A couple months after we moved in, we had all the old, single-hung windows replaced and brought to code with new, dual-paned sliding windows. Since that expense took a good chunk out of our initial renovation budget, we simply slapped some temporary paper shades on the new windows for privacy. The term "temporary" is used quite loosely around here! We are long overdue on replacing the paper shades with some real window treatments.
I have been trying to figure out the best approach to covering up the windows. You see, I am actually figuring out the window coverings for multiple rooms at once. Three rooms in our home (office, guest bathroom, boys' bedroom) are on the front side of the house facing the street. I would like the front bank of windows to have a consistent appearance from the exterior. Since the guest bathroom has a small window, I plan to keep the window treatment that's in there. Here are some options under consideration:
Option #1: Layered Window Treatments
This is my initial preference. I love layered window treatments, especially the combination of natural textured roman shades with fabric drapery panels. The issue I have is that the boys' bedroom doesn't allow for both to happen. There is shelving on one side of the windows that are in the way - and it's staying put. I guess I could just install natural woven shades (Option #2) or shutters (Option #4) in the boys' bedroom, and skip the drapery panels?!
Option #2: Natural Woven Roman Shades
Natural-textured woven shades are a possible option, similar to what was installed in the guest bathroom. Our windows are not standard size, so they would have to be custom-ordered. This option would add lots of warmth and texture to each room. The only issue is that natural woven shades don't provide complete privacy, especially during the evening.
Option #3: Draperies
This option would be for installing just draperies, but having them all consistently lined with the same "backside". They would bring so much texture, softness, and pattern to each space, but I feel it may look lackluster from the front exterior. Privacy and light filtration would also be somewhat of an issue when the window treatments are pulled open during the daytime.
Option #4: Shutters
Keeping appearance and functionality in mind, this is a strong contender. However, it is also the most expensive. Shutters are not cheap, having experienced the expense first-hand when we had them installed in our last home. However, the investment proves worthwhile since they are a big selling feature. They also add "architectural" interest to otherwise non-descript windows (like what we have now). I also like the functionality of shutters since you are able to control the amount of light and privacy. (Note: Our office windows meet at a corner, so shutters would be a straight-forward way to cover them up!)
What to do?! Feel free to e-mail me or comment below with any other suggestions for covering up our windows. I welcome the input.
(Original sources for all images are unknown)