Window treatments for long wall of windows? Pics?

staceyneilApril 3, 2011

Our living/dining space is 24' long and 12' wide, and 2 walls are almost all windows. I'm wondering how best to deal with the windows. We don't "need" curtains; we have cellular shades mounted inside that we do need -for insulation- in wintertime, and we're not all that concerned about privacy.

But.... I'm thinking the room might feel a little more finished with some WTs. Does anyone have any inspiration pics?

We're not done renovating the room (hopefully built-in bookshelves will be installed this spring, and a new couch soon) so maybe it won't look so unfinished then- but I'm starting to think about it and could use some inspiration.

Our style is eclectic/modern/transitional, I guess. The room will definitely have:

1950's sculptural Hans Wegner teak dining table/chairs

Kilim rug

George Nelson slat bench

Ikea Karlstad couch in beige

Florence Knoll marble/chrome square side table

Wall of dark slate tile with black woodstove

Nice view out to the backyard :)

Here is a mid-construction pic, looking down from the adjacent kitchen. There's no window trim yet or anything... Any ideas?

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Ceiling mounted ripple fold track across the whole wall. I will post a picture later :)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 10:14AM
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I did them in this apartment that was a former hotel with metal and glass exterior walls in a poured concrete building. They minimized some of the strange structural things going on on those walls.

Since your place is pretty contemporary you could do a sill length treatment if it was close to wall color (imo) because of the baseboard heat. That looks like hot water so fire isn't an issue but efficiency would be.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:14PM
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You could also use drapes on a motorized track under a valance/pelmet.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 1:20PM
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Thanks, guys!
(I'm sure we can't afford the motorized track, though!)

Palimpsest, that's sort of what I was thinking... but a couple questions for you:
1) Since the room is broken up into two zones (LR is about 2/3; DR is 1/3) where would you have them open up to? Split in half and drawn to the sides (I'm afraid that would cover a lot of the end windows) or would you have a section coming down at the division between the two spaces?
2) My other big question is length, which you spoke of. Yes, they're hot water registers. And, on the LR side, the couch backs up pretty much all the way to the windows. I definitely prefer the look of longer drapes, though :( I'm afraid short ones, with the casements, would just look too, I don't know, cheap 80's rental or something... probably because that's what I had in my cheap California rentals in college. here in Maine, casements already feel weird. I am not sure I want to emphasize it!

Here's a general floor plan showing the window locations:

Thanks for any input--- I'm really stumped on this one so far!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 4:57PM
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Should they open all the way to the sides, or delineate the "zones" like this pic I found on line?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 5:05PM
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I would do segmental and probably bury the window that has wall to each side under the stack. Sinuous fold or ripple fold stack tight since they are not flat and generally not lined. You may be able to get away with floor length since they will not be closed a lot, it sounds like.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 7:33PM
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I understand why you might want these, but honestly...I don't love this. Those windows are great, and since you need neither privacy nor light control, I think they should be left alone to allow them to "disappear" so you focus on the yard beyond. To me, curtains call attention to windows, not views.

You're right, they have to be floor-length, which means they'll interfere with the couch. And the rads. When will you ever close these? When you move the couch?

That said, we did the curtain track route in one of our rooms, across a 12-foot room. (the post with pictures is in my clippings.) If you get an unlined (we used sheer) drape, they stack back to practically nothing. And if you want to get super-crazy, you can drywall in the track to make it completely invisible. They definitely add softness to that room (our master), which is pretty much cool blues, whites, and angles. But we did it, in the end, for privacy.

What about doing something else to add a warm and finished look to the windows? Like some lovely thick wood windowsills? I haven't googled or flickr'd around, but I think I might be more into something using wood to add something softer than white wall to that view.

JMO, I know whatever you do will look gorgeous, you have great taste!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 11:14PM
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I think you should just frame the very ends of the window with drapes for a finished look. I do prefer them long. Perhaps you could put in tie backs and then put the drapes on the tie backs when you are using the registers (that would pull the ends up slightly for the registers).

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 2:36AM
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Thanks, all, for your comments. It's really helpful in figuring this stuff out :)

DH just finished installing the trim (picture-frame type) on the windows, so I definitely can't ask him to rebuild that with a sill :(

I think I need to sit tight until the bookshelves are built, the trim is painted, and the new furniture is in there, and then revisit this. I guess at this point I'd lean towards nothing or long, floor-length thin/sheer curtains in a color similar to the wall color, just for the softness and "finished" aspect. But I'll have to decide whether it's worth the expense just for that detail.

Thanks again- I am SURE I'll be back for more advice once I start choosing colors and items for this room :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 7:46AM
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Hi Staceyneil,

Just today, in my inbox was Joni's blog from Cote de Texas--long wall of windows.... Take a look.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cote de Texas

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:49AM
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Thanks, bee! That's really interesting what she said about how much quieter the room is with curtains. I never even thought about that "plus"....

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:56AM
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