Published On: Wed, Mar 23rd, 2016

It’s the year of beautiful windows

We lust with our eyes and buy with our heart, says Deceuninck MD Roy Frost. Looks matter when buying windows and doors!

Roy FrostWhat’s the most important: energy, weather performance, security, long life, appearance? They’re all important. Homeowners want them all, and with the very best windows they can have them all. But some features appeal more to the head than the heart, and for most people it’s what a product looks like that gets hearts beating faster and juices flowing. Most of us lust with our eyes and buy with our heart. When our eyes and heart are not engaged, we quibble about price and other details. But when our eyes and hearts are fully engaged, we want it now, soonest. We can’t wait to spend what it takes, to get our hands on what we fall in love with.

Is love too strong and emotive a word? – Who’d have thought we’d fall in love with technology? Call it what you like, but brands like Apple have created an overwhelming desire, an emotional resonance with a series of stunningly beautiful products. Apple’s computers always looked more attractive than others, but the iPod, iPhone, iPad, Macbook Air, iwatch and Apple TV have moved billions of us worldwide on to a different level altogether. Even Apple’s packaging excites longing. This ‘emotional resonance’ is what underpins Apple’s faster sales and higher prices. Consumers find the money and pay the price because their products are different, desirable and simply lovely. Humans have always behaved differently around beautiful people and beautiful things.

Now, unlikely as it seemed a few years ago, people are behaving differently about some windows, doors and conservatories today. Pretty windows, beautiful doors and a wide palette of lovely colours are turning hearts and heads. Britain used to be a colourful place. In medieval times, even the insides of cathedrals were a riot a colour. The Victorians decorated every inch of their houses with bright, strong colours and patterns. But after two World Wars, Britain’s housing was in a sad state with rotten timber windows and doors with peeling, faded paint of drab colour. Then PVC-U took the market by storm. It was shiny white and maintenance-free and it transformed the face of Britain. But British homes are built for colour and in recent years leading paint brand Dulux has been campaigning to bring back colour into our homes. It’s no longer white or magnolia! Paint retailers have significantly widened their stock of off-the-shelf colour, and paint mixing creates whatever homeowners want.

This surge in colour demand fuelled an explosion of aspirational (and eye-wateringly expensive) paint brands like Farrow & Ball. Give homeowners the choice, and make it easy for them to buy colour, and they’ll go for it. We should welcome this, because it means many more exciting opportunities. I certainly do, because over and above our best-in-class performance, Deceuninck designs its windows and doors to look beautiful and stand out. It’s why installers talk about Deceuninck’s pretty windows.

My forecast for 2016? This will be the year when beautiful windows and doors take off, when great looks and design move up a level and change the market. The FIT Show 2016 will be dominated by a few absolutely stunning, stylish new windows and doors that will turn hearts and heads. And beautiful colour will become the main act, as it is on the continent. Keep a lookout for Deceuninck’s new stunners and prepare to drool!