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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

How do you cover windows like these?

aimee203February 13, 2013
I like to sleep in complete darkness and struggle to cover these windows! Privacy is not an issue as I have no close neighbors. This is the South side of the house in a hot climate that means you want coverage that is good too. What do you do with the offset windows (middle one is arched but in square moulding/casing? There is one more huge divided light window on the other wall. Also color of walls -- the whole room is BM Monterey White and then we have this one carmel colored wall...is that just making things harder?
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Also, on the right side there is a little door to a roof deck. A lot of light and different sizes and shapes to cover.
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I'd be tempted to cover it with blackout draperies, hanging from a height about 4" above the top window, and covering the width of the room as far as a rod would go at that height. That should give coverage to allow you the sleep you deserve. It would also allow you to open the draperies to just uncover the tall center window, should you desire.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
17 Likes    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:41PM
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I would treat them like 1 window and hang some textured fabric with a black out liner. Hang the same type of rod you have over your other window over this one. Of course the drapes or curtains should be the same. I really like the bed.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:54PM
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a room divider or folding screen is the way to go and the cheapest asides from curtains just make sure the screen is opaque
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:10PM
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Coneta Tidwell
Treat them as a single window with Roman or roller shades all hung at the same height above the tallest window. Finish with a rod and pretty drapes (with a black out liner, if you prefer) that will reach across the entire width of the 3 windows. Leave the drapes open for style and closed for sleep.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:24PM
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For a beautiful and uniform look that doubles as a room darkener, would be the 2" white wooden blinds. The different levels of windows are an architectural point of interest that should be embraced and not camouflaged. The final look will be eye appealing and when closed, room darkening.
16 Likes    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 9:32PM
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LB Interiors
I like JWInteriors comment. Great architectural feature!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Patsy Brown
Have lined drapes hung on a rod that goes across all three windows above the tallest window! When you want them opened you can open them to just the center window or all three and will look elegant!
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:39PM
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I think white wooden shutters would look fantastic on these windows.
5 Likes    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:47PM
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Those are hard windows. A couple of ideas. Keep the blinds the same color as the trim. It will seem less busy. Also one nice lined drapery pulling off to each side might give you light control and a unified look
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 10:48PM
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I worry that a long line of curtains might be too heavy in the room and overwhelm it. I would fit roman blinds in all rooms in a cream on both sides and the centre one with a subtle stripe or pattern. I would have black out backing on the back (I use cream). Rather than try to hide the stagger of your windows, make a feature of them. Extend the same principle around the rest of the room.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:20AM
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Divya Garg
I agree with JWInteriors
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 12:45AM
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Consider cellular shades to block the heat then decorate with any curtain you like.
see shades example:
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:48AM
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Gabberts Design Studio
Each window should have it's own roman shade. That way it will cover the window completely, but not overlap. It's a nice, clean look.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 4:56AM
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Accentuate Home Styling & Consulting
I would do fabric blinds that are vertical and buy the blinds that are encassed in fabric. A pretty dark navy blue would work to keep the light out of the room as you sleep. Hang close to the ceiling to give an illusion that the windows are all same height. When open, the blinds hung from ceiling to floor will deflect from the fact that there is a difference in height of the windows. Using white paint to accent trim on your walls, and colors of red, yellows, etc will keep the room bright and cheery.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:02AM
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I just did my windows which are exactly like yours. One rod hung about 4" higher than the middle window and lined, on rings, full panels to the floor. I deliberately purchased the rings with the silicone "lining" as it makes pulling them effortless and quiet.

Just noticed your corner. You could stack them on the left.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Tami Jones Interior Design
I agree that the cellular shades are a good idea. They are soft in appearance, come in many colors and configurations. For your heat conditions, I would suggest a top down/bottom up as that would giive you alot of flexibility for blocking the hot sun during the day and yet still give you complete black out coverage that you need at night. Good luck!
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Fenstermann LLC
Cellular shades would be a great choice for you. Go with a blackout fabric custom fit to each openning. You will want the smallest gap on each side of the treatment for maximum effect. I also see in your pictures that you have small children. I would recommend a shade that is stringless, there have been cases of small kids tangling in cords from the blinds.

The shades we provide are custom made to fit perfectly in the openning. We have a great stringless system that meets all of the criteria above. We have no headrail with our product, so it fits inside the windows with less than 1/8 of a gap on each side. They run on a tension, so there are no strings or cords hanging around. Here are some pictures of the system.

Hope that helps : )
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Cover the windows with black out shades that can line a curtain and hang from above the tallest window then apply a secondary window cover on each window separately so that when you are awake you can still have privacy but light. But since your neighbors are not an issue go with the tall hanging black out drapes and your done.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Terri Symington, ASID
I agree with the wooden shutters...
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:22AM
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With a sheer curtain
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Blinds Max
I think some cellular shades with the top-down bottom-up feature would be ideal so you could enjoy the arched window and close it so you can sleep. Color wise you could do white or caramel. The cellular shades trap the heat really well. I have some example photos for you. The green shades one is more an example of the top down feature.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:49AM
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I like the shutter suggestion which can be done on all the windows and it will look uniform.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:27AM
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JMittman Designs
Is that another window behind the lamp? This is a decent sized room. You can do the floor to ceiling curtains suggested above--but also treat the front window with the same treatment--all the way up to the ceiling.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Causa Design Group
You have a few options:

1) White shutters is a very elegant and timeless look. This will make the room very dark. (My first choice)

2) White wood blinds can also work if the shutters are too exepensive.

3) Hunter douglas accordian shades (cellular) are compact when the shade is up, fit tight, and can provide black out. You could keep it as simple as this.

On a side note the room has very choppy architectural elements (windows, angled corners to ceilings) and I would suggest one paint color for the room.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I like the shutter idea they would be gorgeous. The woods would be very nice too, but if that is a door with windows in it behind the lamp, either product would be very bulky and difficult to use in that application. The cell shades in a blackout fabric would be a great option overall I would choose a Color that matches the wood frame.(I know boring but if you decide to change wall colors they still look great.) I think this would give this great space with so much architectural detail some consistency and would not detract from the already amazing craftsmanship in the room. My choice would be a duette architella blackout. When they are up they are very neat and tidy if you use a cordless option.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Drea Custom Designs
I like the windows being at different heights. I would treat the windows individually with blackout roman shades. Easy to operate and provides complete complete blackout. Optional panels on the sides, but not necessary.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:35PM
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I would hang outside mount bamboo blinds like, or similar to what you currently have. On the window wall with height variation, this will disguise it. Then hang some room darkening panels on all windows so you can sleep well!!!!!! I have added just a visual. The color of the bamboo shades is not exact, just representation. The panel link, I mean the beige color.......http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Grommet-Top-Thermal-Insulated-95-inch-Blackout-Curtain-Panel-Pair/4359824/product.html
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:24PM
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Sharon de Vries
run the rod about three inches above the highest window and run drapes right across and buy black out drapes that let no light in when sleeping...enjoy
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would recommend blackout Cellular shades. They should fit nicely inside you window frame and give you the darkness your looking for .
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Two inch wood blinds. I agree with JWinteriors.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Toronto Designers
Definitely do one curtain across all three with black-out lining. There is new black-out lining that is washable so that makes it an even better option. As for shutters, they are definitely not room darkening, and any blind will seep light through the sides.

Also, I would treat the whole room in one colour and love the idea of all white walls with your favourite colour drapes on the window wall.

As for the side window with the box under the window, I would use the same fabric as the full length drapes on that window but with side panels only and a Roman shade with black out lining on the inside. The Roman shade can be white like the trim and also with black-out lining. And if there is a possibility of making the radiator cover a tad smaller, your side panels can hopefully cover the edges of the window so light does not seep through.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:46AM
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Rachel Miller
I would find something to fill in the 2 missing spaces above each shorter window. You could find 2 older stained glass squares framed in white or create a white piece of moulding with some interesting detail. Then you would be working with "one" large window. You could hang drapes only on the outmost sides or in between each window as well. My vote is for stained glass!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:53AM
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Not a complete solution: might be interesting to treat the two smaller side windows with wood blinds (same color as trim) thereby isolating the taller center window which can then be synced up with other window and door.
...evokes bungalow attic window/vent arrangement of the same style
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:04AM
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Lisa A
The comment from "Benjamin" was so far out in left field that I had to click on his name only to find the guy sells folding screens/room dividers. Is there no shame anymore?!
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:05AM
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I agree with the idea of embracing the windows, not covering them up. I'd have custom made cellular shades that pull from the BOTTOM UP. I have these in my house and they were not expensive.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:10AM
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There are endless Shades available with neutral texture and color that also offer blackout capabilities. Roman, Roller, Woven Woods or Bamboo.Hang each one at the top of each window casing and then consider side panels that will cover the edges of the window coverings that tend to "sneak" in a little light if left uncovered. You may want to choose a fabric for the draperies, and have some bed pillows made to tie in the whole look!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:09AM
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I agree with others who say that it would look best to accentuate rather than hide the architechtural interest of the difference in the windows. I like the shutters idea as well as the blinds. you can actually find them for arched windows these days. They even have arched rods, if you want a softer look with curtains. Or, how about a combo look?
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:21AM
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    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Peggy Koskiniemi
The best custom solution would be to put phifer wire solar screens on the outside of the south facing windows and blackout roman shades on the inside. The solar screens on the outside will add energy efficiency and protect your roman shades from sun rot, while still providing you with a view. The roman shades can be fabricated with one of many new blackout fabrics available from your interior designer. If your budget doesn't allow this level of custom design, the least expensive and still functional treatment is to place a rod at least 4" above the center window and treat all three windows as one with black out drapery panels. Tall draperies are often hard to pull, so be sure to pay for rings that have the ball bearings in them or at least the slick inserts. Inexpensive blackout drapery panels are available at Tuesday Morning, Bed Bath and Beyond, and many other retailers. Be sure to order a continuous rod or pole, (not telescoping) as wide as will fit to allow generous overlap of the side windows for better coverage. Rings hang up on telescoping rods.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:14AM
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the windows look like an architectural "miss". I'd either install new side windows to match the height of the middle window, or decrease the size of the middle window to match the side windows. all three should have the same glass treatment, i.e., mullions or plain glass. frame all with molding and then install woven woods with liners on each window, plus drapes with black out liners for light control and privacy.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 11:04AM
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I to like a dark room for sleeping. I didn't want curtains in my bedroom and shades nor blinds got my room dark enough. I made shudders that block almost all the sunlight. For the shudders, I bought door trim, luan and hinges. Cut the trim to make rectangles for a frame (think picture frame). Each frames is half the width of the window so I can open them when I want sun light. Once the frames were made I cut the luan to fit the back of the frame and tacked it in place. With wood putty and sandy paper I smoothed the seams and then painted them high gloss white to match the trim. Once dry I added hinges and hung over the windows.
The cost was ALOT less then store bought custom shutters and the blocked out more light then the custom shutters would have.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:13PM
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I think the dormer windows add charm to your room, as do the ceiling angles. I'm a bit of a cheapskate, so l vote with those suggesting insulated, blackout-lined drapes with unobtrusive rods hung as close to the ceiling as possible as opposed to spendier custom shades or shutters. Obviously the angled ceiling will not allow for drapery to cover the entire dormer wall, plus it looks like going for height rather than width might be more important in this room. My only additional window suggestion would be a couple of "tie-backs" hung just a little above the sills on the outside of the smaller windows to "rest" your partially drawn drapes over. I know they aren't used much any more but they would help regulate heat and daylight and soften your angles a little, especially since your ceiling shape is not going to allow full window exposure if the rod is at the ceiling....same drapery treatment on the other windows as well (with the addition of a matching shade of some kind over the rad if that's what that box is). As a fellow lover-of-darkness , with all your crisp white, I would be tempted to paint the whole room camel and maybe look for a large but subtle geometric pattern with plenty of white in it for the drapes. Very nice room!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:33PM
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An easy fix is similar to what Carolyn suggested...hang a long rod above the tallest by at least a few inches, then get panels with a blackout liner...get one panel extra for each side than you think you need, then, you can part them and pull them aside with tiebacks or hooks...draping the fabric from the center, the fullness from the extra fabric as it angles away from the center part will actually cover the bare spot between the taller window and the shorter ones!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 5:21PM
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Plantation white shutters would marry the three windows nicely. Shutters are great for allowing any amount of light, a little or alot, into or out of the room.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:30PM
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We tried everything in a similar situation. The draperies were too heavy a look. The bus lout blinds leaked light on the sides. A sleeping mask works best.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Black out blinds leaked lite even undef roman shades.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:05PM
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Kim Drier
I loved the custom blinds that keep the architectural integrity of the windows. I have a similar problem in my bedroom - and a tight budget! Simple blinds that are cut to fit fill the sills, and off-the-shelf black- out drapes from Wally-World hung 3" above the top sill (in line with the window tops, work to keep the light out perfectly. The drapes were reasonable ($20 per tall window and $15 for the shorter ones) in a coordinating color with my home-made quilts makes a cozy and quiet space for serene rest. The drapes have a "balloon" type topper which also helps to block any seeping rays from disturbing my rest.

Another thought is you could hang awnings outside over those windows to help block the southern exposure from overheating the room. Drapes add softness, warmth, and insulation from light and noises. The cellular shades would be my preference, but I'd still hang drapes for the soft ambience they give.

Will you post a photo when you finish this project? I'd love to see how you work out your light problem!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:14PM
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We have white plantation shutters in our bedroom on a large window and sliding glass door. Never again in a bedroom! These do not block the light nearly as well as inside mounted pleated cellular blackout shades. Drapes alone, even with blackout lining will allow a lot of light to come in from around the top of the rod. Blackout pleated cellular shades mounted inside the windows with drapery panels to "dress" the windows should give you very good light control. Did I notice a radiator under one of the windows? If so you certainly don't want to be pulling drapes around that:>)
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:19PM
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HI , I think one way is out side wood windows door with drapper model. all in out of windows. then more silence and also beautiful . for in the room shades with coverage of curtains full of colours.. with different situation could use all. or part of all these minoo
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:47PM
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Leya Matalas
wow I didn't look @ the comments- could be a repeat somewhere..
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Honeycombs are a good solution for these windows. They are available in specialty shapes, and blackout materials. They keep the heat in and the cold out.
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 8:07PM
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Honeycombs is what we have now under the roman shades. Still need to wear a mask!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 9:13PM
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have roman blind made ......let an "add-on" design run through all 3 windows, with collage applique technique , so it looks like a feature of the room when closed
i am a window designer and would sure know how to cover it
good luck!
    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Absolutely no cell shades! I have them in my bed room and the look is way too commercial. Hang metal curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible( angled wall will dictate this) and do the same height on other window.A simple finial and soft light color fabric will keep it from looking too heavy.Use a linen look or simple printed cotton with a napped polyester blackout fabric lining.Ask around for seamstress referrals and shop online for lining fabrics and you will spend less than using a designer or drapery company.Trust me the look will be timeless and give the uniform look this room desperatly needs.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Newport Custom Shutters
Hello. What a lovely window with terrific architecture. We manufactured and installed custom shutters for windows like this. Shutters are nice in that they won't hide the beautiful trim work or compete with the interesting ceiling angles. Shutters keep things warm in the winter and keep the room cool in the summer. They are very effective at blocking out light for sleeping or television viewing. I have attached a couple of photos.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 4:13PM
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LB Interiors
Just wondering .... Not sure if this will work, anyone know if the logistics will solve the light dilemma?

Construct open box frames 3"-4" deep, extending from window frames to prevent light from entering the room. Install blackout window treatments, shutters,or ? within framed-out box frames.
See sketch - box frames outlined in black.

Use simple curtain rods or maybe tension rods? Grommet or rings (easy open/close) blackout drapes that wrap around on the return of the rods or tension rods may work. That should take care of possible light seaping through at top, bottom and sides. A separate curtain rod or tension rod on each window, placed within new box frames. This will also keep the architectural feature of the windows.

After - Window Treatments - What to do for complete light block out? · More Info

Curtain rod with return
Window Treatments - curtain rod hardware · More Info

Tension rod 1
Window Treatments - tension rod hardware · More Info

Tension rod 2
Window Treatments - tension rod hardware · More Info

Grommet heading
Window Treatments - grommet drape heading · More Info

Window Treatments - drape clip rings · More Info
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Newport Custom Shutters
Yes a boxed out frame with a rebated reveal that is painted to match the window trim would work nicely with blackout shades and a curtain rod or simply with shutters. An extended frame that was rebated was used in the project below and serves the purpose of privacy required in a bathroom and doesn't hide the architecture of the window.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:56PM
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LB Interiors
Thanks Newport ... wasn't sure of the construction possiblities, I suppose you could construct both configurations above in order to use drapes on the window?
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Christina Vernon
I would do fitted plantation shutters, rather than trying to mask their unique shape and charm. Well fitted shutters tuck neatly with the trim and can serve as great light block, privacy or light filtering tools.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Lots of great comments and Ideas to choose from. Solar screens are great for blocking out heat as are cellular darkening shades and some shutters are effective when closed. My own preference would be the suggestions of Festerman and Tami Jones. I don't know of anything which beats the value of properly installed top down and bottom up room darkening cellular shades for comfort and versatility.
We have several historic homes. Some with single pane windows. I have priced external shutters and custom blinds and its simply not in my budget. After finding room darkening cellular shades, I have not looked back.
Do the math and the aesthetic and comfort comparisons. Some of the ideas above are stunningly lovely, but you have to prioritize according to your own values, not mine or anyone who does not live at your house. If your heart tugs for a higher price option, please skip a few movies and lattes and get the solution that feels best. It is your home, love it.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Peggy Koskiniemi
A word of caution regarding room darkening versus blackout. They are not the same! Do not expect room darkening cellular shades or shutters to completely block out all light. Sleep experts suggest blocking out all light for a better night's sleep. Total blackout can best be achieved by blackout lined draperies that extend beyond the window width and height, and go all the way to the floor. If custom draperies are beyond your budget, there are ready-made options available for very low prices.
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:10AM
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I saw this today on a lighting website and it reminded me of yours. I think it looks very clean.
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:10PM
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