CHALLENGE: I am working with a large window that measures 80 1/2 inches wide and 142 1/2 inches high. It is a large glass sliding door located between my clientís living room and Florida room. I would like to suggest using a rod with shirred sheer fabric to divide both rooms, but because the width is a little under 12 feet, I havenít been able to find a rod long enough to accommodate it.
Would you know of a source from which I could order a rod that would be long enough to cover this dimension? If not, could you give me any ideas for improvising a solution or perhaps another way to treat this situation?
SOLUTION: There are a couple of options I would like to discuss. Based on the beautiful furnishings and great colors in the rooms, this area could serve as an eye-catching focal point, if your client is agreeable.
A dynamic custom rod in dark wood with fancy finials would look wonderful here. I would like to suggest having the decorative rod placed near the ceiling line. This will give additional height to the wall and maintain continuity with the large-scale furniture.
Many decorative hardware manufacturers offer custom rods that will fit this 12-foot width. Check the annual D&WC Directory & Buyerís Guide (online at www.DWConline. com) for a supplier near you. The key here is to make sure the correct brackets are used so the rod does not sag. If you need help, be sure to contact an experienced professional installer in your area if you donít have one working with you. Their help in these situations is invaluable.
A professional drapery installer will nearly always recommend the extra support in these cases, even though the sheer or drapery fabric you select may not be heavy. One of the biggest problems faced in working with larger-width windows is the extra-long rods needed to span the opening often will sag in the middle if not supported by additional brackets (sometimes several may be advisable).
I like your idea of draping a sheer fabric onto the rod in this home. This will add to the beautiful curves on the furniture design while keeping a light feel to the decor. However, there may not be a way to hide the top portion of the opening with this type of draped treatment using a see-through sheer fabric. If you want to hide the opening at the top, a valance may be used. By choosing an opaque fabric that is either pinch pleated or shirred onto the rod, you can create a more finished look at the top portion of the wall opening and, therefore, achieve a more formal look as well. Be sure to select a valance fabric that coordinates well with the roomís colors. I can picture a beautiful blue and gold damask, also a tone-on-tone damask to blend with the colors in the room would look great.
Another treatment that will add to the formality of the room would be a swag and cascade treatment across the wall. Remember to work in odd numbers to create a focal point in the center of this type of treatment. This type of treatment also will add a curvilinear design to the room to coordinate with the furnishings.
Overall you have a few options here for a great room solution. Good luck!
Editorís 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:
Design Solutions ∑ c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
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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.
Want more of Sharon Andersonís articles? Past columns dating back to 1996 can be found on D&WCís online archive categorized by author and subject: www.dwconline.com/DWC/ArticleIndex.html.