We have a gorgeous two-story window in our main living area. It lets in lots of fabulous natural light but broils us in the afternoon as it faces directly west. We’d love to give it a decorative window treatment since it is a focal point in the space, but we also need to block the afternoon sun and heat. What can we do?
— Hot Under the Collar
Dear Toasty One:
Believe it or not, there’s a relatively easy solution to your super tall window dilemma. Instead of trying to use a single window covering to take care of both issues, we suggest using two separate treatments to solve your problem.
For decorative purposes, consider a stationary window treatment like two floor-to-ceiling curtain panels to frame the opening. If your window is narrow, add the illusion of width by extending the curtain panels out at least 4 to 5 inches beyond the window frame. You can let the curtains fall naturally or pull them to the side with a decorative tieback.
To cut the heat and glare, you have several options. To preserve the view, you can install window tint designed to reduce the heat infiltration and block damaging UV rays. This is really not a DIY project—it’s best to hire a company that specializes in residential applications. The tints come in varying degrees of opaqueness and UV blockage, depending on your needs.
Another way to preserve your view and create a level of privacy is to install a solar or cellular shade. A tall window opening will most likely require a special size, which means you’ll have to hire the job out. Someone will take measurements and create a custom shade that fits perfectly inside the window opening. This type of shade can remain fixed in place or raise and lower via a corded system or motorized control. You can select the color, fabric and light control that goes with your decor and curtain panels.