I have a challenging question for you this month. I am in the process
of finalizing plans with a client for her magnificent new kitchen.
The kitchen is being remodeled and the architect is adding a beautiful
kitchen window. The window is located above the sink and offers
an exquisite view of the mountains. The window is five feet wide
by four feet high.
The challenge is this: There are only two inches from the back of the faucet to the window. The window is flush mounted with the counter material, which is a beautiful marble. The client would like a window covering designed for privacy and also for controlling the sun and light. The window covering is required to be easily maintained and cannot permanently stain. With all the different items usually found around a kitchen sink that may soil the window treatment, such as soapy water, oil, food splashing from the rinsing of dishes and other items, I need ideas!
SOLUTION:A great place to be inspired is magazines that specialize in their target markets, which in this case is kitchen design. I might suggest Kitchen and Bath Business, in addition to D&WC, of course.
For this answer, I will share a personal experience with the readers. As a mother of two daughters, I find when it comes to dishes being rinsed (by myself and others), we are truly not the neatest when it comes to keeping water away from the window treatment. The kitchen window is not the place to design an elaborate fabric window treatment. In fact, soft window treatments in kitchens should be limited to valances with a possible swag treatment that will stay away from the lower half of the window. Even though a manufacturer might state that a fabric is easy to clean, the best solution is to keep away excessive amounts of liquids or other items that could soil the treatment.
A few suggestions for durable window treatment solutions in this scenario would be metal blinds, wood blinds with a durable surface finish, and shutters fabricated from a durable man-made material. Even though shutters may come with a high-gloss paint finish, eventually the finish will break down from repeated water and other liquid spills and be absorbed into the shutters. Think of a wood shutter as a fine piece of furniture. The finish will eventually break down with continued exposure to liquids and other materials that land on the surface. The key here is durability and using man-made materials in a hard window treatment.
Two inches is not a lot of space to work with between a faucet and the window. And, after mentioning that, I will add that a window treatment placed that close to a window will not be maintenance-free. Again, I speak here from personal experience!
Check out your major suppliers—manufacturers such as Graber, Levolor, Hunter Douglas, Coronado, Vinylbilt Shutter Systems and others. A durable hard window treatment with a soft valance design could be the ideal solution for your customer.
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.