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Image of a home with big picture windows with a pool in the foreground.

What is a Picture Window? A Guide to Picture Windows

A picture window is a window that’s directly built into the frame. It can’t open and close, but it can increase natural light in a room and add curb appeal to your home. Discover the pros and cons, along with some ideas for your home.  

What is a Picture Window? 

They often get called fixed or stationary windows because they don’t open and close like other windows. Instead, they remained fixed into the window frame. They pair with other styles of windows to expand views and add natural light. They often get flanked by other types of windows to allow ventilation into a room. 

Picture Window Pros and Cons 

They have several advantages and few disadvantages, which makes them an easy choice to add style to a home. Adding one requires some planning and design work but it can produce breathtaking views. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit nearly any space in your home.  


  • Add natural light. 

  • They create beautiful views of nature through the seasons and outdoor scenes, like trees, sunsets, or a flower-filled garden.  

  • Remain closed and have better resistance to air leakage. 

  • Add curb appeal: One in the front of your home adds to its appeal and design elements, like grids, can make your home stylish.  


  • They don’t provide ventilation like other windows. A solution to that is pairing one with double hung windows or casement windows on each side to allow breezes to pass through. 

Interior living room image featuring a Marvin Replacement Inswing French Door and Polygon windows.

Picture Window Styles for Any Home 

They can transform nearly any room in a house, but they appear in a living room appear most often. Depending on the direction your living room faces, one can open lovely backyard views, lakeside scenes, or ocean vistas. If your living room faces the front of your house, you can enjoy the view of your landscaping while enjoying the additional curb appeal of a symmetrical picture window with side windows. 

A casement picture window can feature casement windows at each end to take advantage of high ceilings with the taller height casement windows can provide. The combination also provides clear, unobstructed views of your favorite outdoor scenery.  

Bay windows can use casement windows or double hung windows on each end to expand a view. Our bay windows can have casement or double hung windows at 30° or 45° angles for a more dynamic appearance.  

Depending on your home style, you can add one with grids to match your home’s existing style. Window grids have a traditional appeal but also appear in many contemporary style homes.  

They also come in different shapes. Our special shape windows, which are fixed windows, have a range of geometric shapes to fit different home styles and spaces. The sharp angles of special shape windows create dynamic looks. Our arch and round top windows also serve as picture windows and create a softer look with curved lines. Both types provide versatility to fit in different rooms.  

Interior living room image of VonHertzen house located in Chaska MN featuring an Awning and Picture windows in Stone White interior finish with White hardware.

Windows that Pair with Picture Windows 

We offer several window combinations with picture windows.

Best Places for Picture Windows 

Though they most frequently appear in living rooms, they fit well in several other areas of a home. Some of the best places for them include an entry way above a front door. The abundant natural light creates a welcoming feeling when people enter your home. Arch windows can make an entry way feel grander.  

Kitchens and bedrooms with great views make sense for them. You can enjoy watching birds at the feeder in the morning with a panoramic view. A bedroom with one can capture brilliant sunrises or sunsets.   


Do picture windows open? 

No, they do not open. They are a fixed window, also known as a stationary window. They can come in a variety of shapes.  

Are picture windows out of style? 

They are always in style. The expansive views and additional natural light they bring to a home makes them popular. Plus, they have the versatility to combine with functional windows to give you the best of both worlds.  

Build Your Bigger Views 

Get started with Marvin Replacement on your replacement window project by scheduling a free, no-commitment design consultation. We’ll cover design options for the rooms in your home with the best views. 

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