New Dark Interior Window & Door Finishes Provide the Perfect Accent for HGTV Renovations

Master renovators and stars of HGTV’s Property Brothers: Buying and Selling embrace a high-contrast white and black color palette for their signature home transformations.

Jonathan and Drew Scott, better known as The Property Brothers, have a penchant for creating dramatic transformations with simple color palettes that walk the line between trendy and timeless. In a few of their most recent renovations, from modern farmhouse to transitional style, black and white in equal measure prove to be the perfect partners to create crisp lines and bold accent.

When durability is a must and projects move quickly, the brothers have turned to Integrity Wood-Ultrex windows and doors for a bold aesthetic, lasting durability and a reliable delivery timeline. For several of their most recent projects, Drew and Jonathon were among the first to gain access to the new black painted interior finish and sleek matte black hardware, now available on all Integrity Wood-Ultrex windows, swinging doors and the sliding French patio door.

With a factory finish, projects can move to completion quicker by eliminating the need to paint on-site. Window and door parts are finished with a prime and paint system before they’re assembled, ensuring complete coverage and a finished seal. Our labor and time-saving factory painted black interior finish is now available across all of our product lines including Marvin aluminum clad and wood products as well.

As bold black with matte hardware and accents continue to trend from appliances to technology to automotive, we take a look at some of Drew and Jonathon’s recent interpretations of this lasting trend.


Sometimes, it is all black and white

This bold transformation proves that you don’t need a colorful palette to achieve a striking look. The addition of some much needed contrast to a previously all-white kitchen creates instant dimension. This kitchen uses fresh white and pops of black in the Wood-Ultrex windows, pendant lighting and cabinet hardware. Other than a few organic accents in the form of a fiddle leaf fig plant or the beginnings of a healthy dinner, the palette is intentionally muted to let the black accents make their mark.

A farmhouse goes bright with black

Although we’re the first to say we love natural wood in a space (our Wood-Ultrex line is now also available with a clear coat finish that lets the beauty of the wood shine through), the “before” on this farmhouse was a little overwhelming and doesn’t pay off the energizing effects of sunlight in the space. With a fresh coat of white paint, the log walls become a calming backdrop for a unique twist on a black window – a mixed finish with white trim and a black sash and frame for a sleek, modern effect.

Let there be light, and dark

For an entryway that was once closed off and drab, bringing in more light and a view to the outdoors through a dark frame was just the answer. An ntegrity Wood-Ultrex Swinging French Door with our factory-applied dark finish opens this space up, and pairs perfectly with the contrast of the black and white tiled floor. The custom grille pattern that tops the door adds visual interest while allowing maximum light flow that can make a small space appear bigger.

Back in black for a contemporary overhaul

The light and views in this home might not have needed any transforming, but by replacing a more traditional stained wood look with sleek black interior finish and reconfiguring the window grilles to add style and interest with a clear view, the look was elevated to match the Property Brothers’ vision for a more contemporary home. Heavy wood blinds are swapped for bright white curtains, warmer beige walls are painted a crisp white and matte black curtain rods are used to reinforce black as a design element in the space.

As the ultimate basics, black and white might not be new additions to a designer’s color palette, but the rising popularity of dark interior window finishes and rooms like these that make black and white their defining features show that top designers and remodelers can agree in the power of clean lines and bold contrast.

5 Ways to Save on Window Replacement

How to maximize your investment in window replacement by spending smartly and avoiding unnecessary bells and whistles.

You’ll make many decisions during your window replacement process, from whether it’s really time to replace your windows to what material to choose, to whether to do all of your windows at once or approach it in phases. Replacing windows and doors is an investment, and just like any investment, it’s worth considering how you can spend only what you need and plan for maximizing your return on what you’re putting in.

Consider these 5 tips for spending wisely on your replacement project.

Know when to repair vs. replace your windows.
Knowing whether your window issues are repairable or if they warrant replacement can be a tough call. Some wear and tear is normal and usually won’t affect the performance of your windows, but other signs indicate that window replacement might be on the horizon. Consider whether you can free up painted-shut upper sash and replace broken panes, sash cords or hardware instead of replacing the entire window. If your windows are drafty, adding weatherstripping might be a short-term fix. Learn how to rate the severity of your window issues before you rush down the replacement path.

Understand that energy efficiency is not one size fits all.
It’s hard to talk about window replacement without hearing about energy efficiency. What many homeowners don’t realize is that energy efficiency requirements for windows and doors depend on your region and your home’s existing efficiency. A home in a Northern region that needs to keep as much heat as possible inside their home in the winter months will require different glazing and coating options than a home in the South that needs to keep the warmth out year ’round.

And while a window with all of the energy efficiency bells and whistles might sound like the best investment, it’s important to realize that if your walls aren’t properly insulated, for example, energy-efficient windows with insulating gas or triple pane glass won’t make much of a difference. Triple pane glass, sometimes heralded as the ultimate in energy efficiency, isn’t always better. Conducting a home energy audit can help you decide if an investment in extra energy efficient window measures will be worth it over time.

Choose your replacement window material wisely.
Not all materials are created equal. Have detailed conversations with your window contractor or dealer and ask them to help you weigh the long-term benefits of various materials by considering their look, maintenance needs and longevity. An all-wood window requires the most maintenance, but may be worth it if you’re in a historical area or if original character is important. Vinyl windows might advertise “hands-off” maintenance, but may not come in the colors you want, and could degrade faster when exposed to harsh weather. Clad wood or fiberglass could offer a sweet spot in terms of low maintenance, design choice and long-term durability that will protect your investment.

Keep resale in mind.
According to the National Association of Realtors, replacing your windows could offer a 73% return on investment when it comes time to sell your home. To maximize this return, use the value of your home as a benchmark for making decisions. An inexpensive material might seem like a good money-saving measure, but it could hurt you in the long run. The same goes for shelling out the big bucks for the most expensive option out there. To get the highest return on your replacement window investment, avoid choosing windows and doors in a material that’s inferior to the rest of the finishes in the home (or considerably more high-end). Instead, aim to match and maintain the home’s original character and style to create a cohesive look for future buyers.

Remember that it’s not all or nothing.
Every house is different in terms of how many windows and doors a replacement job would entail, and sometimes not all windows are in the same condition. Consider whether you might replace a few windows at a time to keep your initial investment lower, or ask a window contractor to assess your existing windows and provide priorities based on their condition. Familiarize yourself with the difference between insert and full frame replacement to understand whether you can save money by salvaging existing frames and trim. Talk to you contractor about manufacturers that offer narrow frame windows that will fit into these existing openings.

A House Designed for Wellness

A House Designed for Wellness

The House Beautiful Whole Home project challenges the definition of home, taking it from a place to hang your hat to a sanctuary of self-care.

Could a house really help you live longer? That is the idea behind the Whole Home project from House Beautiful, a home in Atlanta built from the ground up and meticulously designed to inspire healthy living, a happy outlook and a respite from the chaos of life today.

With guidance from a dedicated team of professionals – including a builder, architect and multiple designers – this home was built expressly around people’s needs. Physical, mental and social wellbeing take a front seat and are realized in creative ways, from a kitchen engineered to inspire healthy eating and a no-excuses fitness space to a homey living room to inspire more family gatherings and opportunities to take in nature and views from every room.

Though we’d love to spend time in just about any room in this unique home, there are a few spaces that stand out as particularly happiness-inducing.

Light-Filled Living Room

Designed for family gatherings and quiet conversations, this living room is flanked by opportunities to take in the view and connect with nature. The lines between indoor and outdoor are luxuriously blurry thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and an expansive Marvin Bi-Fold door.

A New Way of Working

Forget a dark basement home office or an impromptu space carved out of a kitchen or dining room. The Whole Home’s office lets light fuel productivity with a unique configuration of Marvin Direct Glaze windows that spans from floor all the way up to the tall, airy ceilings. Though a beautiful summer day might beckon during business hours, we can’t imagine a more beautiful place for the daily grind.

An Indoor/Outdoor Fitness Experience

Sometimes motivation for wellness is all about easy access. This home gym brings ample natural light and bright, energizing colors for an in-home workout that’s anything but boring. With double hung Marvin windows that look more like doors, it would be easy to imagine cycling through the French countryside from the comforts of your own home.

Getting Ready but Staying Relaxed

Getting out of bed in the morning might be a little easier with a relaxing routine to start the day. We can imagine soaking in this tub and taking in the fall foliage through the Marvin Double Hung windows, or perfecting makeup in the extra flattering sunlight in this bedroom space.

For a full tour of this home turned everyday sanctuary, visit

Design with the power of light

How harnessing light can lead to happier and healthier homes

Today, people are looking for ways to live healthier and happier, and they expect their homes to be part of that quest. We often look to designers and architects to help create positive home environments, and these experts are increasingly considering light as an important tool to boost happiness.

Research indicates that increased exposure to light makes people more productive and improves their sense of well-being, therefore improving overall wellness. [1] It’s no surprise, then, that homeowners and architects alike are exploring ways to bring more natural light into homes.

Biophilic design: a return to evolutionary psychology
To understand the impact of light in a home, it helps to explore the concept of biophilic design. Biophilic design incorporates evolutionary psychology in the design of spaces. We’ve always sought certain elements to feel safe, secure, and in the most optimal emotional state; ingrained in us from the earliest days of days of living on terrain like meadows and the savanna. [2]

Gazing outside inspires a direct connection to the healthy, natural state that people experienced when they spent most of their time outdoors. “The feeling of being in nature stays with you, even while inside looking at trees, a garden, or patio,” said Manny Gonzalez, FAIA, LEED AP, principal and board of directors at KTGY, a Los Angeles-based architecture firm.

“Your mind may not realize it, but your body wants that feeling of getting back to nature.”

Manny Gonzalez, FAIA, LEED AP

Exposure to light makes us feel better
The concept of biophilia comes to life when we consider the body’s response to daylight. Daylight affects the health of our circadian rhythms, also known as our internal sleep/wake cycle. (3) These rhythms are primarily regulated by light and darkness in an environment and are recognized by a third type of receptor in our eyes. [4]

The same idea is at work in our homes. The more exposure to the outdoors and light, the better we feel. “All of these things tie into healthy living, the ability to get the sleep that you need, the wellness everyone is trying to get,” said Gonzalez.

Sunshine suits”
Conversely, research has shown that a lack of exposure to light can actually make us sick, and some countries have already begun addressing their citizens’ right to light. In Japan, skyscrapers and intense urban density led to the concept of “nissho-ken,” which translates to “a right to sunlight.” After a string of “sunshine suits,” more than 300 Japanese cities adopted “sunshine hour codes,” specifying penalties that developers must pay for casting shadows.

The Japanese were early to realize the impact of sunlight on health and happiness, crucial when you consider that we spend up to 97% of our time indoors.[5] All the more reason to bring light into the home, since we may not get outside much to experience it.

Light considerations in design
What exactly does it mean to design around natural light? “Being able to control the lighting, whether it’s the natural light that you have, the UV rays that you get through a window, visibility, and window coverings—all those things start tying together when you’re creating the proper environment,” said Gonzalez.

Window styles, configurations, and glazing can all work together to create a functional, healthy, and inspiring light-filled home. Architects also take siting into account—understanding the land and placing windows for maximum natural light. Choosing a design style that prioritizes large expanses of glass and unobstructed views, like in Marvin’s new Modern product line can also offer the opportunity to design with light as a focal point.

Modern homes tend to have more windows and narrower frames, increasing the capacity for light to pass through and offering better views. When Marvin created its new Modern product line, it offered homeowners an opportunity to embrace the principles of modern design, a concept that is closely intertwined with exposure to light.

“Our goal was to create a designed experience that offers minimal sightlines and large expanses of glass, providing seamless, clutter-free visuals that make engaging with the outside world easy. This enables homeowners to achieve what they seek in their home—connection, restoration, and freeness.”

Christine Marvin, Director of Corporate Strategy + Design

Explore the Modern Product Line

Emotional and physical benefits
When a home’s design embraces and enhances the benefits of natural sunlight through deliberate choices that strengthen our connection to the outdoors, those much-desired feelings of well-being are a natural result.

“If you do a good job as an architect, the resident won’t even know that they’re experiencing biophilic design,” said Gonzalez. “They don’t even think about it—it just feels good.”

[1] NeoCon June 2018 seminar: “Applying Wellness Principles to Residential Construction”
[2]  “The Economics of Biophilia,” Bill Browning, Terrapin Bright Green
[3] “Your Body’s Internal Clock And How It Affects Your Overall Health,” The Atlantic, March 2012
[4]  National Institute of General Medical Sciences: Circadian Rhythms
[5] NeoCon June 2018 seminar: “Applying Wellness Principles to Residential Construction”