At your wits end about how to handle those oddly placed windows? Does that new breath taking view come with a wall of windows and no privacy? Many of these awkward architectural design dilemma’s can leave you stumped and exasperated, but fear not, there are perfectly good designer solutions for about any window, regardless of its location, size or style.
A window treatment that is cleverly designed can easily disguise any awkwardness of any window and shift the focus of the problem to an eye-catching window treatment. In deciding how to come up with a satisfying solution, we’ll need to assess the problem. Is it the shape and the size of the window causing the problem? Some windows are too tall and narrow and some windows are too short and wide. Occasionally, mismatched windows end up alongside each other or on adjacent walls. Perhaps the window is just in a difficult location? Is it too close to the corner or does it the window abuts the ceiling? Does it have an unusual shape or design that doesn’t facilitate a typical window treatment? There are a whole host of problematic possibilities, but once we identify what they are, we can come up with a clever solution.
The next important consideration is to determine your window needs? Is there too much light in the room? Not Enough? What is the windows function in the room? Is it privacy that you desire? Do you have an undesirable view you want to obscure or do you just want to enhance or modify some architectural feature of the room? Once you know your needs, we can address each issue with imagination and skill.
Poor proportioned windows can throw off an entire room’s entire design. Fortunately, window treatments are great at camouflaging flaws.
Tall and Narrow: As desirable as they are, some are just too high and appear too narrow, adding an unwanted element to your room’s design. For windows that are too tall use a longer, fuller top treatment such as a cornice or a valance that have points or lines that pull the eye downward, in essence, visually lowering the length of the opening. If your window is too narrow, extend the curtain past the window frame covering some of the wall. Use a low tie back on curtains to add width visually. If using blinds, mount them on the outside for a wider affect.
Short and Wide: To visually make a window appear narrower use fabric the same color as the wall, hang side floor length panels within the frame and use fabric with lines to break up the horizontal line of the window. Mounting blinds and shades inside the frame of the window will emphasize the actual size of the window which will make the window also seem smaller. Another trick is to mount the curtain rod high on the wall, and hang floor length panels on both sides of the window, allowing the eye to be drawn upward, offsetting the short window. To visually reduce the horizontal lines, use Roman shades or cascading shades that adjust at different levels.
Mismatched Windows: These are windows that are different in size, that are in the same room and that lack any architectural focal points. If the size difference is too great, installing a valance above all of the windows at the same height will visually make the windows appear more alike in height. Mount shades or blinds directly under the header. If the shapes are mismatched you can choose a different treatment for each window shape but use the same exact fabric. Link them also by using the same hardware.
Difficult Location- These are those windows that are in a hard-to-get spot. If the window is too close to the corner, chose a treatment that doesn’t have a stack back. Use blinds with a swag or a curtain that is tied back to one side, this will offer a functional yet decorative approach. Another great idea for windows where two windows meet in the corner is to treat them as though the windows were adjacent to each other on the same wall. Place panels on the outside of each window and then one panel right down the middle in the corner. Try pulling outside panels back with tie backs for added interest.
Windows Close to the Ceiling: Mount hardware onto ceiling and cover with a cornice. Keep the style simple and fabric light weight because hardware won’t be able to handle heavy treatments. This will block the top of the window and visually lower the window height.
Sky Lights: To reduce any glare or the amount of heat that is sometimes created by a sky light, a cellular shade with side tracks will be your best option. They are held in place and flush against the window by the side tracks. They also offer insulation and can be moved by hand or remote if too high to reach.
Large Windows: With large windows such as, cathedral and Palladian windows, you can leave them untreated or framed with a swag. Other possibilities are to run curtains on a traversing rod or curtain rod across the lower half and leave the transom unadorned. Try using vertical blinds and topping them with a swag or valance. For the transom, use a cellular shade or a shirred curtain that is anchored at the top and bottom of the window by rods.
When dealing with bay or bow windows you need to decide how or if you want them grouped together or treat them individually. For individual treatments try matching shades, shutters or blinds which create a clean, modern look. Adding tie backs will give them a softer style along with mounting curtain panels down spaces between windows.
Glazed Doors: (French doors, sliders or door windows combinations) the primary function of these treatments is to allow a passageway through the openings. If there is little space on either side of the openings, don’t use a heavy fabric. A gathered curtain with a lot of fullness that is too bulky can block access. Use a medium or light weight fabric that will stack back tightly. On French doors or doors that open inward or out wards pose different problems and need to have a treatment that are secured above and below the glass on the doors such as blinds, shades or shirred curtains on a pair of rods. Sliders are best treated with vertical blinds or curtains on a traverse rod and topped with an optional cornice or valance. Door window combinations are to be treated as one large unit using same guidelines as sliders.
With these easy to follow guidelines for difficult windows you are now prepared to tackle any troubling architectural dilemma with a number of ways to treat them.