Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Wide Open Window

I have a big dilemma that I hope you ladies will be so kind as to help me with. 

Last week, we had some new windows put in the dining room.  I am ashamed to admit that prior to this, two out of three of the windows did not open at all.  The other only opened if the planets were aligned correctly and you had a crane to lift the window up.  The joys of a home built in 1933.  Ok, moving on....

Once I saw this fresh new window, unadorned by curtain panels, I sort of liked it just the way it is.   (I still have to paint the trim yet.)

I'm sure you are asking, ok, so what's the problem then?

I live in a city.
I live on a corner.
There is a stoplight on this corner.
We don't have a huge amount of traffic, but it is a thoroughfare for schools/community college in the area.

So, what can I do?

Do I just cover the window up with the same lace panels that I had before and call it a day?

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo above, but raised at the top of the window, are cellular shades.   These were ordered when we first bought the house.  Honestly, they were great for awhile.  Opening them up & down, every day, over such big windows caused them to break several times.  Luckily, they were always repaired free of charge, but I guess the annoyance factor got to me.  I think they were just too big to handle the wear & tear, so I opted for the lace curtain panels.

Let me show you some pictures of the dining room and the adjoining room so you can get a better idea of what I'm dealing with.

Bear in mind, there is a radiator under this window, making long curtains to the floor impossible.

The other thing to consider is, will I need to change the curtains in the seating area as well, since the rooms are adjoined? 

So my decorating genius friends, let me have it.  Any ideas or thoughts on how to solve this dilemma?

I  really appreciate any help you can give me.    


Welcome! I'm Gina. Like the header says, this blog is all about home, food and life..


  1. You have a lovely home, and I can see why you like the window just as it is. Could you have something only covering the lower half of the window, pretty nets or something, then you have privacy and still get all the light in?!

    I'm sure whatever you decide it will look lovely!

  2. Gina,

    First of all, grats on your new windows. How awesome, willmake SUCH a nice big difference in yours lives. And it looks GREAT!

    Secondly, your have wonderful spaces- love them.

    MY advice is to get Roman blinds. They are clean lined, work well with lots of wear and tear, look good in any decor, fuss and worry free.

    I would keep your sheers in other room unless you wanted to do Romans in there too. I didn't and the spaces are better defined that way, yet still open and airy.

    Just a thought.

    Good luck, and anything you choose will be wonderful I just know it.

  3. I love ALL of your windows! I like the sheer curtains you have up, at least light can come in. I personally like lined long curtains that I can close at night but open up all the way in the daytime. Even though the curtains are open, you can't really see IN my home unless its dark outside. Maybe it depends on the windows? I think the curtains do need to go together since they are so close to one another.. Oh my??? I hope someone has some good advice for you, I am just not sure. The only thing I do know is -don't cover those wonderful windows except when you HAVE to :)

  4. Your windows are so pretty Gina! I like the idea of roman shades. During the day you can keep them all the way up and pull them down at night for some privacy. But, I would use them on all your windows, being the rooms are adjoining.

  5. That's a tough one!
    To save cost I would keep the lace curtains since the other windows have them too, but to add interest I would add ties on them in the center area of each panel bringing them inward to now enjoy your new window frames.

    Now if money was no object, I would add some bamboo blinds (covering your existing shades)to each window which would tie in the color of the dining table. Not really knowing what the other room is designed like makes it tough.

    I have these in two bedrooms and they are mostly used as a valance treatment since the windows have mini blinds already. They also add a layer of privacy even with the mini blinds down and open, and also still let the light in.

    Good luck to you on what ever you end up with!

  6. Your new windows are beautiful and I love your woodwork, so I'd hate to see it covered up. I like the idea of shades, I have bamboo and I get a lot of light even when they are down. At night you can't see through them from outside. Good luck! :)


  7. Love your new windows~ I personally like roman shades and am about to order them or my living room.

    Could you make the radiator into a sitting area covered? Do you know what I mean or will that not work?

  8. Gina your home is lovely. Those new windows are so pretty. Maybe some type of shades would be nice. You can get frilly or tailored ones.

  9. Such beautiful windows, you hate to cover them up.
    I know you have a rad under them so I would have side panels just to frame the window. I'm a fan of blinds also. Keep the blinds to the inside frame and keep them up. At night drop them. just a thought.

  10. Have you considered cafe style? That way you get to enjoy the beauty of your new windows *and* get some privacy. Maybe you could do cafe style lace to tie into your other rooms? Whatever you come up with will be gorgeous, I just know it!! :)

  11. Beautiful windows! I love having the light during the day but I have to have my windows covered at night. :/

    Is it possible to get shutters? Another thought would be the 2" wood blinds...they have a fake like wood type too at HD or Lowe's. That would be less expensive and you could raise them during the day.

    Having the radiator there does present a problem doesn't it? If you do choose to use curtains of some sort, I think they should coordinate with the other room.

    A lot of help I am, right? LOL

  12. I have to say that the first thing that came to my mind was plantation shutters. You can buy them pretty reasonably at HDepot. Then you have as much light, or privacy, as you wanted. It would also save you from trying to match up with the other curtains...although you wouldn't realy have to do that either. I think the windows look beautiful. Good luck. xo Diana

  13. I do love an open window...as I have in our kitchen area..however we have woods behind us. I did love the lace curtains you had before and they tied in nicely with the other room.

  14. There is a house I go by everyday. It is a pretty high traffic area. They have blinds that will lower from the bottom or the top. Sometimes they are just in the middle of the room. You can't see in but the light still comes in. Just a thought. Love your home. Love that arch.

  15. Your new windows are beautiful! I can see that it would be a shame to cover them up but, then again, you could be eating dinner when it's dark outside and an audience could be looking in. For me, personally, I would want something to cover them. I like a few of the other commenter's idea's of plantation shutters but I do know they're expensive! Whatever you decide on, I'm sure it will be lovely:)

  16. First, let me say how much I love your dining room. My heart just longs to live in an old house. Such character!

    As for what to do, I'm not the world's best decorator, but I like the idea that someone had for Roman blinds.

  17. Yaay, Gina! Windows that are beautiful AND go up and down! They are gorgeous! For me...I have to have privacy! The roman shade idea and the 2 inch blinds sounded good, the lace is pretty....ha,ha! Let us see what you decide!

  18. Gina, I can't remember seeing that part of your house, I love it!! How wonderful to get new windows! Here's what I would do, I would get some funky retro fabric and do short curtains, to clear the radiator. Then you just pull them open during the day and closed at night...Easy, and anything goes with the sheers in the other room, those could stay. Do you follow Miss Mustard Seed? She has quite a few pictures throughout her blog of her living room curtains, you could see what I am talking about.


  19. What a beautiful window! I love shutters...easy to open and shut and you can still get light if the top is open! Others had lots of ideas also. Can't wait to see what you do with them. hugs, Linda

  20. I would go with cafe curtains on rings at the bottom only, that way you could open or close them whenever you feel the need. I would go with fabric that had some white in it to flow with the curtains in your livingroom. Hope I helped you a little.

  21. That is a really pretty new window!!! The white lace sheers are good in the living room, do you have blinds or shades under them??? I like the idea of lacy sheers half way down, cafe style.....easy to open or close...I like spring tension rods, easy peasy.....and you only need two pairs of curtains since the side windows will only take one panel each. You can always add a valence or blinds later....you would make anything look wonderful!!!

  22. You are asking the very wrong person because I hate window coverings of any kind. But we must have them at our lake cabin because we are right next to a marina, and we have Hunter Douglas Silhouettes. They are so light and airy...let light in but keep peepers out! :D Plus you can raise them all the way up if you like.


  23. Gina, your new window is gorgeous!
    I would not want to cover it either if I was you, but I know what you mean about having a little privacy.
    Same thing happened to me with the french doors in my bedroom. I would recommend roman shades. They look pretty up or down and you can get them in any color or pattern that will match the rest of your decor. Can't wait to see what you do!

  24. First of all Gina let me say that I love, love, love both these spaces, love the archway dividing them and love how much natural light comes in.

    Now as far as your dilema, well I think the lace curtians in the other room look so pretty. I think they provide some privacy but don't totally cover the view or light. I think if you go with a roman shade, like many are suggesting, you will have the same problem than with the cellular shades. Lined fabric roman shades for a large window like yours can be very heavy....Ooooh unless it's the kind that are light and sheer and are tied up with pretty ribbons...Have you seen them? Now that would look super cute.

    Anyway, I know that whatever you decide on, it will look absolutely beautiful...Just remember to keep us updated :-) Have fun and happy decorating.

    Much love,

  25. I agree with everyone else... Plantation shutters allows all the privacy and all the light. Beautiful home.... Thank you for all your kind words about my Easter table. I appreciate you coming by for a visit.


  26. Beautiful windows, Gina! I can see why you would like to have it as it is... I am not an expert on this, but I love how you designed the seating room. So, whatever you choose to do with that elegant window, I'm sure it will look great :)


    P.S. I found your blog through Lori at Bleak2Unique.com. I'm your newest Linky Follower. You can follow back if you want at onehouseonecouple.blogzam.com

  27. So pretty, I wouldn't want to cover it up either, but totally understand the need for privacy. I've had Roman shades, and although very pretty, they will end you in the same place as the blinds you have now...up, down, up, down. I've also had plantation shutters and they are beautiful but dust traps. I find panels to be simpler these days. Drop cloth is inexpensive.
    There's also reflective tint sold at Lowe's and Home Depot. Your window will look the same, but you can't see in from the outside.
    Show us what you end up doing.

  28. Love your new window! I see you need some type of privacy. What ever you do I would try to tie the windows in the other room together. So maybe lace on this one too?
    I would like to get shutters, but not if they are dust collectors like someone said.
    Show us what you decide!

  29. I vote for plantation shutters. I've had them and loved them. Mine did not collect dust like my plantation blinds do. I would not want to roll a blind or shade of any kind b/c I'm lazy like that. ;) The shutters I had opened up in the middle and folded back which was great. I used a swiffer duster and just ran it over the slats. They do not have strings down the middle like blinds do. And they look so nice from the outside too. The down side is they're expensive. So my 2nd choice would be half way up cafe curtains on rings that you could slide back and forth. Your rooms are so beautiful! Whatever you choose will look great!

  30. Hi lovely lady.
    You have a beautiful home!! I love the wide open windows with the sun coming in maybe just sheers.. Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my busted pipe ever thing is OK now, As you can see I'am up and running on my laptop now. I will be putting a new tablescape on Saturday. I hope you have a wonderful week.

  31. I didn't even think about your window because I was so impressed with your house. Lots of charm. I love the arch!

  32. Hi Gina,

    I love your new windows. Plantation shutters would look really nice but they are costly. I put wood blinds on mine since I also have radiators like yours. Blinds for each window might be a good idea.


  33. You’ve chosen a very nice location for your window. It has good view of the outside, but if you are seeking for a way to control the light and add some privacy, try putting window blinds. Choose window blinds that will fit the tip of the window without reaching the radiator under.

    *Nancy Ferdinand


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