CHALLENGE: I hope you can help
me with my window challenge. I have an 815-square-foot two-story
loft with nine-foot ceilings. There are two sets of 10-foot-wide
north-facing windows above each other that extend almost nine feet
each. An open area allows about half of the upper window to be seen
from the first floor. The bottom window also has sliding glass doors
that open to a terrace. The unit is on the sixth floor and faces
a side street with a view of residential buildings and shops.
I would like to use silk draperies. Would a single drapery from the top ceiling coming down 18 feet to the ground on one side and two nine-foot long draperies that break for the second floor look right?
I welcome any comments and suggestions. The first-floor window looks into the dining area of a combined living and dining room. The second-floor window looks into my bedroom.
SOLUTION: The challenge here not only is the use of silk draperies, but the aesthetically pleasing elements in the room. The size of the space including the two-story level offers challenges that require the right solutions for the choices of window treatments that will complement the space and visually appear pleasing.
The challenge of solving the light problem with so many windows and the challenge of residential and retail activity outside will limit your choices and will force your window treatment to work for you in more ways than one.
I would suggest, not having seen the space either through photographs or actually being there, a few solutions.
I would first choose a hard window treatment that would serve the purpose of solving environmental issues for energy efficiency. Wood blinds or shutters are an excellent choice. Adding a decorative valance or valance and side treatment will solve the problem of the space looking to vertical. The horizontal lines of shutters or blinds will balance the space.
It seems this is a very open plan, yet a small space, and you need to make sure you answer all the challenges presented here. The use of silk fabric, as you suggest, will work well as overtreatments with a hard treatment underneath. The draperies may need treatment to protect the silk fabric from the elements.
A soft flowing treatment that is wrapped around a pole at the top is another solution that will encourage the use of silk, as this is a wonderful fabric for flowing type treatments. Good luck with your space!
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.