choose the same for the windows, and the results speak for themselves.

The takeaway: Since it's both warm and neutral, natural wood is incredibly versatile. We’ve seen it work beautifully in a range of modern and contemporary homes — think mid-century, Japandi, Scandi, and more styles.

A kitchen with white oak cabinetry, table, and windows.
With white oak featured throughout the house, the choice to go with white oak windows was only natural.

How to make a wood window modern

Of course, wood windows are not strictly modern. Many traditional architectural styles feature interior wood windows. To differentiate these windows from traditionally styled wood windows, specific choices were made, including the following:

  • Thin frames: These allow for more glass, which is a hallmark of modern design. E-Series windows were chosen here, but you can find a similarly sleek frame by selecting the contemporary profile in 400 Series products.
  • Elegant grilles: Thin (7/8-inch) specified equal light grilles in a two-over-two arrangement create a pleasing symmetrical pattern while avoiding an overly traditional look. (More lights, aka glass panes, would have made the windows look more traditional.)
  • Drywall returns: This method of installing windows without any surrounding trim or casing emphasizes the sleek profile of these windows.
  • Large sizes: A high-pitched roof allowed for 16-foot ceilings and windows scaled to match. These extra-large windows put the focus on the amazing canyon views visible from this property.

The takeaway: To modernize a wood window, make selections that maximize the glass and minimize the frame so the focus is on the view rather than the window.

White oak casement windows with grilles dividing the glass symmetrically into a two-over-two pattern.
With their thin frames and thin grilles in a neat two-over-two pattern, the white oak windows in this home are sleek and elegant.
White oak windows are now available through our E-Series product line. Start envisioning your perfect modern wood window through our design tool, which lets you make selections from window type to wood stain and more. Or keep exploring our home design inspiration content right here on the blog.

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