I am working with a very difficult dormer window. A deep casing around the window poses a problem for decorating with any standard style treatment. Would I be able to mount a treatment on the outer portion of the wall? The client wants the furnishings and carpet protected from the sun.
This type of window does pose a decorating dilemma. A solution to the problem could be to mount your treatment on the outside wall area and you will still be able to dress and give emphasis to the window. An example, shown here in the photograph, is this pole swag mounted outside the sliding door alcove. However, there is nothing to provide privacy or sun protection. To solve this problem, I would add an inside ceiling-mounted soft shade, wood blind or other treatment that would provide the needed privacy and light control to prevent fading of the interiorıs furnishings.
Also notice that the treatment in the photograph uses a soft supple fabric that blends into the wall. For this type of recessed window, such a selection is a wise choice. The chair is covered with a colorful, textured fabric that makes a design statement in the room. The rest of the room coordinates with the material. By selecting a neutral and soft fabric, the window becomes an elegant backdrop to the setting without taking away from the roomıs overall design. It also makes the window look open, light and airy, which lightens and pleasantly contrasts the darker, jewel tones of the chair fabric.
When designing a recessed window treatment, however, the light is tunneled into the room. This is an important consideration when you select fabric and style for your design. Something with not enough light protection will allow light to travel like a spotlight throughout the room during different times in the day, affecting not only what furnishings/carpet lies in front of the window, but all around the room in the path of the light.
Another suggestion if your window is at the appropriate height, is adding a custom window seat. The furniture would be rearranged farther back from the window and it would require some construction. The advantage to a window seat is making the window more useful and appealing and it offers you a opportunity to add cushions, pillows and other accessories to your design.
Overall, if you remember to handle this type of window with special consideration for light and style, you are bound to have a successful custom window treatment sale. Give your client a couple of options, this way he or she will have the opportunity to see various solutions and will have an active part in the decision making for the design. Clients should be an integral part of this process, even with a difficult window, as long as you explain any limitations applicable to the situation and narrow the field with your suggestions first.
Editor's Note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson which 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: DesignSolutions@DWCdesigNET.com
Sharon L. Anderson, Associate Member, Interior Design Educator's Council (IDEC), has more than 14 years experience as a commercial and residential design professional. She has taught numerous courses at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and is a published author and frequent public speaker.