It’s been a bit of time since I last was here - life has been going full tilt and so many exciting changes and updates have been happening that it has required my full attention. It has almost been a full year since we bought #mhdbrownstone and I have to admit, it’s taken almost the full year to actually believe that it’s ours and that we own it. It’s also taken almost as long to figure out what our actual priorities are in the house because it’s not just Asa and I - we have our team to consider and we’ve had to figure out how we actually use the house.
One thing that became immediately clear, was that our windows were NOT up to snuff and our doors, well they look like doors but they don’t really function as well as one would hope a door to…. While I wanted to put in new millwork in our main office and remove our kitchen these quickly became less of a priority as I got a phone call one wintery Sunday from Asa - who may or may not have been screaming into the phone because the trifolding door at the back of the house had blown open in a snowstorm and the locking mechanism wouldn’t close. He eventually managed to coral it to sort of close and then had to TAPE IT SHUT FOR THE REMAINING OF THE WINTER. THE LONG, COLD, NEVER ENDING WINTER. Good times. I would find our staff huddled under blankets as they worked away daily - and I’m not even talking about how ugly the windows and doors were. SO FUG. Function over pretty needed to take a priority. Now and again, the stars align and imagine my extreme JOY when I got an email (I was in Mexico which was amazing on it’s own) from the amazing team at Pella Windows and Doors (who had no idea of my window woes) to talk about a partnership. BIG Pella fan and that was even before I met their amazing team.
I was fortunate to travel to Dwell by Design with them at the beginning of April to talk about Modern Design Elements and then they shared with me the incredible new product that they wanted to use at #MHDBrownstone and well I completely geeked out over these windows. I live in a historical neighbourhood and have so for the last 15 years. I feel in that time period I’ve come to really appreciate good vs meh windows and how they can dramatically transform the look of a house - not to mention all of the cost savings they can provide when you invest in the right window system for your dwelling. I have a lot of opinions on windows I have noticed but in this instance, I showed the team at Pella my overall inspiration for the #MHDBrownstone, and I left it in the hands of the experts to deliver…. Good lord it really does pay to work with the experts - more on that in a bit.
Because our building is 7 yes 7 half stories and each with their own window, we had to divide and conquer when it came to installation. A fancy game of Designer Tetris, we decided to focus on my team’s general office area and the Sample Room for the first round of installs. You’ll have to check back on the updates as we move throughout the rest of the house…. The girls’ office had three windows that formed a giant picture window. You could get heat stroke and as sunburn from this window in a hot minute during warmer months and in the winter, well frost bite was a possibility. Upstairs in the sample room, we had a beautiful arched window but again it barely provided a barrier between the exterior and the room itself. None of the windows in the house had casing - they were all set within the drywall which was a bit odd but I kind of liked the contemporary aspect of it except that the windows themselves were brown aluminium and ugly as sin. The way they opened too - NO BUENO.
The befores are rather terrifying as you have seen…..
Pella had a new product that they were/are bringing to market and I’m so excited to be one of the first to have it. The windows themselves are Double Hung windows - WOOD - and they have an integrated low profile screen with magnetic catch so…... YOU NEVER SEE THE SCREEN UNLESS YOU OPEN THE WINDOW!!!!! GLORY BE!!!!!! Honestly I never knew how much I hated screens until I saw the Rolscreen Window system from Pella. I’m now looking at the screens at my house with disgust and utter disdain. Now we also decided that if we were changing the windows, we absolutely wanted them to be black inside and out. For the girls’ office, this meant adding a casing - Pella provided a black stained casing to frame the windows but we opted to forego the casing in the Sample Room with the arched window. I don’t know why black windows aren’t the standard. The view is SO much better with a black framed window. Everything pops and is just full of wow.
Some Tech Details:
Pella’s Integrated Rolscreen, which appears at both the lower sash and the upper sash of double-hung windows, and appears at the lower sash of single-hung windows, is initially available on Pella Architect® Series™ Reserve double- and single-hung windows in August, with plans to expand into other product lines in 2019. Pella designed the Integrated Rolscreen with functionality, durability and the unhindered beauty of a project in mind.
The Install - This was exceptional. We had some pretty crazy deadlines to hit and deliveries caused our best laid plans to be compressed and we basically had ONE day to remove and install both windows. Pella here in Toronto, sent their best installers and let me tell you - it was amazing to watch. Just before 4pm, I came up from the Salon where we were all huddled and saw one of the installers vacuuming his way out the door. I mean design NIRVANA - HELLO I have been waiting to meet you my entire life! I have never felt more like my mom as I did in that very moment. I think I welled up - THEY VACUUMED THEMSELVES OUT OF THE HOUSE! LAWD. HAVE. MERCY.
As I was leaning against the wall swooning over this vacuum situation and was busy focusing on the AWESOME view out the entire back of the house, something else hit me almost immediately. For the first time in a year, I could stand on the stairs between the front door and the girls’ office, and I could feel the cold air coming from the vent across the office and below the new window. I’ve never felt that air before because it was always being sucked out the window itself into the out of doors. AMAZING.
I’m going to leave it to the experts to explain the how and the why as they have done so on their Youtube channels. I will tell you that working with their team if you are a designer or a homeowner has been amazing. I have long been frustrated by websites for windows and doors and being able to speak with a professional who knows their product and can assist and demystify the process of specifying has been amazing. With the remaining windows and doors we’ve had some design opportunities that have arisen in terms of the openings and they’ve been really great to work with us to achieve the goals we are after on this. Communication and follow up are so important to me as a design professional and it really does set brands apart when you find one who has a great process in addition to great product.
How ROLSCREEN Works: https://youtu.be/Li6SofHsus8
Integrated Rolscreen Story: https://youtu.be/3XL2mSXUbl0
Beauty of Design: https://youtu.be/68Y1phmoV-s
Thank you Pella for being such an amazing team to work with with products that are easy to use (and clean) and look killer inside and out!!!!
Please be sure to head over to my instagram @meredithheron and check out my videos and sneak peeks of the windows and how well they work and the ROLSCREEN system!!!!!