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January 30, 2014
Sometimes you want to let the whole world in and other times…not so much. Here, we celebrate the architectural antidote to floor-to-ceiling glass: the tiny accent window.
Two Black Sheds incorporates all the conventional aspects of a weekend retreat in a rather unconventional way.

Two Black Sheds incorporates all the conventional aspects of a weekend retreat in a rather unconventional way. The tiny windows add character to the facade. Photo by Chad Holder.

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Originally appeared in Off the Beaten Path
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zimmerman residence exterior

An addition to a renovated Craftsman in Seattle, Washington, includes a tiny accent window at right. 

Originally appeared in Garden Pavilion, Seattle
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backyard studio

When sustainable building advisor Megan Lea set out to build a backyard retreat, she knew that reclaimed materials would figure prominently into the design. What resulted is a polychrome of salvaged 100-year-old barnwood by West Salem-based Barnwood Naturals that makes the facade of this Bernard Maybeck-inspired design as unique as it is enviornmentally friendly. The tiny window up top lets in just enough light and air. 

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Originally appeared in Backyard Retreat
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Modern barnhouse transformation in Oakland

In Oakland, California, two designers transformed a 100-year-old barn into a (very) cozy home of their own by redefining the functionality of walls and windowsills. Outside, the couple clad the house with a rain screen of 1.5-by-1.5-inch strips of spruce to create a “modern rustic barn.” The extra-deep sills of the first-floor window become a bench on the outside and a shelf on the inside—it even includes its own tiny window within the larger panes. Photo by Aya Brackett. 

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Originally appeared in Built-In Style
4 / 10
Modern A-frame structure with glass extension in Belgium.

Adding 290 square feet to this already small (just 566 square feet) black A-frame in Brecht, Belgium, was all the local building ordinances allowed, but the architects at dmvA found that a single wing extended out to the side gave resident Rini van Beek all the storage and living space that she needs. The large expanse of glass is counterbalanced with small windows in the original part of the house. Photo by Frederik Vercruysse. 

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Originally appeared in This Minimal Addition Looks Magical in the Belgian Forest
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Stripping paint to reveal the beautiful riveting and aluminum was one the hardest but most rewarding tasks.  To me, revealing the structure and construction honors the original craftsmanship that went into this trailer.

This 1959 Airstream travel trailer, parked in Berkeley, California, proves that tiny windows are all you need to see the world. Photo by Mark Compton. 

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Originally appeared in The Airstream Life
6 / 10
Modernist charred cedar cabin in Alaska

In the shadow of Mount McKinley, amid Alaska’s meadows and icy streams, a modernist cabin with a charred cedar exterior gently basks in the Alaskan sun. A small accent window allows just enough of the view in through the facade. Photo by Kamil Bialous. 

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Originally appeared in This Modern Cabin Is the Ideal HQ For a Family in Alaska
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Modern outdoor roof pool

In a quiet corner of the famed Spanish party island, rug designer Nani Marquina and photographer Albert Font have carved out a serene, site-sensitive home. The pool facade is peppered with little windows. Photo by Albert Font.

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Originally appeared in This Designer Escapes to Ibiza for Some Peace and Quiet
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Barn turned vacation house in Pine Plains, New York

Architect Preston Scott Cohen resurrected an early 1800s barn as a vacation home for a literary couple and their family, calling to mind both the agrarian spaciousness of the structure’s former life and the vernacular of its new function as a house. Transcending both, Cohen created a piece of architecture that is at once porous and opaque, familiar yet otherworldly. The Pine Plains, New York, home of Elise and Arnold Goodman boasts 48 windows, some expansive, some refreshingly tiny. Photo by Raimund Koch. 

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Originally appeared in Raising the Barn
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White clad the new story with a black-stained cedar rain screen. The large opaque window lights the stairwell and second floor.

Architect Brian White reworked a nondescript 1960s ranch house, placing tiny windows all over the street-side facade to block out npise and welcome bits of light. Photo by John Clark. 

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Originally appeared in Cooler Ranch
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Two Black Sheds incorporates all the conventional aspects of a weekend retreat in a rather unconventional way.

Two Black Sheds incorporates all the conventional aspects of a weekend retreat in a rather unconventional way. The tiny windows add character to the facade. Photo by Chad Holder.

Photo by Chad Holder.

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