What to do with windows with a view?? Please help:)

janealexaJanuary 28, 2012

Hello! Please help me figure out what to do with these windows. Here is a pic of our space. It is not the best picture but hopefully you can get the idea. The walls are SW Kilim Beige, the trim/ceiling are SW Alabaster, and the floors are white oak. The window sills are wood with a dark walnut stain which matches the doors and cabinets in the house. There is 1 more window to the left and 1 more window to the right. There is also another large window on the other side of the room.

I looked into Levolor woven shades. I called Levolor, gave them my dimensions and asked how much the shades would stack at the top of the window with the shades pulled all the way up. The full stack at the top would be 12 inches. I can only do an outside mount 4 inches above the window because of the soffit lighting. So 8 inches would obstruct the top of the window. Woven shades are now out.

I looked around Houzz and did a search on windows with views. Most pics didn't have any window coverings. I think I am going to end up with cordless cellulars since when they are all the way up there is just a slight subtle stack at the top (inside mount). They will mostly be all the way up anyway. I just would put some down during strong sun and at night. Just kills me to pay so much for cellulars because they are so boring :(

Do you have any other suggestions??? Thanks in advance!

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Fori is not pleased

Absurdly long drapery rods with drapes pulled allllllll the way to the side?

I guess I'd want nothing on them at all, which is about what you'd get with the cellular shades.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 11:20PM
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janealexa, what are you doing in my head?!! I am going through the same choices and going crazy! I mostly keep my windows open, but being in CA I need to be able to block the sun at certain times of day.

I used hunter douglas cellular shades in some of my rooms and will add some drapery panels to the same windows in the next few months for some color and softness. My cellulars are white and they blend into the white windows and trim. They might be boring, but they are practical and I really like when they are open and they blend in and only take up a total of 4" (rail + stacked blind). They also insulate and keep the heat out of the rooms.

I haven't done anything in my family room yet, but have to make a choice quickly or we will be broiling in the summer sun very soon.

One thing about the Houzz photos - many seem to be builder photos and the houses are staged, but not lived in. How do people sleep with nothing on bedroom windows!

Another thing I noticed about woven wood shades - most people that have them keep them half closed and that is when they look their best. When you open them all the way they bunch up at the top and puff out and don't look as sleek. Since I want them open most of the time, they would not be seen at their best. Also many of them don't seem to have mechanisms that would be durable for daily opening/closing.

Another option are the sun screen shades. With these I would add some type of fabric valance to hide the shades when closed.

I just started working with a new decorator/designer so it will be interesting to see what she can come up with that will add some pizzaz, but won't cover up the windows! I'll keep you updated.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 11:46PM
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We too have struggled with what, if anything, to put up our windows that have views. This is a new house to us.

We'll likely choose to put floor to ceiling grommet drapes. The stacking capability is incredible for a drapery. Since we have views both day and night, the windows we do have window coverings (that will be getting replaced), we leave open almost continously.

Yours looks like mostly a daytime view, so perhaps you may want something to keep in the heat at night, perhaps not. If it is a daytime view only, at night all you will have is a big huge sheet of black glass to look at, draperies or something else would give visual interest and texture to the room at night.

I too was worried about loosing inches away to window coverings, but even with our great views day and night, it's nice having the additional decorating interest especially at night.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:53AM
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Thank you for your responses fori, chispa, & aloha2009!

chispa - LOL, I am going crazy trying to figure this out! This is one of my last major decisions for our build. I have to do window coverings for the entire house. I am fine with room darkening cellulars in most of the bedrooms but am torn on what to do in a few rooms with views. I'm so burnt out at this point!

Do you have cordless or corded cellulars? I was going to do cordless, but then realized I would have to get a stool every time I'd want to open them. I am short and wouldn't be able to reach the shades to pull them down. But then if I go with corded top down bottom up, there will be cords dangling on both sides of each window when the shades are all the way up. And then continuous cord loop only comes in bottom up.

We have mylar shades in our current house because we didn't want to block our views as well. But the shades do hardly anything to block out our strong sunsets and they do not provide any privacy at night.

Please keep my posted, I'd love to hear what your designer suggests!

aloha2009, the picture I showed really is not a good one since it washed everything out. We actually have some views of city lights in one direction then distant views of more mountains in another direction. So we do have day and night views. I wish we could do drapes. However, there isn't much space between each window so panels would really interrupt the view and cut the window size. We do have soffit lighting which we plan to turn on at night since it gives off a nice candlelight glow. So I think that would provide some design interest...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:56AM
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chispa - Here's a pic I found on Houzz. These bamboo shades pulled all the way up look very top heavy and sloppy!

traditional family room design by new york interior designer Megan Smythe Design

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:23AM
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We have Levolor cellulars on our windows -- and I can't find a photo just now, but below is one of our view. The cellulars are boring, but who cares? Folks come in the front door and see the view and not the cellulars. We have a small cornice board above the windows which doesn't obstruct the view either, barely covers the cellulars, so nothing is obstructed. How wide are your windows? Our largest is 8 feet, I think, and we have had some problems with a part on the cellulars wearing out so they don't stay raised, but Levolor has replaced them without charge. DH says it's because I don't pull the cord correctly; not sure about that, but in any case Levolor has been very accommodating.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:47AM
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susanka, that is a gorgeous view!! Thank you for your input. I was worried about dangling cords, but you are so right. People are going to look at the view not the cords!! Our largest window is also 8 feet wide. Good to know Levolor replaced faulty parts. How long did you have that shade for? Does Levolor have a lifetime warranty? We are planning on going with Levolor as well. What type of cellulars do you have and are you happy with them? I'm planning on going with Designer Textures Light Filtering in the view rooms (hoping the light filtering will block the strong sunsets enough), Designer Textures Room Darkening in the bedrooms, and Classic in the laundry room and garage.

In our current house, we have an 8 foot Hunter Douglas cellular that is having problems like yours. I am going to call the company and hopefully they will resolve the issue.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Have you looked into smith and noble? I had the same concerns with our shades- I didn't really want to block the view most of the day so they will only be down at sunset and beyond. I am having them installed on Tuesday (YAY) so I can show you how they fold up.
This isn't a great picture b/c I couldn't take the picture and hold them up to window- but this is them completely folded up (granted they are lying flat on my couch in this picture) but this is how I was told by the decorator that they would lay once hung.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:46AM
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On a similar set of windows, I have a fabric-covered valance that hides the mechanism for roll-up solar shades for each window. I only use them to block the sun on summer afternoons. My set-up is almost exactly like yours with the lighted soffit above. The valance stretches across all of the windows and there is no space between the bottom of the soffit and the top of the valance.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:01PM
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janealexa I agree and sorry but they do not jive style/formality wise with the rest of the room, at all. IMHO. It might be easier if your picture was taken from farther back..I am always a fan of side panels for the color life they bring a room. I would not want to be messing with a shade on each window. Can you hang drapes in a way that is off the window enough you do not cover the view?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:32PM
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At the kitchen sink window and the dining room window, we get really strong sunlight at sunset. I will have to to do room darkening there because the light filtering cellulars will not block the sun enough. Would it be weird if one side of the room has room darkening and the other side light filtering? Or should I do all room darkening??? I'm so confused. Maybe I will just do the rooms that NEED to be done before we move in (like the bedrooms and baths) then just wait on the rooms with views. I don't want to rush into a decision that I might regret later...

susanka, I forgot to ask you what color are your cellulars?

Hi gillylilly, I commented on your sunset thread. I LOVE your shades, what a great choice! Those are going to look beautiful in your space! Looking forward to seeing more pics! I will call S&N to see what the stack size would be with my dimensions. Off topic, but I've been meaning to ask you where you got your pretty blue area rug...saw a similar one in the PB catalog.

Fun2BHere, Thanks for your response. Do you have any pics?

arcy, Thanks for your post. I will take better pics today so everyone can get a better idea.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:17PM
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janealexa, two shades went bad within five years; the second one they sent us a whole new shade. We have the single-cell shades in an off-white, but I don't remember the color name or number. They do have a lifetime warranty. We had double-cell in another house, but have found these single-cell ones are fine even in the front range of the Rockies,where we live. We decided not to do room-darkening anywhere this time; we have grommet-type panels in the bedrooms over the shades.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Sorry, but I only have a low-res pic from the MLS listing. Because the windows face west, it's hard to get a good picture...too bright in daytime, too dark at night. As for having different openness factors on different sides of the room, I don't think that's odd at all. As long as the shades are the same color, I don't think anybody will notice. In my last house, I had the lowest (blackout) openness factor on the windows that bordered the front entry, but a higher openness factor on the windows where I didn't need privacy.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 5:00PM
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I would wait as long as possible. Frankly, if you have a view, I think an unadorned window looks best.

Where do you need privacy? It doesn't seem as though you would in the shot you show?

If it's just about sunlight or glare, have you been in the rooms at the time of day when it's a problem?

I'd hate to cover even an inch ...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Can you hire a professional to put a light film on the window? Not enough to look dark (or like a car, lol), just dark enough not to need a window treatment. The view is nicer than any treatment.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 12:10AM
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I have faux roman shade valances on my family room windows
and hiding under the romans are solar shades.

The large 10 foot window has one motorized cream colored solar shade under the roman. The shade is 'solar viel'
it filters out the light, but not the view. When the shade is down you can see through it, but from outside you can't see in.
There is also three windows in the room...the solar shades on these windows have a roller chain on the ends that operates the shades...chair operating shades are easy to
operate compared to the spring loaded pull up and down shades. J

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:32AM
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Correction, I just asked my DH, the new shades we just
replaced in the family room this summer -- are polyester not solar veil.
Solar viel was our last shades. Our old solar shades were about 20 years
old or more, nothing was wrong with them
I just wanted a lighter cream color.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 7:48AM
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another correction...DH tells me stuff in dribs and drabs...
They're actually a 'vinyl coated polyester'
my old solar shades were fiberglass.

One more thing about chain operating shades,besides being easy to operate, if you have
windows in a room that you want the shades to all be
perfectly lined up, in a flash, these shades do the trick.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 8:01AM
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Hi Janealexa- The area rug IS from Pottery Barn. I forget which one it is, but I just saw in the new catalog they have very similar rugs- slightly different. i actually like the newer styles better, but oh well. It wasn't too bad either for the 8x10 it was $599 I believe.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to go the house to take pics. I am going to take pics as soon as I can! Like I said before, it kills me to pay so much for cellulars because they don't add any design interest. I am considering taking that money to make some custom window treatments...I have ideas I want to share, but I think it will be easier if you can see pics. Also torn because DH doesn't like curtains/valances because he thinks they are dust collectors...

Thanks gillylily for the info on your area rug!

kswl, thanks for your post! However, I am hesistant to put any window film on the windows, I was told that window films will void the warranty on our windows. Several of our windows in our current house were faulty. The seals went and we had to have them replaced under warranty.

cliff_and_joann, thanks for all of the info! I will look into solar shades, wonder how much they differ from the mylar shades. The mylar shades in our current house do help with glare, but they are not effective in blocking the strong sunset. Just curious, do they provide any privacy at night?

mtnrdredux, thanks for your post! DH feels the same way. I guess we don't need much privacy there...I've been there at sunset and I know which windows are involved with that light. I need to get there at sunrise one day!

susanka, thanks for the helpful Levolor info!

Fun2BHere, thanks, I may combine different openness factors. But if I do I'll be sure to use the same color!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 5:25PM
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You can't see through them at night from outside.
During the day as well, you can't see inside from outside,
however, you can see through them from the inside.

They block the sun, but not the view.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Haven't read the entire thread...but have you investigated top-DOWN shades?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2012 at 6:22PM
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jane, I looking through my albums for a dog photo
and discovered this photo.
This is our old shade, we made it in three pieces on
the 10 foot window...our new shade is made in one long piece.

I don't know how effective mylar shades are, but these
solar shades are...their tag line was years ago when
we got them was..."the sun is good, sometimes."
I suggest you get samples of the fabric, and try it out on
your sunny windows before purchasing.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:49AM
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janealexa, I never answered your questions after my first response. My cellular shades have cords. They are Hunter Douglas with the UltraGlide system. To raise you pull/pump on the cord and then click to one side to lower the blind. It works well and you don't have the long cord when the blinds are up all the way.

I have top-down/bottom-up on all the blinds, but find that I only use it in the bathrooms were they premanently stay in a half way top-down position. All my other blinds are either closed or open, usually following the position of the sun.

I used room darkening in bedrooms, Expressions in dining room (a thicker sheer). In the living/media room I have 2 materials on the blind the expressions sheer and an opaque material. We have a big TV in this room and at times needed more than a sheer for glare. 2 fabrics on shade is called Duolite.

Still pondering the family room and kitchen blinds ... time is ticking and the sun is getting stronger. I do have a bunch of the $5-10 temp blinds and might have to slap those up if I don't make a decision soon. Arrrgh!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:39AM
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it kills me to pay so much for cellulars because they don't add any design interest

You can get cellular shades with a lovely linen look to the fabric. If you are into fabric texture, they are wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:54AM
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mjsee, thanks for your post, I am considering some top down bottom up shades.

cliff_and_joann & chispa, thank you for your helpful posts!

graywings, I will look into those, thank you!

EVERYONE- OK, I finally took some pics. These are all of the windows I am confused about:
Great Room:

Other side of great room, you can also see patio doors, and kitchen sink window. This is the side that gets the strong sunset.

Patio Doors:

Kitchen sink window:

Other side of kitchen (breakfast nook):

So what are your thoughts?? I don't think there is much room for drapes/panels in the great room. MAYBE they can gather to the left and right of the group of three windows?? What would you do at the patio doors? At the breakfast nook I am considering drapes/panels that I can open/close, but not sure what to do at the kitchen sink window. What do curtains without blinds look like from the outside. I would get lined panels, but will it look like big bedsheets from the outside LOL??

Would love to hear your thoughts! Thanks in advance :)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:45PM
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We have a wall of windows in our great room, and the summer sun was a problem when watching TV. We put up solar shades we purchased from Penneys, I think the brand was Phase II. We are very happy with them. We haven't used anything to hide them (valance) because I don't think they are really noticeable, and think a valance would stick out. Sorry for the Christmas picture, it's the only one I have showing the shades. They are rolled up, and are only on the bottom windows.

However, I think a valance on your windows would be look nice.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:51AM
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Those are real mountains! Where are you located?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 1:26PM
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Make sure you need window treatments first.

If you do, the ones in the Christmas photo above are great.
You don't want visual interest. Visual interest is for all the folks who have nothing to look at out their windows. Think NYC airshafts. Those folks want you to look at the window treatments. Your windows could be draped in silk hand embroidered in platinum by monks, and people would still be looking OUT the window, not AT it.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 3:58PM
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    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:49AM
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I was considering doing some drapes in the breakfast nook then a matching valance over the sink. But are drapes a bad idea in the breakfast nook? Especially with kids?

I've been stressing so hard about this to the point of sleepless nights, it's ridiculous! We spent so much money on our mylar solar shades in our current house. We rushed into that decision and it was the wrong decision. So I think I am going to order shades that I absolutely need before we move in (privacy issue rooms like bedrooms and baths). Then I think we'll order the others after we move in and live in the house for a little while. That way I can get a better idea of what we actually need. We'll have to wear sunglasses at different parts of the day inside the house, but it will only be temporary!! I wanted to do everything all at once so I didn't have to pay installation twice, but I think I'm better off just waiting.

I had an appt with a local custom drapery company tomorrow, but I think I will postpone the appt until after we are moved in. I may even consider hiring an interior designer for some advice once we are in.

I'm a huge fan of doing it right the first time. I've learned from past experiences that rushed decisions often result in regret and higher costs later on.

Thanks again everyone for your helpful advice, I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again. I'll probably do a post soon about drapes:)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Just following up on this thread...

Had an appointment the other day with a Hunter Douglas rep through Costco. I am considering HD Silhouettes with the top down/bottom up feature. But I am anxiously awaiting a quote! I've heard Silhouettes are VERY expensive so I am a little nervous! Seems like the silhouettes would be the best since they are like blinds and cellulars combined into one...

Anyone have any thoughts on this??

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:12PM
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I think lots of companies make the silhouettes so maybe research other company's that make them.. I got mine at smith and noble and i think they were a little cheaper than Hunter Douglas. Plus they sometimes have a buy so many get so many free deal or discounts- I wasn't thrilled with my woven shade exp. with smith and noble but the silhouettes were fine.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Just following up on this thread...

Had an appointment the other day with a Hunter Douglas rep through Costco. I am considering HD Silhouettes with the top down/bottom up feature. But I am anxiously awaiting a quote! I've heard Silhouettes are VERY expensive so I am a little nervous! Seems like the silhouettes would be the best since they are like blinds and cellulars combined into one...

Anyone have any thoughts on this??

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:36PM
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oops, I don't know why my message was posted twice.

gillylily, thanks for your post! For the silhouettes, I looked into My Blinds from Hunter Douglas exclusively sold at Home Depot and Nantucket by Hunter Douglas. Both are less expensive than the silhouettes, but they don't come in top down bottom up. They are bottom up only. Are yours top down bottom up? I'll check out Smith and Noble...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 3:45PM
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OK, just got the quote for the silhouettes for the great room/kitchen....not gonna happen! WAY out of our price range!!

I'm going to order the blinds that we absolutely need right away for the bedrooms and bathrooms. Then we'll wait on the great room/kitchen and other rooms with views. I think after we move in and live in the space for a little while, it'll become more clear as to what we need.

We are going to do Levolor Nuwood faux wood blinds in the bedrooms. In the master bath we are going to do Levolor top down bottom up linen cellulars.

For the view rooms, we will most likely do cellulars, but I'm not 100% sure how much opaqueness we will need. The sun is so strong we may need blackouts which I really don't want to do. Other option is custom drapery, but again, not so sure about that because I don't want to obstruct any part of the windows...

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 7:29PM
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With a view like yours I would love to keep the windows clear. We had the same problem, large windows, hot sun.

We installed exterior solar screens throughout our home. Cuts about 85% of the heat but (surprisingly) still allows the view. There is only a slight change in the view.... but worth a considering.

Google .. I'm sure you will find them near your. I did a quick search, don't have any relation with this company .... but their website had good information.
Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: Info

    Bookmark   February 12, 2012 at 9:16AM
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movin-on, thanks for your post and for the solar screen information!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 8:50PM
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for what it's worth, i don't know if it would be worth it to you to spend the extra $ on the top down feature... i think that's a great feature to have for bathrooms and possibly bedrooms when you really want the privacy... i love them for those rooms, but in family rm/kitchen areas i would want more of the window showing!
you might want to consider cordless shades so there are no hanging cords showing when your shades are up...
it looks like you have a covered patio outside of your kitchen??? you probably won't have the same setting sun issues in that room... if that's the case, i would probably leave the doors without any shade--i'm not a huge fan of fabric or shades/blinds on doors (especially frequently used doors..) although i have them in 2 rooms where light control is an issue...

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 7:54AM
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I've been watching this thread since we too are struggling with this decision too.

Though temporary, I was surprised to hear you were going with the faux blinds. Though I really like the look, this option was nixed because of the poor stacking. You may want to find out how much window you will be covering when the blinds are "open".

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 10:25AM
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aloha2009, Thanks for your post. We still haven't chosen anything for our "view" rooms. We are going to wait and live in the house for a while so for now those windows will be bare. I just purchased window coverings that need to be done now for privacy. I did faux wood blinds in the bedrooms and garage. I did look into the stack at the top which would be 9 inches. However, in these rooms, we don't plan on opening the blinds all the way to the top, we will just be tilting the slats as needed. Some of these rooms don't have significant views and they are not "public" areas so I'm not as concerned about obstructing the windows. The faux wood blinds will be permanent in those rooms.

busybee3, we do have a covered patio, however when the sun sets at this time of year, there is a direct shot of light from over the ridge line into our windows. So we will definitely need some window coverings on that side. We will have neighbors some day so I think the top down feature will be good to have.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I haven't read every post, but have you considered using the Redi Shades from Lowes? They're temporary but they will make the rooms more liveable until you've been in the house long enough to decide what you really want and need.

Also, are the soffit lights really an issue? How close are they to the corner of the ceiling & wall?

Here is a link that might be useful: Redi shades

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 12:32PM
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annz, thanks for your message. Yes, we've used those Redi shades in our current house. They were up so long that the paint came off when we removed them! We may need to get some for the new house...

RE: soffit. The soffit was an issue when I was considering outside mount natural woven shades. The stack would've been 12 inches with the shades pulled all the way up. Because of the soffit, I could only move the outside mount 4 inches above the window which would result in 8 inches of the window being obstruced.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 6:49PM
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I just did a post about how I'm going to miss my old master bedroom and I posted this pic. Then I realized, why am I so worried that curtains/panels will obstruct views in the new house??? I've already used curtains in my old house on view windows! In this pic, the windows have panels, sheers, and top/down bottom up Hunter Douglas Ultraglide cellulars. I never thought the curtains took away from the view. What do you think?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 3:25PM
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actually the slider has a Hunter Douglas vertiglide (I think that's what it's called. It is pushed all the way to the right side in this pic. Not sure if I would ever buy that again for a slider, very expensive and not all that exciting...

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:56AM
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Hello all, it has been more than 2 years since I posted this, where does the time go?? I just wanted to follow up on this thread. I ended up putting Hunter Douglas ultraglide top down/bottom up blackout shades in the kitchen. We get such strong blinding sun that we really needed the blackout shades in that area. I have been happy with the decision. Although the blinds don't provide any visual interest, I am happy with the clean look when they are all the way up. I've realized that the visual interest is really the view. Hunter Douglas also has great customer service. We've had a few issues that were addressed in a very timely manner.

As far as the great room, we lived without anything on the windows for all this time. I am glad I waited to see what would work best. The only reason why I am putting something on the windows now is because we want to protect our furniture from the strong morning sun. We will close the blinds at night and open them during the day after the morning sun. I will be ordering Hunter Douglas ultraglide top down/bottom up semi-opaque shades. I was told that the semi-opaque will block out 95% of the UV rays that cause sun damage to furniture.

I am interested to see how these shades will affect our heating and cooling bills. There is so much glass in the great room that it gets so hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

Best wishes to all!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:54PM
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thanks for the follow-up-- it is so rare that people do this, but it is really helpful. I'm struggling with window shade issues at the moment,so good to follow other folks' logic!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:59PM
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I really appreciate your update. It's so helpful to hear what works and what doesn't work.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:46PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

I missed this thread when it began, but our home was also built for views. We had the room to hide solar shades inside a valance, so we did that on most windows. Our big problem is on the west side where the solar still allows sun in your eyes at dinner time, so, under the solar shade we mounted 1" blinds, and the two together work to block the sun.

We leave the shades and blinds up mostly, and only use them when necessary.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:54PM
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I absolutely love big windows and hate covering them up. Have you considered window film? It's come a long way, baby, and the new 3M products are fantastic. They let light in, don't obstruct your view and keep the heat out. I saw a demonstration of this on a morning show some time back and was just amazed at how well it works. (I don't have any affiliation with the company.) Your windows would be so easy to do.

I don't like heavy window treatments; I want whatever is there to disappear as much as possible. On a huge picture window upstairs, I bought a simple rod with a center support, mounted it close to the ceiling and bought floor-to-ceiling grommetted white drapes in a fabric that looks like slubbed silk. They can be pushed all the way to the sides so they don't cover the window.

Think about the film before you invest in bulky roll-ups. I must confess; I have a lot of windows, but I still envy yours! :0

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun Control window film

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 2:18PM
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Thanks so much for the recent input! Since my latest post, I
got estimates from Hunter Douglas for cellular shades (top down/bottom up/ultraglide). I also just got an estimate for custom drapes with UV lining. I am going to do either cellular shades OR drapes, not both. And once again I am confused because I don't know which one to choose. Here are some pros and cons for each option. Would love to hear your input! TIA! ~Jane

Cellular shades
-excellent customer service from Hunter Douglas if something breaks
-top down/bottom up feature is good for privacy if we get neighbors on that side of the house one day
-less expensive than custom drapes (~$500 less)
-better insulation than drapes

-no decorative interest AT ALL

-adds decorative interest

-more expensive than shades (I did see that I can buy the fabric for less online, not sure if she will allow me to buy my own fabric, if she allows it, the cost will be the same as the shades)
-may need to be replaced one day if fabric fades
-my decor interests may change and drapes may not match someday
-collect dust and require more maintenance than shades (vacuuming, dry cleaning)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

With the soffit there, is it possible to use ceiling mount drapery rod and mount it to the soffit instead? That way you can get a long run of drapes...probably something light and linen like...which can be pulled across the windows as necessary.

Contemporary Living Room by Beverly Interior Designers & Decorators Siemasko + Verbridge

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:34PM
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I beg to differ with whoever said the 'shades don 't jive' with the formal room that's pictured. While they do look 'sloppy' probably because of poor installation, the color, as well as with the draperies used, the formality of the room hasn't been lost. I've been reading Traditional Home, House Beautuful, Veranda, and other such magazines for years, and Bamboo Roman shades are used very frequently.

If anything is an eyesore, and takes away the formality, it's that dang black mounted TV over the fireplace! We can thank HGTV for that decorating don't, just my opinion on bad placement.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:58PM
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Thanks for the replies AnnieDeighnaugh and patty_cakes.

AnnieDeighnaugh, the ceiling mount rod is a great idea, I will look into it, thanks!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 12:05PM
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