So, our new house is obviously pretty traditional in style. While it is not actually a historic home, I do like the character and how it looks like it could have been around for hundreds of year. In these traditional colonial homes windows with grids (also called muntins) are the norm. The style stems from the old times when glass was only available in small pieces and little window panes had to be pieced together to make one big window. 

Today those grids are purely decorative and meant to complement the traditional style. The front of the house would look completely different with plain windows and lose a lot of its charm.

However, in the back I’m not sure I care too much about what it looks like. I rarely stand in the back of the yard and look at the house. So, the other day I decided to test what the kitchen windows would look like without the grids and was immediately sold. The kitchen windows are pretty small and very busy with all the lines. They always bothered me looking outside from the sink.

Without the grids it looks much cleaner, but the biggest difference was in just how open it feels without them. I never realized how much the grids make you feel closed in. When I took them off I immediately felt like I was standing outside in the yard. And so much more light came in. Amazing what a difference the little bit of plastic makes. 

Here is a direct comparison:

So, naturally I proceeded to take the grids off the rest of the first floor on the back side of the house. Here is what the dining room looks like:

Now I am debating what to do when we replace the windows in a couple of years. Keep the grids off to enjoy a better view out back? Or get the windows with grids to be consistent throughout the house?  This is the only room in of the house from which you would see the different window styles within the same view:

As much as it feels like the house is more open to the outside, it also feels more vulnerable on the inside. The grids almost felt like an added security feature / like a separation between the inside and outside. Now, especially without any blinds or shades it does feel a little too open at night. Even though that is mostly in our heads, after all it’s only a few inches of materials difference.

Apparently, there are also a few compromise options.

Keep the middle of each bay window clear and just put the grids on the sides:

Or just do top half colonial windows:

Apparently you can go crazy and mix all sorts of styles, although this house is a little bit more Craftsman style than colonial:

What do you think? What would you prefer if this was your house?