Dealing with large windows

Phantom Screens / August 3, 2016

Blog /

Large and uniquely shaped windows can be great for flooding a room with natural light and adding interesting design elements to your interior architecture. However, the downside is they are often difficult to effectively dress. Window treatments allow you to control not only the amount of direct sunlight a room is receiving but also the temperature and privacy of the space. As many large windows are meant to take advantage of a home’s view, it is important to find a way of preserving the benefits of such openings while cutting down on the negatives. Here are a few tips for dealing with large and oddly-shaped windows.

Determine how much coverage you need

Not all windows need to be completely blacked out by thick, heavy curtains – though it is always an option. Consider the amount of coverage you would like to get out of your window treatments. Full coverage options are nice for private areas and rooms in which you don’t want to be disturbed by sunlight such as bathrooms and bedrooms.

However, there are many partial coverage options that add visual interest as well as sun protection without plunging your room into complete darkness. For example, you may want to consider only installing shutters on the lower section of floor-to-ceiling windows, leaving the high section bare. Or, you can include floor-to-ceiling sheer curtains that technically cover the entire window, but due to their transparent quality, allow in partial light.

Also, large windows in transitional spaces such as hallways and staircases may be best left bare. By adding in a stained glass element, you can add visual interest to your window without covering it up. UV film can be placed on bare windows to filter out the heat and glare from the windows while maintaining much of the natural light.

Motorized retractable screens

For large windows with a view, consider installing motorized retractable screens that disappear into the ceiling when not in use. Unlike curtains or shutters, invisible screens retreat completely out of sight, preserving your view. They are easy and effortless to bring in when the sun is too hot and take out when you would like to enjoy the sunset.

Custom woodwork

Interior shutters are a great way to deal with uniquely shaped windows. A skilled carpenter will be able to construct them to fit any shape and size. Circular and oblong windows especially benefit from a custom shutter, as the unique design will likely be a fun conversation starter.

Guide the eye with draping

Large swaths of fabric draped over windows add drama and grandeur to a space. You can play up the effect by including some elegant draping. One way of creating a draped look is to tie back long panels. You can also direct the attention of visitors by adding flourishes either near the bottom or at the top of your panel curtains. A contrasting colored fabric at the top of the panels will draw the eye up, calling attention to the ceiling height, while placing such fabric at the bottom portion of the panel will have the opposite effect.

There are many options when it comes to adding a window treatment to an unconventional window. These treatments all provide the benefits of light and heat control while also delivering privacy to rooms with large exposures. For those thinking of adding windows to a room with high ceilings, don’t let the fear of finding appropriate window treatments stop you, there is always a creative solution to any design problem.