Window demystification: A guide to understand each and every style

From single pane, to bi-folds and louvres, here's what you need to know
Nikole Ramsay

Seemingly simple, windows are the eye to your home. They can transform a space into a light-filled, airy zone and add ambience to any space. Bi-folds are perfect for creating an open serving zone between indoors and outdoors while a louvre window is great for the bathroom. Here are all the window types you need to know about:

One fixed pane and another pane that slides up and down.

Comprises two moving panes. When the lower pane is raised, the upper pane opens an equal distance.

Multiple panes fold along a track to one side. The opening is almost the size of the entire window or door, maximising access to the outdoors. With multiple sashes, the slimmer the frame profile (or with frameless panels) the clearer the view.


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(Credit: Brigid Arnott)

The lower of two panes lifts to create an opening of nearly half the overall window height. Great for a kitchen that connects to an outdoor area.

Horizontal slats that tilt to allow complete control over the level of ventilation. Frosted and etched louvres are perfect for bathrooms.

(Credit: Chris Warnes)

Tilts open from the bottom and can be left partly open during wet weather to let in fresh air while keeping out rain.

It features classic timber glazing bars and pivots 90 degrees to capture breezes.

These windows and doors slide along a track. The more panels, the wider the opening – but the more obstructed the view. They don’t open completely but no clearance is required, saving space.

French doors
These typically feature four panels that open out from the centre, and traditional colonial or federation-style woodwork. Open just one side in winter or both in summer for access to the garden. Perfect for heritage homes – and also useful in internal spaces to close off rooms without impacting the light flow. 

Read our style tips for dressing and styling your windows here.

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