CHALLENGE: I am working on
a large atrium window that is very closely situated next to two
smaller windows. The atrium window measures 60- by 60-inches. Right
next to it on either side is a 25- by 60-inch window. What type
of treatment would provide privacy and yet allow natural light to
flow into the room? I was thinking of specifying shutters, but I’m
not sure it will look right because the three windows are so large
and so close together.
SOLUTION: Shutters could be very appropriate for this application. But I also would suggest that you think about window treatment products that offer tight stacking and energy efficiency at the same time. With such a large amount of glass to work with designed into a small wall area, you want a window treatment that will be aesthetically pleasing when all of the treatments are closed, partially open or fully open; and, of course, you want to keep energy efficiency in mind at the same time.
Several products come quickly to mind that will fit this application—all of which were featured in a recent issue of Draperies & Window Coverings (December 2002) and on its Web site (www.DWConline.com). These products include woven woods, many of which now are being offered with a neutral color lining or backing shade to add privacy and greater insulation; horizontal and vertical sheer/shading products that combine the benefits of a horizontal or vertical blind and sheer fabric and also offer a high degree of light control and the aesthetic beauty of sheer fabric when open; and don’t forget honeycomb shades, which offer full privacy in blackout versions and increased insulation in multiple-cell configurations and come in a wide selection of up-to-date colors and textures.
CHALLENGE: A client has an unusual “bay window” area in a nook. It has only two windows (one on the left side of the bay and one in the middle). On the right side, where usually there is a third window, is wall space. I would like to design padded board cornices for her to match the upholstery on chairs in the same room, but I am in a dilemma as to whether I should create the cornice just over each window and not on the wall space, or create a third cornice for the wall area as if it were a window. Could you please help?
SOLUTION: Bay windows are definitely a challenge, and often are a focal point in a room. In your situation, it is a double challenge! First, think about how the windows look now. Does the area look off balanced? If you add a cornice to the area where there is no window, will it look unbalanced?
My solution would be to ignore the wall area that does not have a window. Treating your client’s two windows alone and designing a treatment that looks pleasing is the key here.
Here’s a special hint: Try choosing a cornice board and window treatment that will blend in with the wall color and not offer much contrast to the wall. Doing this will give this usual “bay window” more of a flow and will not interfere with the designs in the other areas of the room, as well.
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.