Window Design Trends for your home:  To Dress or Not to Dress?

By Chicago Architect Ellissa Morgante

As residential architects, there is a question we encounter each time we design a room:  dress the windows with gorgeous fabrics, or leave them alone? Turns out, the answer isn’t that simple. When views are paramount, windows are architectural, or privacy isn’t an issue, skipping window coverings is certainly an option. It’s also a good way to stretch a furnishings budget. But when privacy is a concern or views are lackluster, you’ll want the option of covering your windows. Read on for our some of our favorite ways to treat windows in every room of your home.

Laser focus.  This island retreat utilizes bi-fold, laser-cut panels to provide clever, art-like window camouflage that easily opens to reveal beachy views.  Shades behind it fully block early morning light.

Gentle Effect.  A gracefully gathered shade allows light to come in even as it softens the view of a brick wall directly outside this urban window.

Relaxed elegance.  This city house incorporates relaxed roman shades to filter light and soften rooms. At night, heavy drapes close over the shades to help occupants feel more secure.

Views, views, views.  I still can’t believe it’s true, but our own new house is situated right on the shores of Lake Michigan. People often walk the beach outside our windows, which is why we elected to hang sheers over them. The sheers offer the best of both worlds: during the day, they preserve our view of the lake while providing complete privacy. At night, anyone looking in our house can see movement, but not detail. For us, it’s just the right balance.

Hidden gems.  This lakeside home appears to feature untreated windows that fully usher views indoors. In fact, motorized solar shades are recessed into the ceiling, providing one-touch solar protection when necessary.

Pattern play.   Rain or shine, a circular breakfast room is cheered by colorful roman shades that embellish – but don’t cover – a glorious bank of windows.

Supporting player.  A hand-painted mural is the clear focal point of this elegant dining room – which explains the simple silk draperies at the window, chosen to complement, rather than compete with, the stunning wall treatment.

Textural addition.  Incorporated into this home’s architecture, cedar louvers not only block sun, but also supply texture that contributes mightily to its visual interest level.

Double play.  Imagine this: it’s a lazy weekend morning, and you’re lying in bed enjoying the view of your lushly landscaped backyard through the wall of windows opposite your bed. Now imagine children are playing in the yard. You’d like a bit of privacy, wouldn’t you? That’s why sheers are layered beneath this room’s blackout drapes – they allow you to see out, but protect your privacy. 

Bottom up.  Top down, bottom up shades shield bathers day or night – yet allow sunshine and moonlight to filter in. Note how the pattern on the shade complements the organic pattern of the floor tile and the blue glass surrounding the tub.

To learn more about how Morgante Wilson Architects can help you narrow your design decisions, give us a call. We’re always ready to talk!

Elissa Morgante
Morgante-Wilson Architects
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Read other posts related to design ideas by Chicago award-winning residential architects Morgante-Wilson:

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Our Best Residential Architectural & Interior Design Ideas 

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