While walking in my neighbourhood this summer, I popped by an open house and toured a stunning modern in-fill. The windows were cased in metal and extended from the floor to ceiling in unusual, asymmetrical shapes. I immediately noticed that there weren’t any window treatments and wondered what could be hung given their odd shape. Walking by the house again after it had sold, I saw that the current owners hadn’t figured out that problem either and had taped brown craft paper up for privacy. Not really a beautiful option for a beautiful home.
As architects have become more and more adventuresome given the flexibility available with new materials, we as homeowners are faced with a new set of problems in trying to manage light and privacy. Some solutions to consider:
Keep the Windows Bare
This is a bold choice and really only available to the few that live in areas where light and privacy aren’t a huge concern, for example those homes perched in isolated areas overlooking the sea or tucked away in a secluded woodland. Not exactly a solution for the rest of us living in the suburbs or more urban areas.
This is really only a viable option for smaller windows. I have a tall, narrow window beside my front door, which keeps my entryway bright but does showcase my collection of shoes to the neighbourhood. By installing a frosted film that clings to the window, I didn’t block the light but did block prying eyes.
A very big downside for the use of window film is that it will void the glass portion warranty of your window. This option is not recommended for newer windows but older windows where you might be looking for an inexpensive and temporary solution.
Custom Window Treatments
This is really the only option available when you’re trying to minimize light and maximize privacy. Hunter Douglas has really cornered the market on options for homes that don’t have your typical rectangle or square windows. Their sheers, blinds and shades have a clean aesthetic that is perfect for a modern interior.
For angled (like my neighbours) or arched windows, Nantucket ™ window shadings are a sophisticated sheer. The vanes can be rotated to achieve various amounts of light and privacy for a room. With 60 swatches to choose from, it’s easy to find a colour that suits the décor of your home.
When you’re dealing with a window in the shape of a trapezoid, circle, or even octagon, then the classic Silhouette® window shading is a perfect choice. It can be configuredfor several specialty shaped windows and the Signature S-Vane ™ diffuses light and allows for privacy. Motorization options are also available for those harder-to-reach windows. Choosing the perfect colour may be a little more difficult as there are over 240 swatches to select from but I would consider that a pro rather than a con when considering this product.