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When you look at a room with window treatments, you probably don’t think of the design that went into them. Most people like the way they look or the way they work, but there is a lot of thought that goes into a useful design. Let’s take this south Reno home as an example.

When I got called to this job it was to replace the window coverings with something darker, so the homeowner could sleep in on sunny mornings. Upon arriving, I recognized that they had Hunter Douglas Silhouette shadings on the windows in question. Now, standard light filtering Silhouettes don’t block that much sun. In fact, they only block about 30% of the light. So, it wasn’t an appropriate treatment for this homeowner. But, what a lot of people don’t recognize is that room darkening, or blackout window treatments have some design issues that need addressing.

One of the issues that comes up regularly is that unless you have a layered window treatment, or a specialty configuration, you will basically lose all privacy as soon as those blackout treatments are opened. So, for this client, keeping the Silhouette shades and layering them with a functioning drapery was the correct solution. Now the client is able to pull the drapery back, as shown in the photo, and tip open the shades on the windows to get a view with privacy, or leave them in the privacy mode for filtered light in the bedroom.

Another thing to consider is why the wood cornice was chosen at the top of the drape. There are two reasons. The first is that any time you have a drapery that has the purpose of being room darkening, you need to consider the amount of light that will come over the top of the fabric and then into the room. Most times you will want to put some sort of valance, top treatment or cornice over the top of the drapery header. In this case, the homeowner wanted something that was very clean looking and the wood cornice fit the bill perfectly. The other reason that it was chosen was to hide the drapery rod that was chosen. Though you can’t see it, this is a very heavy duty and smooth rod by Graber. All of the glides are made fluid by ball bearings, which are ultra critical when you are traversing a drapery of this size, especially so since it is also lined in blackout material. A standard drapery rod, though it may carry the title heavy duty, probably wouldn’t last a year under the weight load that this drapery has.

So, as you can see, there is a lot of thought that goes into a window treatment. In the end, it’s a pretty simple drapery treatment that is intended to blend into the decor of the room, and to be honest, after a couple of days, the homeowner will rarely think about them anymore. But, that to me is a compliment, because if there were problems, either with the design or the function, it would make the client, and then the designer, have all kind of trouble. I’m glad this job turned out so well.

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