Bring a sunny day into your living room with Marvin Windows and Doors.
by Caitlin Gilmet
Can increasing your exposure to sunlight give you a sunnier disposition? A landmark Australian study found that natural light significantly impacts our mood, improving focus and sleep and helping us feel calmer and more satisfied.
Why? When sunlight hits your optic nerve, serotonin, a brain chemical tied to wakefulness and a positive, cheerful outlook, is activated and levels of the hormone melatonin — which helps control sleep-wake cycles — drop, making you feel less drowsy and more engaged and energized. Being outdoors also lifts your spirits — time in nature has been proven to reduce stress, restore mental energy, and sharpen creative thinking.
Many mid-century architects and homeowners seemed to intuitively understand these benefits, designing houses with massive windows that invited light and the outdoors into living spaces. One such home, a 1962 seasonal camp in Trenton with a dramatically angled roof, featured a two-story, wraparound wall of windows framing Blue Hill Bay. When it was time to renovate and expand the house, architect Bill Hanley, of WMH Architects in Northeast Harbor, designed an addition that is a near mirror image of the original structure, further aggrandizing the view and capitalizing on a current trend the folks at Marvin Windows and Doors call “living inside out.”
“This camp gets incredible sunlight,” Hanley says. “We wanted to bring that language of light and outdoor living into the next generation of the home.” After signing onto the project, “the first thing I did was call Rich,” Hanley says, referring to Rich Lewis, his longtime colleague and collaborator at Marvin retailer EBS Building Supplies. “He and his team have longstanding experience with seacoast environments, so they advised us on custom windows with pressure ratings that could withstand sun, wind, and rain.” Adds Lewis: “We knew we wanted something that would let in more light than a standard window, but it also needed to be energy-efficient.” The team chose double-glazed, Low-E windows and doors for the winterized addition, which have a microscopically thin coating that helps reduce heat loss, Lewis says. The older, seasonal portion of the home received new single-pane casement and awning windows in keeping with its original character.
The resulting, largely transparent structure all but erases the line between indoors and out and finished first place in Marvin’s 2017 Architect Challenge, an annual competition that recognizes inventive use of the company’s windows and doors in residential and commercial designs. But you don’t have to live in a modernist masterpiece to reap the rewards that proximity to nature and natural light bring. Well-placed Marvin windows and sliding or bi-fold doors can enliven and visually expand any dark or cramped space, frame a flowering tree or stretch of forest as if it were a work of art, and help you feel more connected to the world beyond your walls. So even if you’re stuck inside on a beautiful day, you can look on the bright side — it’s right there in front of you.
If you find the concept of living inside out intriguing, start your research online at Marvin.com. Then visit EBS Building Supplies to explore full-scale examples of Marvin and Integrity windows and doors. Ready to talk window specifications and ordering? The experts at EBS are prepared to help you select windows and doors to create the look you imagine.