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Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Ups and Downs of Window Treatments



I would like to turn the sliding glass doors in our den into a window area like this one.
One of the very first things we have to think about when we move in to our new home are the window coverings.

When it comes to window treatments I am a no nonsense kind of gal. 

Ashley Whittaker Design

Basically I would have nothing on my windows if I did not need privacy at night, and some light control from the hot sun during the day. I like an open window policy.

For some I know this would be like living in a fish bowl, but for me it is light, bright and airy, all of the things that I require in my home.

The World of Window Treatments , Adore Your Place - Interior Design Blog
However we have to be practical don’t we? 

So this is me being practical……..

Our new home’s walls are covered in windows. I have three walls in my great room, two walls are covered in a bank of three windows each, and the other wall has a fireplace, and an entertainment niche. 

There is basically no wall space in there to speak of. I love the idea of all the windows, however it leads me down the path of the dreaded window treatment decision, (insert scary music here ♪♫♪)

Here is a picture of what our windows will  look like in the kitchen and great room at the new house. You will have to visualize white walls and wood floors………


“Just look at all of that light! It is going to be great!!!” She says, until she realizes she has to cover the windows with some kind of window treatment!

The way our lot sits we will get afternoon sun on the back three windows at a slight angle. 

It is actually the same exposure we had in our previous home so I do have an advantage of knowing what my needs are.

In our previous home we had a large slider with 2 in. white wood blinds….


My daily routine was to open up the blinds, and the slider and they stayed up, and open until about 2:30 –3:00 during the hot summer months, and then I would close them to keep the sun off of the hardwood floors, and also to keep the room cooler. 

You will notice my hubby built a cornice board above the two blinds. 

I could pull the blinds up into the cornice and they would disappear. Insert: Happy girl!

Now I have the light, bright, airy, nice big wide open window that I crave!!!

So this brings me to function and design. When thinking along these lines, think of your needs first…..


Hamptons Home
  • Open windows for air and light.

  • Covered windows for privacy at night and sun protection.

  • Slightly open or tilted to let in some light but able to direct the sun upward away from hardwood flooring. ( I might do this for 2 hours of each day.)

  • Inside casing treatment in order for window framework to show.

Of course each room has it’s own needs as far as privacy. Such as a bedroom, or bathroom will need the option for complete privacy throughout the day, and night. I will talk about that later. 

Combining plantation shutters with curtains privacy coziness warmth (for Grayson's room)

Today we are discussing the main living area of the home.

Next you need to think about the overall feel and look you want your home to have…


  • Nantucket, classic, casual, coastal vibe.
  • Open, airy, light filled rooms.
Boughton utilized outdoor fabrics throughout, like the marine vinyl that covers the ottoman in the carriage house sitting room. "It has the same kind of graining as calfskin, but doesn't wear as easily," she says. She had the rug made into a bull's-eye pa
The windows will have molding added to them to beef up the windows a bit. 

Something similar to this:

Make a farmhouse window
Since we are going to trim out the windows I will be needing an inside casing treatment.

Now that I have my needs, style, and application narrowed down, it is time to look at some options.

Option #1: Plantation shutters…

New home window covering plantation shutters

The beauty of plantation shutters is, just that, they are beautiful. They let in light when tilted open and they look really nice.

Downside for me personally:
See the frame around the actual shutter, well that pretty frame/rails will cut into the light coming in. 

Creamy Whites with Coastal Accents
Basically you will lose a certain portion of your window surface. It will vary somewhat according to which company or style of shutter you purchase.

On an average you can figure about 3in. per side , so you will lose approximately 6in. top and bottom and another 6in. for the sides.

If your windows are large enough and you do not mind losing some of the light that will filter into your room, this is a wonderful option.

Since my needs are to be able to have wide open windows in the Great room plantation shutters would not be the best option for my wants.

As far as the style, look and feel go, they would look beautiful.


Next shall we look at:


More economical and budget friendly.
Can be up or down and tilted to direct the light.

Stack-up!! (this is an important word to remember)
Knowing how much a window treatment stacks-up, or stacks-back if it is a curtain is a very important consideration.

You will need to allow room for your stack-ups, or stack-backs,if you choose draperies, and remember when doing an inside mount treatment that will mean the stack-up will always cover your window permanently when it is drawn up.

Here is a very helpful chart to figure out what the stack-up would be for wood blinds….

stack up chart for wood blinds

You can see that for most windows it ranges from about 6in. to 10in. the other thing to consider, do you like the look of stacked up wood blinds?

I personally do not like the look of a stacked up blind, so when I use them I usually have a cornice made to hide the stacked up blind so it disappears as I did in my last home.

Since we plan on having some nice molding around our windows these will not work in my Great room area.
Next Option!

Roman Shades:
There is a lot to consider when choosing a roman shade, first what type of material do you want to use, and what color family will you need to accent your room.

I will not go into the many, many options that are out there, but today I do want to talk about the mechanics, and the look that a roman shade will give you.

The other thing to consider is the stack-up as I spoke about with the wood blinds. Here is a helpful chart for the stack –up of roman shade.

Roman Shades Stacking Height Chart

As you can see most stack ups for either type of fold will be 7-9 in.  You also have to consider, do you like the look of a stacked up roman shade.

Personally I do, they look finished and neat and tidy.

For the family room walls, the designers selected a Benjamin Moore paint color coincidentally named Nantucket Breeze. The tight-back sofa is upholstered in Kravet indoor/outdoor fabric, while the paisley pillows are a Scalamandre fabric. The antique gold mirror and black side chairs are formal, yet simple, and the sisal rug and woven blinds lend a casual appeal.

With a roman shade I will get an open airy look, privacy, and light control when needed, and it is a perfect look for a Nantucket/Coastal look when done in a textural fabric such as linen, or a type of bamboo, or matchstick blind.

Keep in mind they are either up or down. Since I only needed the tilting option for about 2 hours a day, I am willing to compromise on this one need for the overall look and functionality of a roman shade for my room.


Until I am actually living in the home, nothing is ever certain, but as of right now, I am leaning towards Roman shades in a lighter value color than my hardwood floor, but something with texture and warmth.

Soon I will do a post on what I am leaning towards with pictures to show you the direction I will most likely be going. I definitely have a plan in mind.


This was on Tuesday!!

This was on Friday!

We now have framing! Look at my pretty lamp post! That pretty lamp post is one of the reasons we chose this lot, I love it's charm.

So now we own some dirt, metal thingys, cement and wood! To say we were excited when we turned the corner and saw this is an understatement. 



Woodside Park said...

Oh, wow, you've done your homework! And research!! Thanks for sharing that chart - just bookmarked it. Look forward to following along and seeing your selections. Cheers

Unknown said...

Wonderful post Kathysue!

We went with plantation shutters. For years, we had bare windows at our former home, then went to bamboo shades. It has been my dream to have shutters for many years, so my mind was made up before we even sold our other home. This is actually our first home where privacy is a concern. I'm loving the shutters. They are proving to be the perfect solution for us.
I can't wait to see the evolution of your new home!

Melissa said...

I am loving following the process of your decisions.
Wow, things are moving very swiftly, so exciting.
It will be wonderful seeing all of your choices emerge into reality.
Keep posting, we are all watching with great interest.

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Windows are a challenge that's for sure! You've thought this through thoroughly I can tell. I ended up Hunter Douglass Duette top down/bottom up shades so that I could regulate my privacy and have good energy efficiency. I chose them in 1996 and have never regretted it. I had the same desire for lots of daylight and we have 6 windows in the living room. They have a minimal stack which is a bonus. I like plantation shutters a lot but I agree they eat up space on the window and cut down on the light. How exciting to see the framing up and things moving along so nicely! We had two homes built and I loved going through the process. Enjoy!

Desert Diva said...

I have had every kind of shade, depending on the area of the country I lived in. Your post above is accurate and helpful to window coverings buyers. I read your blog faithfully, but I have never noticed if you said what geographic area you live in. It makes a HUGE difference. For example, in Arizona, if a window gets direct southern sun in the summer, plantation shades are a huge benefit to help keep the intense heat out. I am enjoying following your process!

debra @ 5th and state said...

well i just had so much fun pinning along with great lessons.
love your choice!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Great informational post Kathysue....and what a transformation from Tuesday to Friday!....I find window treatments are the hardest decisions for me....looking forward to your decisions.

Lea @ CiCis Corner said...

Well, this was so interesting to me. We are in the last few weeks of our home construction, should be finally moving in about 4-6 weeks. We started on June 11, 2014, so it's time!

I'm with you on the Roman Shades and it is what we will be using across the back of our house where there are 15 windows that catch the evening sun. My decorator assisted me with the choice and we went with a dupioni silk that is pretty much the same color as the window trim. We got Levalor. Then we are using plantation shutters across the front of the house. We have arched windows and they will go into the arch. That arch made them way more expensive than they should have been. They are by Graber. The dining room, laundry room and master bedroom will also have fabric treatments as well.

We have been in our current house for 34 years and it has very few windows and we can hardly wait to have all the light.

Enjoyable post and happy house building!

Mary Ann Pickett said...

This is so exciting! I love your taste! You need to enter Joni's curtain give-away. I did :)