Function First When Choosing Window Treatments

WINDOW TREATMENTS. Is that phrase like nails on your mental chalkboard?

Relax, “window treatments” don’t mean “drapes”. Voluminous yardage, fringe, tassels and the like are yours only if you insist. And we’ll always have Carol Burnett’s Went With The Wind” to keep it real. 

Window treatments are anything covering or framing windows, sliders or french doors.  Period.  So now that we have that out of the way….if “doing something” with your windows is on your 2020 to-do list, here’s how to get started:

Function First: To end up happy (and not broke) first be clear on what problem(s) need fixing. IMO there are no wrong answers:

  • Privacy, energy conservancy/temperature control, acoustics, safety, light-control should all be considered
  • Rooms looking/feeling unbalanced, dull or unfinished are all just as valid.

To what degree, under what circumstances do these problems exist? Factor in how/how often you use the room, as well as seasonal foliage and sun positions. You may find other solutions to consider.

  • Does sunglare affect your TV images year-round?  First, is your furniture in the best position? If feasible, re-positioning furniture could mitigate, or solve this issue.
  • Replacing decades-old wood framed single pane windows might be a better economic and aesthetic choice over costly thermal treatments.

Took this lower left photo at an event at a local golf club. Lovely facility, beautiful draperies framing the windows, but we were blinded wearing sunglasses and frying from light and heat reflecting off the snow.









Great expanses of unprotected glass waste energy year-round.  A solar shade like the above is polished and inexpensive. It’d preserve the view, compliment the rest of the furnishings while letting in normal amounts of light. Additionally, it’d insulate against heat transfer AND absorb sound>value+ in a catering space!

You may need a custom/hybrid solution. And custom doesn’t necessarily mean costly; rather it’s just thought-out, right for you and your circumstances.

  • A simple blackout roller shade that rolls up into almost nothing can be part of a BR window treatment design if there are light sleepers, infants, or night workers in the family; just add what you like aesthetically to frame the window.
  • Framed stained glass panels suspended from the inside top of the window frame could add interest as well as just enough privacy for a powder room, or that window on the stair landing.

How do the windows/doors open?  For access, I’d start with something that moves the way the glass does. Think verticals on sliders, shades or blinds on double-hung windows. But your best decision is whatever meets your goals and expectations, aesthetics and budget included.

Sliders made up the back wall of this Sleepy Hollow house at left. Not the best photo, but you’ll get the idea. They opened onto a fabulous deck, facing due west. Stunning views of the Palisades, and great for parties, but yikes even with a retractable awning they were blinded and baked by the sun that’d pour in late afternoons to sunset.

  • Even though these doors slid left to right, they chose these solar shades, a top to bottom treatment. The glass was double-glazed and treated with a UV film, so all they needed was sunblocking a few hours a day.
  • Budget was part of it, but more, they wanted something invisible the other 20 hours or so they didn’t have them drawn. Rolled up it was maybe 2″ in diameter, and in a soft off white, it blended into the window frames.

The Refreshed Home suggests good design identifies problems first, then looks for product to solve them. Not finding ideas or options you like out there? Maybe we should talk!