Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Window to the World...While you shower?

I grew up in a house that was built in 1959. There is a window in the main bathroom. That window is a glass block window - great for letting in natural light along with a window sill for my mom's African violets. You still had privacy and never gave a thought to adding any kind of window treatment.

Something happened since that time that lead to architects and home builders adding windows, big windows, into bathrooms. Especially over the bathtub. Yes, they brought in wonderful natural light. But they also brought out our sense of modesty. Who wants to shower in front of the neighbor's kitchen window 15 yards away?

I'm not complaining! The home builder's thoughtless design has been a consistent source of revenue for those of us called to treat those windows.

Treatments that can go down from the top as well as up from the bottom are frequently the solution to allow light to come in while keeping privacy. Cellular shades like Duettes from Hunter Douglas, seen in this customer's bath, are a great choice. Roman shades are another treatment that you can add

the top down bottom up function, giving you the "pretty" along with the practicality.

Frequently, builders will use bathrooms to feature a specialty shaped window - throwing yet another monkey wrench into the search for privacy in the most private area of the home.

Once again, this builder chose a huge corner window, topped with arched windows, and placed it right over the bathtub. Here we chose Silhouettes from Hunter Douglas as the solution, giving both beauty and practicality. The sheer of the Silhouettes on the bottom, even as the shade is open, provides some daytime privacy for the owners. They can close the vanes in the evening as they see fit. The specialty arches above can be ordered either in the permanently open or permanently closed position.  This customer wanted the closed position, not only for privacy, but to cut the morning light that streams into the adjacent bedroom.

This window was a particularly tough situation. A powder room that looked out onto the front porch of the home, this window demands privacy. The small, oval shape did not fit into most blind or shade options. And, the customer did not want to spend a small fortune on the smallest room in the home. Budget quickly eliminated the custom shutter option. They also did not want a permanent covering, such as a fabric sunburst, preferring the ability to choose open or close. The solution: continue the wood blinds we had put throughout the home. The integrity of the oval window can still be seen, both inside and out, plus the light can still be controlled!

In the end, there are a number of different solutions to treating that "window to the world" in your bathroom. We can have that natural, flattering light we crave when it comes to putting on makeup in the morning. But, we can also have the privacy we need when we step out of the shower before that!

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