Window dressings

Photo source:  Linxspiration.

Photo source: Linxspiration.

I’ve got a feeling this will be round one of several attempts to plan the window dressings.  Already I’ve been thinking about the options for months.  Slowly the picture is becoming clearer.

First, check out this “cool” tool at SunCalc that shows you from which direction the sun will shine on your house at various times of the day and year. Sun calc Cicerellos Mandurah   This example shows the direction of sun at Cicerello’s (fish and chip shop) in Mandurah today.  I used a public address so you can see the full screen and all the options available.

To protect House By The Water’s location, I’ve zoomed in for the next shot.  You can see the angle of the sun from dawn (yellow line) to sunset (redline). Sun exposure at House By The Water.Our main living area (on the canal side of the property) is going to cop the afternoon sun.  In the middle of summer, the sun will set over the water which will probably create a lot of reflection.  The roof of the alfresco area will shade most of the living area, but as the sun gets very low we’ll need window dressings (in addition to external shade). Our living/dining area has a lot of  large windows, including the void space above the living room.

The Rubix has a lot of glass.  Photo from Webb and Brown-Neaves.

The Rubix has a lot of glass. Photo from Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Over the months I’ve played with the idea of curtains versus blinds but my conclusion is that we need blinds.  The curtains can be optional extras added later depending on how the mood of the space evolves, not to mention budget.

I love the clean, minimal look of blinds such as those pictured below.  They allow the view to be the star.

Pictures:  1.  Christopher Rose Architects on Houzz.  2. The Design files.  3. Improvised Life (Original source not found.)  4. Bayden Goddard Design Architects on HomeDSGN.

On the other hand, I love the homeliness and softness of curtains, and in particular, linen.

Pictures: 1. HomeDSGN.  2.  Home Adore.  3.  Vosgesparis.

At the simpler end of the house, lies the children’s bedrooms and the bathrooms.  For these rooms we think plantation shutters will be a great option.  There is no particular view from the front of the house (we think!) and shutters are easily handled by children, control the light well and can add a layer of insulation to the windows.

Photo credit:

Photo: Pinterest  (Original source not found.)

We had shutters previously, all over the house, and loved them:


Old room of the Little Pigs.

And for the master bedroom, we must have some linen curtains, probably with blinds hiding behind them.  I have a serious weakness for linen:

Pictures:  1.  Planete Deco.  2.  Once Wed.  3.  Apartment Therapy.  4.  With thanks to © Lucas Allen.

And of course, the smart option is to shade the windows from the outside.  Trees, I can do.  Blinds and screens? – I haven’t scratched the surface of these options yet, but there are certainly some inspiring alternatives available.   I fear the logistics and the prices at this point.

Pictures:  1.  Luxaflex.  2.  Evelyn Müller.  3.  Desire to Inspire.

So you see, another can of worms is opened.  Later, I’ll try to be more specific.  I thought I’d throw it all out there now because I know my readers always have some suggestions for me.  My Mum has been scaring me with curtain prices and the whole insect screen debacle (which is still in the “too hard” basket) has been a warning to me that balancing sun control, view maintenance, privacy, aesthetics and budget is not going to be easy.


16 thoughts on “Window dressings

    • Jennifer, I’m a complete sucker for linen anything. Fortunately the modern trend is for “rough linen” because my fetish for linen does not extend to ironing it!

  1. How cool is that sun calculator. I love fun tools like that. I think both blinds and curtains have their place in a home. Always a personal choice though. Loving the plantation shutters!!

  2. trixee says:

    That sun calc is very cool. I love the minimalist blinds too, but fear they may not provide much heat protection. I love the idea of exterior screens, but I think they’re even more expensive than curtains (especially if you motorise them!).

  3. The list goes on and on!
    Re flyscreens – we had initially chosen the retractable ones but we wanted to be able to leave windows open when we are not at home so changed our design on our windows and doors so we can add the mesh security screens. We have the mesh security screens in our current home and they have been great. I’m hoping they will go with a more modern facade. The retractable flyscreens weren’t cheap (looked to see if I could find the quote for you but haven’t had any luck so far).
    We have to have some sort of screen as my husband hates flies, mozzies etc being inside.
    The external zip up shade blinds are great – we use them all the time in summer as our current alfresco and balcony face west and although the house is quite protected by the alfresco/balcony we still need them in the late afternoon. They have held up very well as we are very exposed to the wind here.
    I am looking at putting in plantation shutters in the spare bedrooms – love the look and practicality of them. I am thinking of doing a double rail block out with sheers in our main bedroom. I need to do some more homework on other rooms as we have quie a few glass louvred windows. You have prompted me to start looking!
    I looked at that sun calc when were designing our place last year and it was very useful. It looks like it has been updated so will have another look.
    Hope you are having more luck than us with your building- we are still waiting for the brickies to come back and start the second storey but the weather isn’t helping!

    • Let me know how your security screens go Deb. I notice that some of them look really good these days, but I’m interested in how much air flow they allow. We’ll end up having to retrofit something – the built in options just weren’t sounding “built in” enough for our room/window layout, which defeats the purpose of putting them in during construction. I was visualising an expensive mess.

      • Our current mesh security screens have been excellent for air flow Jo which is why we wanted to get something similar.
        Admittedly we are currently very close to the coast and exposed to the wind.
        Our new place is even closer and we were keen to design it so we could make the most of airflow through the house.
        We currently have some great views and they don’t really detract from the view. I’ve even managed to walk into one of the screen doors and I hadn’t had any alcohol! ! Lol
        I will let you know how we go re screens. Think I might have a good place for curtains too 🙂

  4. Tower Security at Wangara put them in and think they are the Invisiguard. We will try and get the same in new place – will keep you updated 🙂

  5. Wow….very cool sun calculator. I love the blinds.. It looks so clean and modern, but the linen warms everything up. Hmmmmm I think your direction is perfect :). I am not much help tho.

  6. Miranda says:

    Your deliberations sound very familiar – and I think we reached a lot of the same conclusions. We went with blinds in most places. The interior designers we spoke to seemed to recommend blinds over curtains, for a clean, modern look. We might add a curtain over the blind in our bedroom later. I want to wait and see how it feels once the outside is done, since we’ll then have a view to work with.
    We put shutters at the front of our house (study, WIR and ensuite) and for our bedroom windows. That was partly for privacy too.
    And we would have loved to have electronically controlled outside blinds for our living area – it would make the inside much neater and would be more effective at keeping out sun – but I can confirm that the prices are very scary. We’ve put that on the list of things to do one day if we suddenly have lots of extra money!
    Do you have different glass anywhere? That affected a few of our choices (for example, we have tinted smartglass on the doors from our bedroom to the pool area, which meant we didn’t need a sheer blind as well as a blockout there).

    • We have Smart Glass listed on our addenda but I’m not sure of the specifics. I must check. I think it was quite vague – depending on 6 star energy requirements.

  7. Seriously Johanne your house will be incredible. I expect to see it on the cover of Inside Out or Home Beautiful. I’ve also been thinking too much about window dressings. We will mix it up a bit as well. I’m in love with s track curtains mounted from the ceiling. I’m planning on having those in all bedrooms.

    • Thanks MrsCormo. I’ll have to send the 3 little pigs away for a few weeks to ever have it magazine worthy! I’ll have to look up “s tracks” but I think I know what you mean – has a nice effect of making a wall/window look really large.

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