I have provided a drawing with the dimensions of one of the window treatments in question. The window is in a room located on the third floor of the home. It also has sloped ceilings on both sides. The room has two existing skylights. There is beautiful trim around the window and six-inch-wide base molding below it. The client will paint, add new carpet and a new color scheme to the room in the future. This is not an issue at this time.
The window is rather large and is placed at an odd angle for a standard window treatment to be created. The angles of the roof also impede on other thoughts I would have to design for this window.
The window faces south and has a beautiful view of the lake. The morning sun floods the room with light creating the need for a treatment. The client and I have discounted using cellular shades at this time. The customer would like to use a fabric treatment.
My other concern in this lakeside retreat is located on the lower level in the area that serves as the living/dining room. The room's ceiling is vaulted and showcases a nice hardwood staircase. As you proceed down the stairs, your view is of three atrium doors. Above the doors are fixed windows. Again, these windows and doors all face south.
My client would like to add a splash of color along the doors, but we are limited for space. I feel that the windows themselves lend a nice architectural design to the room and nothing more is needed above the doors. Please offer your suggestions.
Solution: The home sounds wonderful! Let's start with the window on the third floor. Based on the drawing you have provided, the window does seem to cover most of the wall space. I cannot tell the height and width of the window from the drawing. I assume it is a standard eight-foot ceiling measurement.
I understand you are limited, knowing the client does not want any type of cellular shade. It seems the client does not want to block the view either, so again, you are limited. However, there are a couple of options.
I would suggest the client first have the windows professionally tinted or have a window film professionally installed to cut down on the harmful rays of the sun. This will help immensely.
Not knowing the depth of the window sill, I have to assume there is an adequate space to install a window treatment as an inside mount. Once the window has been tinted or the film applied, suggest a shirred fabric insert to soften the window. There should be enough room to mount a thin rod inside the window frame. An inside mounted treatment such as this would enhance the beautiful trim around the window.
Or, try visually altering the space by designing a flowing window treatment mounted from the ceiling using the center of the wall as the focal point of the window treatment design. The flowing treatment would be placed at top center, mounted just at the ceiling line. The structural design of the wall, above the top portion of the window, would house all of the flowing fabric. Remember, treating the glass on the window will keep out the harmful sun rays.
This soft fabric treatment would serve more as a decoration and focal point for the entire room. The soft, flowing fabric will enhance the design of the space.
In reference to the splash of color for the living/dining area, it seems from the drawing that the windows are much larger than the height of the doors. They are overbearing and need to be treated gently. Decorative molding may be introduced to this area by installing it on or around the door areas.
If the wood trim is not stained, adding soft accent colors to the trim would be another suggestion. Introducing soft accents of color on the walls also would be a choice to offer the client.
If the client is contemplating a fabric treatment on the windows in this area as well, a soft shirred treatment would be appropriate-again, inside mounted if there is enough depth in the sill to install a rod.
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.
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.